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Bullying Policy
Posted On:
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monteagle Elementary School

Bullying/Harassment/Intimidation

Policy

 

Policy Objectives

The objectives of our anti-bullying policy are:

Þ     nTo raise the awareness among staff, students and parents about bullying

Þ     nTo actively counter bullying at school

Þ     To provide strategies to resolve conflict and respect differences

Þ     To create a school environment where all students, staff and parents feel safe and welcome

Þ     To create a climate where it is okay to talk about bullying and ask for help

Þ     To promote good mental health.

 

Rights and Responsibilities

·         Every person has the right to feel safe. Any person who bullies another is denying them that right.

             This means we have to think about others (not just ourselves) in the classroom, on the bus, and on

            the playground.

·         The right to feel safe means that we have a responsibility to consider how we speak and act towards others. Bullying takes away a person’s sense of security. The right to safety means that any bullying of any kind is absolutely unacceptable.

·         Every person has the right to be treated with respect and fairness. This means that we show respect to other people and their property, in the class, on the playground, and in the community. The right to receive respect and fair treatment requires from us the responsibility to show manners and courtesy towards each other.

·         Every person has the right to learn. This means that we do not adversely affect the learning of others.

 

At school it is everyone’s responsibility to take the necessary steps to stop bullying behavior. Our

school will not tolerate any action that undermines a person’s right to feel safe, respected, and to learn. This policy addresses conduct taking place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, or outside school (if the bullying disrupts the school learning environment or possibly poses an imminent threat to the safety of any student).

 

Monteagle Elementary School will be forming a “Bully Prevention Taskforce” that will educate others about the evils of bullying, discuss bullying related issues & problems, and lead events to promote a more congruous school environment. This taskforce will have members that are students, school staff, school administration, and parents. The taskforce will be lead by the school’s guidance counselor, who will serve as the Monteagle Elementary School Bully Prevention Taskforce Manager.

 

Prevention and Education

Bullying is one of the most damaging forms of discrimination and it must be prevented. Bullying prevention begins with all members of our community being able to communicate clearly about the concerns and issues. Learning to distinguish the difference between normal social ups and downs, negative social behaviors such as meanness and rudeness, and actual bullying is part of the process for all of us. To that end, we provide the following definitions for our common understanding:

Bullying – Bullying is an unwelcome or unreasonable behavior that demean, intimidates or humiliates people either as individuals or as a group. Bullying behavior is often persistent and part of a pattern (repeated), but it can also occur as a single incident. It is usually carried out by an individual but can also be an aspect of group behavior. When bullying occurs, the students will take on the role of victim, bully, bully-follower, or bystander.

Physical Bullying – using physical force to hurt another student by behaviors that may include but are not limited to hitting, punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, spitting, pinching, getting in the way or holding. It is also physical bullying to interfere with another student’s belongings, to take or break possessions, and to demand or steal money.

 

Verbal Bullying – directing words at another student with the intention of putting down or humiliating. This includes but is not limited to threatening, taunting, intimidating, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, put-downs and ridiculing. It is also considered verbal bullying when a student uses hostile gestures towards another student, such as making faces, staring, giving the evil eye, and eye-rolling.

Relational Bullying – when a student influences other students’ friendships and relationships by actions that include but are not limited to deliberately leaving them out, spreading gossip and rumor, whispering about them, giving the silent treatment, ostracizing or scape-goating. Relational bullying also includes writing words or creating cartoons, posters or drawings about another student designed to hurt or humiliate that student.

Cyber-bullyingis defined as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messaging, posting on social networking sites, or facsimile communications.  Cyber-bullying includes creating a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identify of another person, the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, or the distribution by electronic means or communication of messages that meets the definition of bullying above, whether distributed directly or creating a posting that may be accessing by one or more persons. Since most cyberbullying takes place off school grounds, in order for the school to intervene and discipline, the administrator is going to need to make the determination that the cyberbullying has adversely affected the “good order of the school” and that, because of the cyberbullying, there is an imminent threat to the safety of a student or to the school learning environment.

