Incidents of discrimination and harassment, which include but are not limited to bullying, taunting, and intimidation, can severely disrupt a student’s ability to learn and interfere with the district’s ability to educate our students. Therefore, APWCSD is committed to creating a school environment that is free of discrimination and harassment and will promote civility throughout the school to prevent and prohibit conduct that is inconsistent with that goal. We appreciate your help in reporting incidents!
What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. (see www.stopbullying.gov) Both those who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
We use the term "bullying" quite frequently. It does not mean your occasional push in the hallway or shove in the lunch line. These are just kid behaviors. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying behavior presents itself in many ways but is generally defined in four (4) different types:
Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things and include such behaviors as teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, and threatening to cause harm.
Social Bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying can include such behavior as leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone, and embarrassing someone in public.
Physical Bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions and can include such repetitive behaviors as hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, tripping/pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, and making mean or rude hand gestures. A great deal of physical bullying involves intimidation. Control (the imbalance of power) can be achieved and maintained by the fear of physical violence as strongly as by the act itself.
Cyberbullying is the newest and often most traumatic type of bullying, especially in the pre and early teen years. Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Cyberbullying is even more difficult to detect by school officials and parents than other types of bullying. This type of bullying behavior can be more devastating because instead of the usual bullying at 2:00pm on the playground in front of 8 other people, it happens 24/7 in front of hundreds of people.
What are Some Resources for Help?
A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. - Washington, D.C. 20201
edutopia - What Works in Schools: a website sponsored by the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Center for Schools and Communities - Center for Safe Schools
Some great resources from Kalamazoo College's Psychology Department
My Child is the Bully, Where Can I Go For Help?
Here is a great article from Education.com
This is a great article from the archives of Time Magazine
This is a good 10 Step article from the Pacer Center
Here is an article from School Family with many additional links
What Actions are Being Taken to Address abd Combat Bullying-Type Behavior at APW Elementary School?
- We have started an APWCSD Anti-Bullying Behavior Taskforce that has the full support and funding of the APW Board of Education.
- Thorough investigations have started of each report with focus on defining behavior patterns of:
- common locations
- common timescommon circumstances
- persistent/frequent individuals (perpetrators and victims)
- We offer a standing invitation to parents/guardians to visit their school and/or become volunteers
- We now devote scheduled Teacher Team Meetings to root cause behavior issues that impact teaching/learning. We are forming:
- inappropriate behavior lists
- bullying-type behavior lists
- multiple/frequent offender lists
- We have identified and are closely monitoring areas of concern such as our: locker rooms, Rebel Club, 6th grade corridor, dining room, and corridor bathrooms.
- We have implemented an automatic 3 day suspension (OSS) policy for clearly defined offenses of fighting, bullying-type behavior, and the use of profanity and foul language.
- We have empowered our teachers by authorizing "Teacher Detention" and "Teacher ISS", also giving them the responsibility of contacting parents directly to explain these actions.
- We now mandate counseling for students demonstrating chronic bullying behavior.
- We now mandate re-entry conferences that include parents/guardians for all student suspensions.
- We have implemented a “hallway watch” program by all adults and by temporarily extending the employment of a teacher aide.
- We are trying to increase our communication practices by:
- recording every phone call on paper or by audio and keeping a phone call log
- contacting parents of both perpetrator and victim after each investigation
- using our school’s PA system, telephone system, and radio system more efficiently
- Formalized and staffed an Elementary in school suspension (ISS) program
- We have installed a surveillance system in the 6th grade wing.
- We have designed an interactive webpage devoted to bullying behavior that is both informative and an avenue to report bullying behavior directly to District principals.
- Administrators have visited, and continue to visit each classroom speaking about respect, and specifically bullying-type behavior.
- We have increased assigned supervision at bus arrival and dismissal times. Teachers of our younger students stand right with their classes in the dismissal lines.
- We hope to soon involve National Honor Society members as mentors as well as High School students needing community service hours as mentors.