Bullying Information for Parents/Guardians
Please review this with your child
Bullying is defined as any sort of harassment, intimidation or otherwise deliberately hurtful behavior by a single person or a group of people toward an individual that is carried out repeatedly over time. Bullying requires a perceived imbalance of power that the bully uses to make the targeted student feel uncomfortable, humiliated, ridiculed, or scared. Bullying can be in the form of physical, verbal, or psychological abuse and has an adverse effect on the student’s education and ability to participate at school. Behavior that does not meet the criteria for "bullying" may be labeled another classification and consequences given.
How to Report an Incident
Students or parents/guardians of students should immediately contact the school for more information about how to report a specific incident if you believe your child has been the target of a bully. Incidents of bullying can also be reported on the District's Website.
THE DISTRICT PROHIBITS ANY FORM OF BULLYING BY OR AGAINST STUDENTS.
EXAMPLES OF BULLYING:
- kicking, hitting, tripping, shoving, pinching, destroying personal property and any other physical means of hurting another person
- demanding property, money or a service in exchange for not hurting the targeted student
- threatening to inflict physical harm on the target; physical intimidation or posturing
- deliberate exclusion, rejection and isolation with the intent to humiliate or hurt
- verbal threats, name calling, spreading rumors and public humiliation
- manipulation of friends and relationships
- circulating notes, graffiti or other writing among peers with the intent to humiliate or hurt
- using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc.), the Internet or other technology to harass, intimidate, humiliate, or torment the targeted student
- using technology to impersonate the targeted student
- the use of various forms of bullying as an initiation into a group
- may be used by fraternities, gangs, academic and athletic teams to initiate new members
Sexual Harassment/Inappropriate Touching:
- unwanted behavior or comments that are of a sexual nature
- touching, caressing, grabbing any body part without consent
- name calling, making sexual propositions and inappropriate comments
- unwelcome advances in the form of written notes, phone calls, or social media
- sending inappropriate pictures via cell phone, email or social media
- sexual harassment is against the law
Harassment based on Race, Ethnicity, Religion, Disability or Sexual Orientation:
- using the targeted student’s race, ethnicity, religious background, disability or sexual orientation to fuel aggressive behavior or harassment
- use of racial slurs, name calling and off-color jokes to harass, intimidate, humiliate or torment the targeted student
- bullying based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation is a form of hate behavior and in some cases, may be considered a hate crime and is against the law
What Can Parents/Guardians Do?
Encourage positive behavior and kindness and be a positive role model. Avoid making negative comments or put downs about others. Avoid foul language and trash-talk when children are within ear shot. Show them that friendships and relationships are based on trust and respect.
- Talk to your children daily about their interactions with friends and peers. Encourage them to talk about their feelings.
- Listen carefully for any signs that your child may be involved in a bullying incident, either as a bully, bystander or target. Ask for specifics and write them down.
- Encourage your child to tell you or another adult about any bullying that they see at school.
- Do not tolerate bullying, ridicule or harassment that may occur at home between siblings or friends.
- Help children embrace diversity. Teach that every individual is different and deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. They may not like everyone but they should never hurt a person emotionally or physically.
- Help your child to develop self-confidence and learn positive social skills.
- Help your child choose friends that are kind and respectful.
- Help your child choose TV programs, movies and other media that demonstrate positive behavior.
- Teach children at a young age that bullying is disrespectful behavior and can not only be dangerous, but can also be against the law.
- Teach children that bullying can carry on into adulthood and have consequences on personal and professional levels for both the bully and the target.
- Learn the school’s rules on bullying and attend any meetings or trainings where this may be discussed.
- Keep an open line of communication with teachers, counselors, coaches or any other staff member who has regular contact with your child.
- Accept help from the school in any situation where your child may be a bully, bystander or target.
- Report any incident of bullying to the school.
- Join a school parent organization with efforts aimed at preventing and eliminating bullying.
Online Resources for Parents/Guardians
- Florida’s anti-bullying law
- White House Website for Bullying Prevention
- International Bullying Prevention Association
- Cyber Bullying Research Center
- Stop Cyber Bullying
- Committee for Children
- National School Safety Center
- Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports
- PBS Kids
- Kids Health: Cyberbullying
- Digital Safety