Racist Bullying – refers to a range of hurtful behavior, both physical and psychological that makes a person feel unwelcome, marginalized, excluded, powerless or worthless because of their color, ethnic, culture, faith community, national origin or national status.

Mob Bullying – is a particular type of bullying behavior carried out by a group rather than by an individual. Mobbing is the bullying or social isolation of a person through collective unjustified accusations, humiliation, general harassment or emotional abuse. Although it is group behavior, specific incidents such as an insult or a practical joke may be carried out by an individual as part of mobbing behavior.

Retaliation – is when a bully harasses, intimidates, or bullies a student who has reported incidents of bullying. This also applies to students who testify in defense of the victim.

Immunity/Retaliation – No school employee, student, or volunteer may engage in reprisal or retaliation against a targeted student, witness, or other person who brings forward information about an alleged act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline or other legal action.

 

“Reporting” Policy

All members of the Monteagle Elementary School community have the right and responsibility to report incidents of concern regarding negative social behaviors and bullying so that together we can maintain a safe environment for all and practice the skills necessary for positive relationships within the community. School administration and teachers are not always present to witness incidents or areas of concern, and therefore can only intervene when they are informed about them.

Students are encouraged to report bullying concerns to their classroom teacher or another school staff member by way of a verbal report or written note, or by completing a bullying concern report form.

Parents are also encouraged to report directly to faculty or administration their concerns about any bullying behaviors. Parents can share their concerns verbally or in writing, but they are encouraged to complete a bullying concern report form.

Teachers and Staff will report to the school’s bullying prevention taskforce manager all bullying concerns and incidents that come to their attention through either direct observation or reports from others. All reports that teachers share with the administration will be documented on a bullying concern report form.

School Administration can also initiate a process to address an observed concern or incident. Depending on the concern, their report may be shared with the classroom teacher of the student(s) involved. All administration initiated reports will be documented on a bullying concern report form.

School Administration will maintain records of all reports filed during the school year.

All parties are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity, and ensure the confidentiality of any issues that may arise.

 

“Intervention” Policy

All reports of bullying concerns will be handled seriously and promptly by the faculty and administration. Upon review and investigation of a report, some concerns will be addressed within the classroom by the teacher, while more serious and repeated concerns will be referred to the Guidance Counselor, who is the MES bullying prevention taskforce manager, for further intervention.

Intervention in bullying concerns, like all disciplinary matters at MES, will be addressed with the two main goals in mind: to maintain safety and order within the learning community, and to identify, teach, and practice the skill(s) needed to prevent the unwanted behavior from occurring again.

 

The person filing the complaint will fill out the bullying concern report form and will turn over all evidence of the harassment, including, but not limited to, letters, tapes, or pictures. Information received during the investigation is kept confidential, to the extent possible, in order to protect all of the individuals involved in the matter.

 

“Investigation” Policy

The school’s bullying prevention taskforce manager will reasonably and promptly commence the investigation upon receipt of the complaint. The manager will interview the complainant, the victim (if different from the complainant), and the alleged harasser. The alleged harasser will be given the opportunity to file a written statement in response to the complaint (due process). The investigator may also interview witnesses as deemed appropriate. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will make written findings and conclusions as to each allegation of harassment and report the findings and conclusions to the school administrators. The school administration will decide upon and dispense punishments based on the findings received from the bullying prevention taskforce manager’s investigation report.

 

“Discipline” Policy

Students who are found to have bullied, harassed, intimidated, or retaliated against a student who reported acts of bullying may be subject to disciplinary action.  The discipline imposed will be dependent on the nature and severity of the acts and can range from a verbal warning to expulsion, subject to applicable procedural requirements.

 

School Administration will notify the director of schools and local law enforcement if it believes that criminal charges may be pursued.

 

Nothing in this section prevents Monteagle Elementary School from imposing disciplinary sanctions on a student whose behavior does not meet the definition of bullying, harassment, or intimidation but which nonetheless violates school policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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