Definition of Bullying
Bullying is the use of coercion or intimidation to obtain control over another person or to cause physical,
mental, or emotional harm to another person. Bullying can occur through written, verbal, or electronically
transmitted expressions (i.e., cyberbullying) or by means of a physical act or gesture. Bullying is prohibited
against any student for any reason, including but not limited to any such behavior that is directed toward a
student on the basis of his or her academic performance or any basis protected by federal and state law,
including, but not limited to disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender
expression, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry and/or the need for special education services, whether
such characteristic(s) is actual or perceived
There are three types of bullying: physical, verbal, and relational.
- Physical bullying occurs when a student is bodily harmed and includes behaviors such as hitting, kicking, spitting, or pushing.
- Verbal bullying can be harmful written or verbal communication such as name-calling or threatening another student.
- Relational bullying is sometimes referred to as social bullying. The purpose of relational bullying is to harm a student’s relationships or social status. This can include behaviors such as spreading rumors or posting embarrassing information online.
Retaliation is an act or communication intended as retribution against an individual who reports an act of
bullying. Retaliation can also include knowingly making false accusations of bullying or acting to influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying.
False accusations of bullying are those made knowingly by an individual or group of individuals with the purpose of causing harm to another individual and which are false.
Bullying is different from teasing and conflict. Signs that point to teasing becoming bullying include: (a) the teasing becomes hostile instead of affectionate, (b) the student teasing means to hurt the student being teased, and/or (c) the student being teased gets hurt by the teasing. A central hallmark differentiating conflict from bullying is that conflict occurs between two students and neither exerts power or control over the other. Moreover, when conflict occurs between students, both are able to express their perspectives and opinions. Bullying and harassment are also closely tied. When considering cases of harassment, actions are based on a person's status in a protected class.
D6 Policy and Reporting Procedures
District 6 has strong expectations for reporting all bullying incidents. Board Policy JICDE
- All staff are trained annually in taking proactive steps to prevent, recognize and intervene in bullying situations.
- Educational staff that witness or who become aware of a bullying situation should address it right away, ensuring the child’s safety.
- Staff are trained in the implementation of procedures for immediate intervention, investigation, and confrontation of students engaged in bullying.
- Students engage in social emotional learning opportunities that address social awareness and bullying.
- Staff are trained on tools to change the behavior of students engaged in bullying. Referrals to the school counselor, small group work to teach new behaviors, or other restorative approaches may be taken.
- Partnership with parents and the community is essential to the prevention and intervention of bullying.
- Referrals to the office and disciplinary consequences may occur.
- Targets of bullying are supported through a layered continuum of support.
- Social support and positive school climate efforts for all students are developed through positive behavior interventions, social skills development, and peer social network programs.
- The Family and Student Support Team advises school administration on prevention and intervention practices.
- Please contact your student's school staff (administrator, teacher, counselor) to share concerns.
- Safe 2 Tell
- D6 Bullying Reporting Form
Training and Prevention Education
Our schools take a proactive approach to dealing with bullying by providing the following training and prevention education for our students and staff:
- Social Emotional Learning teaches explicit lessons as a regular part of the curriculum in our schools. Bully Prevention Units are taught at all grade levels.
- In addition to the general all-staff training, teachers, counselors, and administrators are trained on how to coach and create safety and behavior plans and continue to follow up with students involved in bullying.
- Staff members are trained and given resources to help create a positive classroom climate to minimize the likelihood that bullying will occur.
What is cyberbullying?
Instead of happening face-to-face, cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social media, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
We all have a role — how to prevent and/or respond to bullying.
All kids involved in bullying—whether they are bullied, bully others, or see bullying — may experience negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use and suicide.
Parents, school staff and community members all play an important role in supporting our students when providing for their physical, social and emotional needs.
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying.
- Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
- Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
- Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Help Kids Understand Bullying
Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help.
- Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. The adult can give comfort, support, and advice, even if they can’t solve the problem directly.
- Encourage the child to report bullying if it happens.
- Talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Give tips, like using humor and saying “stop” directly and confidently.
- Talk about what to do if those actions don’t work, like walking away
- Talk about strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids.
- Urge them to help kids who are bullied by showing kindness or getting help.
Respond to Bullying: Stop Bullying on the Spot
When we respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps we can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
- Intervene immediately. It is OK to get an adult to help.
- Move away from the situation or individual
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Stay calm.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
- Do not ignore it. Don’t think others can work it out without help.
- Do not immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Do not force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
- Do not question the children involved in front of other kids.
- Do not talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
- Do not make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
- stopbullying.gov (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services): This site provides information from various government agencies on how children, teens, young adults, parents, educators, and community members can prevent or stop bullying.
- cyberbullying.org (Cyberbullying Research Center): The Cyberbullying Research Center offers resources for parents, such as Cyberbullying warning signs to watch for; tips for how to prevent cyberbullying; what to do when your child is cyberbullied; and what to do when your child cyberbullies others.
- Safe2Tell: provides a safe and easy way to anonymously report any threatening behaviors or activities endangering themselves or someone they know.
District Specific Programs/Curriculum
District 6 is using many different programs to address bullying, including:
The two primary curriculums include:
Second Step Bully Prevention Unit for Kindergarten thru 5th grade and
PBIS Bully Prevention Lessons for Grades 6-12
This curricula is further supported by the following programs that vary across the district schools.
- No Place for Hate
- Link Crew (High School)
- WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) (Middle School)
- Rude Vs. Mean Vs. Bullying
For more information about what your school is doing, please contact your school's administration.