Community Building and Bullying Prevention

Community Building and Bullying Prevention

HILLTOP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Hilltop Elementary: making a positive difference in our world through respectful and responsible thoughts, words, and actions.

Edmonds School District Board Policy

The Edmonds School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying for all students, employees, volunteers, and patrons. "Harassment, intimidation, or bullying" is an intentional written, verbal, or physical act which:

  1. Physically or emotionally harms a student or damages the student's property; or
  2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education; or
  3. Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
  4. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

The act of bullying is repeated negative and intentional actions, such as exclusion and intimidation designed to target and hurt a specific victim. In bullying situations an imbalance of power exists in which the victim has difficulty defending him or herself. Bullying can be physical, verbal, non-verbal or psychological and may be done by a single inpidual or a group.

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can take many forms including slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, verbal, or physical actions. These acts may be motivated by characteristics in RCW 9A.36.080(3) including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or by other distinguishing characteristics such as physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socio-economic status, gender identity, and marital status. The victim does not actually have to possess the characteristic for which he/she is being bullied, harassed, or intimidated.

Belief Statement

In order to build the caring community that is our guiding principle at Hilltop Elementary, it is necessary to ensure the physical and emotional safety of our students. For this reason, we take District and State mandates regarding bullying-prevention activities very seriously and have written a statement of our beliefs on this important issue.

We know that in order for learning to occur and in order for children and adults to do their best, they must feel emotionally and physically safe. We believe:

  • in the personal worth and dignity of all the members of our community
  • that harassment, intimidation, or bullying cannot be ignored
  • that adults in our school are responsible to teach the members of our school community how to recognize and report harassment, intimidation, and bullying
  • that we are responsible to teacher prevention and resistance strategies
  • that harassment, intimidation and bullying should be addressed at the earliest stage possible.

Definition of Behaviors:

In her book The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander (Harper Resource 2003), author Barbara Coloroso defines bullying as, “ a conscious, willful, and deliberate hostile activity intended to harm, induce fear through the threat of further aggression, and create terror.”

Examples of behavior that may be considered bullying, intimidation or harassment include without limitation:

  • teasing;
  • inappropriate, demeaning or harmful jokes or comments;
  • spreading gossip;
  • inpidual or group threats of harm either physically and/or to another’s property;
  • pushing, hitting, kicking or unwanted physical contact of any nature including feigned “accidental” contact;
  • unwanted physical restraint;
  • intentional and unwanted blocking of someone’s path;
  • hazing;
  • hiding someone else’s belongings;
  • theft of property;
  • extortion or blackmail;
  • exclusion, “shunning”, purposely ignoring;
  • vandalism to another student’s property;
  • destruction of someone else’s property.

Responsibilities of staff, students, and parents

Staff

Staff members will actively teach prevention strategies, monitor behavior, receive reports of harassment, intimidation, or bullying and intervene as appropriate. Strategies include but are not limited to:

Prevention Strategies

Interventions

The school will:

· inform students and parents of expectations regarding harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

· teach and reinforce:

o awareness of harassment, intimidation, or bullying behaviors

o response strategies

o bystander behavior

o assertiveness skills

o attitudes of acceptance and inclusion

· purposefully integrate instruction of harassment, intimidation, or bullying prevention into Character Education lessons and class meetings.

· foster open communication among community members.

· Work to build positive relationships among students.

The school will establish a system for reporting and responding.

Volunteers and staff members will actively monitor the playground and other identified common areas.

The staff will continue learning to recognize and respond indicators and signs.

Allegations of harassment, intimidation, or bullying will be investigated in a timely, thorough and fair manner.

Coaching and counseling will be provided as needed for participants and victims.

Parents of any students involved in incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying will be contacted.

Students

Students are responsible for:

  • Knowing and following school and classroom guidelines.
  • For reporting any incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
  • Helping to the best of their abilities, to build a positive school atmosphere

Parents

Parents are responsible for:

  • reinforcing and supporting school rules/guidelines.
  • reporting any incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
  • reviewing the school policy with their child annually.
  • modeling appropriate behavior.

Last Modified on January 26, 2011

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