Anti-Bullying Policy and Program
Definition of Bullying:
"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other individuals, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself." (c): 2007 The Olweus Bullying Prevention Group
Safe School Helpline
The Safe School Helpline offers a way for students and parents to report concerns that may affect the peace of mind of students or jeopardize the safety of people or school facilities. Call 1-866-listen2me or visit www.publicschoolworks.com/SHL/studentReport.asp?di=120&mi=9
The District actively seeks to educate students and staff about the dangers of bullying behavior, and has instituted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in all buildings.
The OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program
The Olweus Prevention Program (OBPP) (pronounced Ol-VEY-us; the E sounds like a long A) is a comprehensive, school-wide program designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, junior high and high schools. The program’s goals are to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at school. OBPP is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today. With more than 35 years of research and successful implementation all over the world, it is a whole-school program that has been proved to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting among children, improve the social climate of classrooms, and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy. The Olweus Program has been implemented in more than a dozen countries around the world, and in thousands of schools in the United States.
If you would like more information about the Olweus Bully Prevention Program please visit www.Olweus.org. This website will give you general information about bullying behavior and its impact on school climate, student health and academic achievement. You will find basic information about the Olweus Program’s components, state anti-bullying laws and overview videos.
Although this program takes place within our schools, we need your assistance to help educate our students about the difference between bullying behavior and natural conflict among peers. Using the information below, families can discuss and examine events at home to determine if it is true bullying. We want to partner with you to both educate and prevent bullying within our schools.
An ACT OF BULLYING is defined as an event that:
- Is a negative action on the part of one or more persons;
- Happens repeatedly, over a period of time;
- Displays an imbalance of power (which means the bully holds a higher social standing amongst their peers than the target).
OBPP is used at the school, classroom and individual levels. School administrators and teachers are primarily responsible for introducing, implementing and maintaining the program through school-wide and classroom-wide consistent curriculum. These efforts are designed to improve peer relations and make the school a safer and more positive place for students to learn and develop.
What Are the Goals of OBPP?
The goals of the program are:
- To reduce existing bullying problems among students
- To prevent the development of new bullying problems
- To achieve better peer relations at school
Bullying is an Intentional, Negative Act
It is a negative act when someone intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person. The student or students who bully mean to harm another student in some way. This could be through physical actions, through words, or indirectly, for example, by intentionally excluding the students from a group or activity.
It is important to realize that a lot of bullying occurs without any apparent provocation on the part of the bullied student. Rather, students who bully take the initiative and seek out students they perceive as weaker. A possible exception may be situations involving a "provocative victim", where the students who are bullying may be reacting to disruptive behavior on the part of the targeted student.
Bullying is Usually Repeated Behavior
Although bullying is defined as usually being carried out "repeatedly and over time", it would be wrong to exclude from the definition serious hurtful behavior that happens only once. The intent in focusing on repeated acts is to exclude non-serious actions that are directed at a student one time.
However, while bullying typically is repeated behavior, it may be difficult for adults to recognize that a "one-time" incident is part of a pattern of repeated behaviors. This may be due to a number of reasons, including students who bully are good at concealing behaviors or victims do not report the incidents.
Bullying involves a Power Imbalance
In a bullying situation or relationship, the student who is exposed to the negative actions has difficulty defending himself or herself and is somewhat helpless against the student or students who are doing the bullying.
The actual or perceived imbalance in power or strength may come about in several different ways. The student who is being bullied may actually be physically weaker or may simply perceive himself as physically or emotionally weaker than the students who are bullying. There could also be a difference in numbers, with several students ganging up on a single student.
A somewhat different kind of imbalance may happen when the "source" of the negative actions is difficult to identify, as in social exclusion from a group, hurtful gossip, or anonymous mean notes. There is also a difference between teasing and bullying. In everyday social interactions among peers in school, there occurs a good deal of teasing of a playful and relatively friendly nature: in most cases this cannot be considered bullying. When repeated teasing is degrading and offensive and continues in spite of clear signs from the targeted student that he/she would like it to stop, it qualifies as bullying.
Consequences for Bullying
School discipline for substantiated reports of bullying behavior by a student (s) is based on the age of the student, the nature and severity of the behavior and/or incident, as well as any previous documented bullying behavior. For more specific information regarding school discipline for bullying behavior, please review the student handbook or contact school administration at your child's school.