Morristown Elementary Anti-Bullying Initiative Be a STAR With 4 Easy Steps! STICK TOGETHER: the first step! Bullying is everyone’s problem. We all need to treat one another with respect at all times. TELL THE BULLY TO STOP: the second step! This is especially true when name calling is involved. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Sometimes people can be rude. Their rudeness doesn’t necessarily make them a bully. Bullying is repeated acts. Everyone deserves a chance to correct their mistake, even if that mistake came out very rudely. ALERT AN ADULT AT SCHOOL: the third step! If it continues even though you told him/her to stop, tell an adult immediately. Please be clear, negative physical contact only has to occur one time to be considered bullying. The Office of Civil Rights enforces laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of; race, color, national origin, sex and disability. If such discriminatory harassment occurs even just once, a school must take prompt action to end the harassment from reoccuring. RESPECT OTHERS: the fourth step! Don’t handle bullying by becoming a bully yourself. Bullying is… …intentional harm-doing repeated over time. It includes: Pushing, shoving and other physically aggressive acts Spreading gossip and harmful rumors Social exclusion Teasing and name-calling Note Passing Intimidating/Threatening- Verbal and written As defined in the Indiana Bullying Bill, 2003: IC-20-33-8-0.2, bullying is overt repeated acts or gestures including 1. verbal or written communications; 2. physical acts committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate or harm the other student. An Important Notice Students, teachers and parents need to realize threatening is a definite bullying act. For example, if a student says, “I’m going to kill you/shoot you.” this is considered a bullying act. When a student makes hand gestures representing weapons directed at another individual this is a bullying act. When students pass notes around (good or bad) this can appear to other students as a being excluded or being talked about. This then is perceived as a bullying act. Therefore, no notes are permitted to be passed at school. When a student calls another individual a derogative name (i.e. gay, lesbian, etc.) this rises above bullying and involve civil right implications. Stop Bullying Now! Morristown Elementary believes everyone, children and adults alike, have the right to come to school or work and feel safe, secure and accepted. To ensure that everyone has a genuine potential to enjoy school freely, equally and without fear, the following services have been put in place: Classroom Presentations Introduction to the MES Anti-Bullying Program begins in second grade with actual hands-on information, material and role-playing situations that may occur in or around school. All second graders receive the school’s anti-bullying policy brochure which requires parent signature. The Anti-Bullying Acknowledgment is required to be returned to school and is kept as part of student’s permanent record. The parent signature doesn’t necessarily imply agreement with said anti-bullying policy; it simply acknowledges receipt and awareness of said policy. A refresher presentation will be offered for grades third through fifth if found necessary through a parental or staff recommendation. Anti-Bullying Focus for Kindergarten & 1st For younger students, if a persistent case of bullying emerges, their parents will be informed of the protocol we have in place for grades 2nd through 5th. A parent conference will be held with both the principal and school counselor. Parents will be informed that the same sanctions will now be in place for their kindergarten/first grade student. Intimidation Notices Intimidation notices have been developed to serve as a means of formally making a complaint against the alleged intimidator. Intimidation notices will always be filled out in the counselor’s office (if counselor is not present, notices will be filled out in the principal’s office). Intimidation Notices (cont.) NOTE: Before an intimidation notice can be filled out, the person making the complaint must have told the nearest adult staff member and, at that time, shared specifically where the alleged bullying took place. If this has not been done, an Intimidation Notice cannot be filed in the counselor’s office. Students must report all suspected bullying acts to the nearest adult staff member. This means such reporting needs to occur immediately and the adult staff member receiving the report needs to contact the counselor that very day. Remember accusing someone of bullying is a serious claim. So, if you truly feel threatened (physically or emotionally) this warrants immediate action. Not going to the nearest Adult to report a bullying situation immediately, appears to make the situation not important enough to be identified as bullying. Intimidation Notices (cont.) Intimidation notices serve as a warning tool. The first written intimidation notice on file in the counselor’s office serves as an educational proactive tool to get the student to truly think about his/her behavior without getting into trouble, without getting parents, teachers or administration involved. Remember: The Counselor does not deal with discipline. Therefore, she does not make contact with the parents or necessarily the teachers regarding this issue. Intimidation Notices (cont.) Kids need to know they will make at least one mistake. Kids can, and most will, learn from their mistakes given the opportunity to do so and deserve at least one “warning” on their own without parent and/or school staff involvement. With this said, the first Intimidation Notice filed against a student is considered a warning and stays only with the school counselor. However, any subsequent Intimidation Notices accumulated by a student requires referral to the school principal and parent notification via notice sent home or phone call. Intimidation notices remain on file in the counselor’s office for the remainder of the school year. At the end of the school year, all intimidation notices are destroyed. All students begin the new school year with a clean slate! Reprimand Once a student receives two or more intimidation notices, he or she will be sent automatically to the principal’s office. At this point, parents are notified via some means of communication. Getting one intimidation notice may not seem to be a big deal because it doesn’t go on a student’s permanent record, but getting two or more is a big deal because the student is sent to the principal’s office and a discipline record begins. The discipline record does stay on file. This is why it is very important for parents to review and discuss the Anti-Bullying Initiative with their children. Outcomes of Bullying Outcomes of bullying may result in Mr. Corn issuing one or more of the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Discussion with Mr. Corn Detention In-school suspension Counseling with Mrs. Runnebohm Loss of recess to watch a bullying video Loss of certain school privileges Requirement to conduct research on bullying and provide parents and administration with a presentation of the findings. Contact with the Morristown Police Department All students will be afforded the Due Process Rights Final Statement We make every attempt to correct the behaviors before having to take evasive actions. It is the belief of Morristown Elementary School that students should feel safe and welcomed at school. MES supports the national campaign, Stop Bullying Now. For more information check out www.StopBullyingNow.hrsa.gov or call 1-888-ASK-HRSA.