Getting tough on bullying…

We’ve had some serious conversations lately during our Miller Team Huddles about bullying—what it is, what it means, and why it is wrong.  It’s a common word in our society revolving around three specific components:  conduct, motivation, and effect.  Since bullying involves exploiting an imbalance of power through intentional conduct and for selfish means, let’s look specifically at Midlothian ISD policy to better understand our position:

Note:  Policy FFI (Local) addresses bullying of District students.  For provisions regarding discrimination and harassment involving District students, see FFH.  Note that FFI shall be used in conjunction with FFH for certain prohibited conduct.  For reporting requirements related to child abuse and neglect, see FFG.

Bullying Prohibited

The District prohibits bullying as defined by this policy.  Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of District policy and is prohibited.

Definition

Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the District and that:

  1. Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property; or
  2. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.

This conduct is considered bullying if it:

  1. Exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator and the student victim through written or verbal expression or physical conduct; and
  2. Interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of a school.
Examples

Bullying of a student may include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name calling, rumor spreading, or ostracism.

Retaliation

The District prohibits retaliation by a student or District employee against any person who in good faith makes a report of bullying, serves as a witness, or participates in an investigation.

Our stance is firm, strong, and clearly states bullying, in any form, is not acceptable; neither is retaliation.  What are we doing specifically?

  • Our staff continues to be trained so they carefully identify potential situations before harm occurs.  They report and document issues
  • Our counselor, Mrs. Stanley, talks regularly in guidance sessions with each class about ways students can help, not hurt, one another using concepts through the R-Time program.
  • As a campus, we actively pledge and practice Rachel’s Challenge.

If something occurs, it’s imperative for the student to immediately report alleged acts of bullying to a teacher, counselor, principal, or other district employee.  In order to be proactive, we ALL have the responsibility to be involved and to be good role models.  Finally, we ALL must work together at becoming better problem solvers (not problem creators) by getting our learners involved as part of the solution.  Together we can work to solve bullying today and everyday . . .

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