BES is fortunate to have a caring, professional counselor who is attuned to the unique needs and emotions of elementary school students. If a specific need develops, the counselor may seek to remedy the situation as quickly as possible with parent permission. Call Lisa Lowsky, our school counselor at 384-5807 for more information.
Bullying is when someone is mean to you on purpose, over and over again, creating an imbalance of power in the relationship. Bullying behavior can be direct or indirect and may take many forms, including, but not limited to: teasing, relational aggression, exclusion, harassment, verbal/physical/emotional degradation and threats, name-calling, intimidation, public humiliation, and causing harm/violence. Behaving in such a manner through the use of technology (internet, cell phones, etc.) is also bullying behavior.
Bullying is NOT…
Age appropriate conflict between peers is not considered bully behavior. Normal peer conflict: happens on occasion, is accidental, lacks seriousness, and displays equal power among disputants. “Not Bullying” may include: not liking someone, arguing, sharing unfavorable personal thoughts/feelings, and being bossy.
We employ a “Zero Tolerance” policy for bullying. This policy extends to all school environments, including school buildings, grounds, vehicles, bus stops, and school sponsored activities. Students who bully will be “subject to appropriate disciplinary action including suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.”
How to report bullying:
Students who witness bullying or are a target of bullying should notify a staff member immediately. Parents are also asked to notify their student’s teacher immediately when their child discloses a bullying incident (regardless of role: target, bystander, or bully). All staff members shall document complaints pertaining to bullying and are to inform administration. Prompt notification ensures each incident will be handled in a timely manner. Once reported, administration will investigate the reported act and determine the validity of the allegations. At no time during the investigation will the bully, target, and/or bystander be interviewed together. Each interview will be conducted privately and separately and will remain confidential.
Resolutions for bullying may be conducted formally or informally. Informal resolutions are mutually agreed upon and will be conducted in the presence of an administrator. Administration will document the agreement and notify parent(s)/guardian(s) of each student involved. Parents will only be informed of their child’s involvement and resolution agreements. Formal resolutions will be determined based on the frequency and seriousness of the incident. Formal resolutions will include appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to law enforcement. The school may also provide referrals and/or interventions: to address the bullying behavior, to provide assistance to the parents of the bully, to support the targets of bullying, and/or to empower the bystanders. Under no circumstances will retaliation be permitted in connection with an individual who reported bullying. If such an incident occurs, it shall be considered an additional act of bullying and appropriate consequences will ensue.
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