What Is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious. lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Harassment, intimidation or bullying is defined as a gesture, electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical or sexual act reasonably perceived to have the effect of either of the following.
- harming a student physically or emotionally or damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage
- insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school
- demonstrates motivation by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and expression of a mental, physical, or sensory disability or by other distinguishing characteristics
What are the Types of Bullying and some examples?
- Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
- Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
- Making mean or rude hand gestures
- Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
What Should A Person Do If They Are Being Bullied?
Any student who feels he/she has been subjected to harassment, intimidation or bullying is encouraged to file a complaint in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent. Complaints will be investigated promptly, thoroughly and confidentially. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or his/her designee. Reports by students or employees may be made anonymously. Visit See Something Say Something on the Marion County School District webpage to report an incident of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. You may choose to include your name or remain completely anonymous. The reporting form can also be printed here or picked up from the school office to complete.
How Does Marion County School District Handle Bullying?
The board expects students to conduct themselves in an orderly, courteous, dignified and respectful manner. Students and employees have a responsibility to know and respect the policies, rules and regulations of the school and district. Any student or employee who is found to have engaged in the prohibited actions as outlined in board policy or who is found to have falsely accused another person as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion in the case of a student or termination in the case of an employee. Individuals may also be referred to law enforcement officials. The district will take all other appropriate steps to correct or rectify the situation.
The district prohibits retaliation or reprisal in any form against a student or employee who has filed a complaint or report of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The district also prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Students, parents/legal guardians, teachers and staff members should be aware that the district may take disciplinary actions for conduct initiated and/or created off-campus involving the inappropriate use of the Internet or web-based resources or cellphone or text-based resources, including videoing other students and/or posting such videos on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, YouTube, or Twitter, if such conduct poses a threat or substantially interferes with or disrupts the work and discipline of the schools, including discipline for student harassment and bullying.