Policies, Procedures, and Resources for Addressing Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation in Baltimore County Public Schools Cheryl Scott, Specialist Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools July 20, 2010 Presentation Objective • To increase awareness of bullying, harassment, and intimidation by providing information, strategies, and resources for working with youth on these issues. Ice Breaker • Think about a time in your life when you were bullied, harassed, or intimidated? Do you remember how the situation was resolved? Harm Caused by Bullying Bullying and Harassment Physical Social Emotional Massacre Linked to Bullying WITNESSES TELL OF COLUMBINE BULLYING “Bullying at Columbine High was rampant, witnesses testified Monday, and victims' parents were shocked that the principal has said there were no danger signs leading to the shooting.” Taken from local newspaper April 20, 1999 Massacre Linked to Bullying Throughout school, Virginia Tech gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, was picked on, pushed around and laughed at over his shyness and the strange way he talked. In a video created by Cho, he states of the massacre, “You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today….But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.” Phoebe Prince "Suicide by Bullying": Teen's Death Angers Town Asking Why Bullies Roam the Halls • SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (CBS) 15-year-old Phoebe Prince moved from Ireland to Massachusetts, with the promise of a new life. Instead, she took her own life, to escape allegedly vicious bullying, on Facebook, text messages, and in school, and now angry residents of her South Hadley, Mass. community want answers, and punishment for the bullies. According to The Boston Globe, Prince was relentlessly bullied by girls who called her "a slut," or "an Irish slut." On the day of her death, Jan. 14, Prince was walking home from school when bullies drove by in a car, hurling insults and an energy drink in her direction. Prince kept walking to her house, straight to her closet, and hanged herself. Baltimore Maryland school bullying: 8-year-old girl attempts suicide after bullying Baltimore, MD A third-grade girl with cerebral palsy reportedly attempted suicide after battling repeated verbal and physical attacks from fellow students at Gilmor Elementary School, as reported by the Baltimore Sun. Three students have been suspended for the incident, but some teachers and union officials claim there is a serious culture of student violence within the West Baltimore school that remains unaddressed. Legislation • Safe Schools Reporting Act of 2005 – Mandates the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to require county boards of education to report incidents of harassment or intimidation (bullying) against students attending a public school under the jurisdiction of the county board. Bullying Definition • A person is bullied when he/she is exposed to intentional negative actions on the part of one or more students, and whose ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities is adversely affected. Bullying often occurs repeatedly and over time. Harassment Definition • A person is harassed when he/she perceives or actually experiences discomfort with identity issues in regard to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or other identifying characteristics, and whose ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities is adversely affected. Intimidation Definition • A person is intimidated when he/she is subjected to intentional action that seriously threatens and induces a sense of fear and/or inferiority, and whose ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities is adversely affected. Retaliation Definition • An act of reprisal or getting back at a person for an act he/she has committed. Rationale for Policy 5580 • On July 1, 2008, the Maryland General Assembly directed the Maryland State Board of Education, in consultation with the local school systems, to develop and adopt a Model Policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, or intimidation in schools. Policy 5580: Students: Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation • The Board of Education of Baltimore County prohibits students engaging in intentional conduct involving bullying, harassment, or intimidation that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities. The Board prohibits any reprisal or retaliation against an individual who reports an act of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. Procedures for Reporting by Schools • The principal or principal’s designee will make the state victim reporting form, Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form, available in all schools, notifying students, school staff, and parents/guardians of its availability at the school. • The state victim reporting form, Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form, are available electronically on the BCPS web site. • The principal or the principal’s designee will include the state victim reporting form, Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form, in the beginning of the year school packets for students and their parents/guardians. Procedures for Reporting by Schools • Teachers can now report incidents of bullying and harassment. In the past only the victim, his/her parent, or close relative could report. • The principal or the principal’s designee will provide a secure location where a student may submit a completed Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form if the student feels uncomfortable submitting the reporting form in person. Direct Bullying and Harassment Behaviors such as, but not limited to: • Physical (hitting, kicking) • Verbal (name calling, teasing, spreading rumors) • Non-verbal (rejecting, defaming, terrorizing) • Sexual (inappropriate comments and touching) • Sending mean e-mails Indirect Bullying and Harassment Behaviors such as, but not limited to: • Physical (getting another person to assault someone) • Verbal (spreading rumors, gossip) • Non-verbal (deliberate exclusion from a group, ignoring, threatening looks or gestures) Cyber-bullying • Harassing, humiliating, intimidating or threatening others on the Internet or via cell phones or other technology available to youth (e.g. e-mails, web pages, instant messaging, and other electronically communicated messages). How to Work With Bullies • Integrate character building activities. • Build empathy through discussion, role play, and real-world scenarios. • Address the reasons for bullying (student needs). • Provide consistent consequences. • Empower victims and bystanders in order to reduce the bully’s influence. How to Work With Victims • Teach how to ignore • Teach how to use humor to deflect • Teach how to use self talk: “They think I’m ___, but I know I’m ____.” • Teach how to walk with confidence, speak up and in a brave voice, or join a group. • Talk about what they can do or say when they are bullied—develop choices (Play the “What Would You Do If” game. • Give them the right words to use and rehearse. How to Work With Bystanders • Empower bystanders to intervene • Give students the language to use • Address “anti-snitching” messages through empathy building • Teach them not to watch, join in, or otherwise or contribute to the problem • Teach them how to walk away • Teach how to come forth when the investigation is being done: • Write a note • Talk in private Resources for Addressing Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation • • • • • • • • • • Safe Schools Conference (Sept 23 and 34, 2010) Positive Behavior Planning Guide Understanding and Responding to Bullying PBIS Character Education Violence Prevention Programs (e.g. Second Step) Bullying Scenarios on Safari Montage Restorative Practices (e.g. Community Conferencing/Daily Rap/Circles) Office of School Counseling Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools Coming Soon! • Cyber-bullying video available on Safari Montage. • Back-to-School Night with Parents • Classroom Lessons (developed through Office of School Health) Coming Soon! • Bullying, Harassment, Intimidation training module for all faculty and staff. Coming Soon! • Each school will receive a copy of A Bully Free School Year: 40 Weeks of Bullying Prevention Activities by Jan Urbanski & Joan Reubens Second Step Violence Prevention Program • For elementary and middle schools. • Programs and trainings available through S&DFS. Stay tuned for upcoming trainings. Safari Montage • • • • Conflict with Authority Harassment Sexual Harassment Bullying: Gaining Insight (for staff) Bullying Videos by Carver Students • Bullying Scenarios (Bus and Hallway) Thank you!