Bullying Policy Needs to Be Updated
Ironic the passing of Rodney King also saw Lou Ferrigno “Hulk” sworn in as a security officer in Los Angeles. Now that most schools have completed their academic year, it would be time for the school administrations to review their policies for prevention of bullying. In this area, the West Chester School District has a policy, most recent seems to be 8/08 and states it will be updated every three years. The policy covers many of the basic issues and recent publications by area specialists and videos would be useful to post and teach in classes, particularly first day orientation for the new year. The current policy also addresses retaliation. Dr. Claudio Cerullo has written Teaching Anti-bullying K-8 published in December 2011. Currently, he is working on computer applications and a new book on cyberbullying to be released this Fall.
West Chester Area School District, SECTION: PUPILS, TITLE: BULLYING, ADOPTED: 8/25/08
1. Purpose The West Chester Area School District recognizes bullying and intimidation have a negative effect on the learning environment. Students who are intimidated and fearful cannot give their education the single-minded attention needed for success. Bullying can also lead to more serious violence. Every student has a right to an education and to be safe in and around school.
2. Definitions SC 1303.1- A(E)
Bullying is an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students occuring in a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive; and has the effect of doing any of the following: (1) substantially interfering with a student’s education; (2) creating a threatening environment; or (3) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Examples of acts or series of acts may constitute bullying if it meets the preceding definition include, but are not limited to, physical intimation or assault; extortion; oral or written threats; teasing; putdowns; name calling; threatening looks, gestures or actions; cruel rumors; false accusations; and social isolation. Note, mutual “teasing” should not be confused with bullying behavior.
Bullying behavior accomplished through electronic mediums, including but not limited to, computers, Internet, instant messaging, email, and social networking sites shall be subject to this policy.
School setting is in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.
It is the Board’s belief, in order to foster an ideal learning environment, bullying of any student shall not be tolerated.
4. Delegation of Responsibility SC 1303.1- A(A)
School Personnel Intervention
The District expects school personnel who observe or become aware of an act or series of acts s/he believes to constitute bullying to take immediate, appropriate steps to intervene, unless such intervention would be a threat to the school personnel’s safety. If the school personnel are unable to intervene, believe his/her intervention has not resolved the matter, or the objectionable action persists, s/he shall report the bullying to the school principal or his/her designee for further investigation.
Reporting by Students or Parents
The District expects students and parents who observe or become aware of an act or series of acts they believe to constitute bullying to report it to the school principal or his/her designee for further investigation.