The York School District 1 school board prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student by students, staff and third parties that interfere with or disrupt a student's ability to learn and the school's responsibility to educate its students in a safe and orderly environment whether in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop, at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises, or at another program or function where the school is responsible for the student.
Because we believe every student deserves a safe learning environment, York School District 1 is committed to dealing with bullying behaviors in our schools.
To help the student who is the target of bullying behaviors:
- We strive to identify the student who is using bullying behaviors, administer consequences for bullying behavior and help our students learn new ways of relating to others.
- We educate our school community of the serious impact of bullying behaviors in order to respond consistently to all instances of bullying
- We attempt to create a safe environment taking a proactive position against bullying through the following measures:
- Morning announcements that remind students to be kind to one another, and the use of a district-wide, daily-read slogan: "Kindness counts! It starts with you!"
- School-wide assemblies with district slogn
- Public service announcements at football games
- School-created videos
- Creation of anti- bullying task force
- Classroom guidance lessons
- Character word of the month
- Anti-bullying clubs and organizations
- Activities that promote connectedness
WHAT IS BULLYING/CYBERBULLYING?
Any intentional, written, electronic (i.e., Internet, Youtube, e-mail, text or picture messages, SnapChat, Instagram, etc.); verbal, physical, or sexual act or actions against another person that a reasonable person knows will have the effect of:
- Placing a person in reasonable fear of harm to his or her emotional or physical well-being
- Creating a hostile, threatening, humiliating or abusive educational environment due to the pervasiveness or persistence of actions or due to a power imbalance between the bully and the target
- Interfering with a student having a safe school environment that is necessary for successful educational performance, opportunities or benefits
- Perpetuating bullying by inciting, soliciting or coercing an individual or group to demean, dehumanize, embarrass or cause emotional, psychological or physical harm to another person
WHAT DO COMMON BULLYING BEHAVIORS LOOK LIKE? (Remember, bullying behaviors are intended to harm, present an imbalance of power, and are repeated.)
- Inappropriate physical contact, including hitting, kicking, shoving, pushing
- Intimidating and threatening comments either verbal, written or electronic
- Name calling or put-downs
- Malicious manipulation of others to do things they don’t want to do
- Setting someone up to be bullied
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Spreading rumors or hurtful gossip
- Hurtful teasing or making fun of someone
- Hiding or destroying someone’s belongings
- Standing by and watching bullying behavior
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR CHILD IS BEING AFFECTED BY BULLYING?
There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help. It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.
FOR PARENTS: Below are some tips to help identify if your child is possibly being bullied or may be bullying others.
Being Bullied (the alleged bullying behaviors are repeated, there is an imbalance of power between your child and the culprit, there is an intent to harm your child)
- Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
- Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing or jewelry
- Has unexplained injuries
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or feeling sick
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
- Has changes in eating habits
- Hurts themselves
- Are very hungry after school from not eating their lunch
- Runs away from home
- Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
- Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
- Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school
- Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home
- Talks about suicide
- Feels helpless
- Often feels like they are not good enough
- Blames themselves for their problems
- Suddenly has fewer friends
- Avoids certain places
- Acts differently than usual
- Becomes violent with others
- Gets into physical or verbal fights with others
- Gets sent to the principal’s office or detention a lot
- Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained
- Is quick to blame others
- Will not accept responsibility for their actions
- Has friends who bully others
- Needs to win or be best at everything
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF BULLYING?
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.
Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues, such as (but not limited to):
- Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
- Health complaints.
- Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
- Retaliation (a very small number of bullied children might retaliate or become bullies themselves).
Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood, such as (but not limited to):
- Abuse of alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
- Getting into fights, vandalizing property, and dropping out of school
- Engaging in early sexual activity
- Criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
- Being abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or (as adults) children
Kids who witness bullying are more likely to:
- Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
- Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
- Miss or skip school
The Relationship between Bullying and Suicide
Most youth who are bullied do not have thoughts of suicide or engage in suicidal behaviors. However, Media reports often link bullying with suicide. Although kids who are bullied are at risk of suicide, bullying alone is not the cause. Many issues contribute to suicide risk, including depression, problems at home, and trauma history. Additionally, specific groups have an increased risk of suicide, including American Indian and Alaskan Native, Asian American, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. This risk can be increased further when these kids are not supported by parents, peers, and schools. Bullying can make an unsupportive situation worse.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
Stop Bullying on the Spot. If your child comes home complaining of being bullied, contact his or her teacher, school counselor, or administrator immediately and share your concerns. A school official will investigate to determine if the behavior meets the definition of bullying, and proceed as policy dictates.
When adults 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 adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
- Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
- Separate the kids involved.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
- Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
- Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
- Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
- Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
- Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
Get police help or medical attention immediately if:
- A weapon is involved.
- There are threats of serious physical injury.
- There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
- There is serious bodily harm.
- There is sexual abuse.
- Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.