Parents » Harasment/Bullying

Harasment/Bullying

                                              Stop Bullying
 
The Governing Board passed Board Policy 5131.11 on July 11, 2018. The Governing Board of the Pomona Unified School District affirms that every student and staff member has the right to a safe and secure school environment free of humiliation, intimidation, fear, harassment, or any
form of bullying behavior. Furthermore, the Board believes that a healthy and positive school environment enhances and increases academic achievement and pro-social development (BP 5030). Therefore, the prevention, reduction/elimination of bullying behavior is fundamental to
Pomona's educational goals. The District, students, families, and staff have an obligation to create an environment that celebrates and respects diversity and human dignity, promotes an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline, and admonishes bullying behavior. To this end, the District has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to address, reduce, and eliminate incidents of bullying and harassment.
 
The District will not tolerate bullying or any behavior that infringes on the safety or well-being of students, staff, or any other persons within the District's jurisdiction whether directed at an individual or group.
Reporting and Investigating
1. Students who are the target of bullying or observe the behavior should report the incident to the principal, the principal's designee, or a trusted school staff member.
Staff members, upon receiving a complaint or witnessing bullying, are required to make a report to the principal or principal's designee. Reports can be made verbally or in writing. Oral reports shall also be considered official reports. Reports may also be made anonymously. Both oral and anonymous reports should be documented and reported by the receiving administrator.
2. Upon receiving a report either directly from the target of bullying, a witness of bullying, or from a teacher or staff member, the principal/ designee (or Superintendent/designee)must initiate investigation procedures. The investigation must be prompt and diligent and occur within ten (10) school days of the reporting. All interviews of witnesses, the victim, and the accused shall be conducted separately.
3. All individuals involved must maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings as well as the names of the complainant and all others involved. 

See Something. Say Something

                                               Bullying not in my school

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. 

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.

 

There are three types of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • 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:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gesturesInformation from stopbullying.gov

Signs of Bullying

Each student who has been bullied or is bullying others will respond and act differently. A student's behaviors and moods can change for a variety of reasons. Teachers and parents/caregivers need to be alert to the possibility that the change in behaviors and moods is related to bullying. Talk with the child about school if you are concerned and ask general questions about how things are going.

Download a list of possible signs of bullying (PDF, 82KB) or accessible version (RTF, 82KB).

                                           Stop Cyberbullying

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.

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
  • SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
  • Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
  • Email

With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:

Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.

Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.

Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.

Information from stopbullying.gov
The links below are to websites with information and videos on bullying.  The best way to prevent bullying in school is to educate students about what bullying is and how to respond.  Teachers provide lessons on bullying in class and parents can review this at home as well. 

10 Ways Parents and Caregivers Can Help Kids Build Resilience

Here are ways that parents and caregivers can help their children and family become more resilient. Some of these may take some effort but are worth it in the long run. If you are a parent or caregiver, you can:

  1. Set family goals and have children play an important role in working towards them.
  2. When your child is defensive or aggressive, help them reflect on the situation to understand what is causing their behavior. Children may lack the skills to handle what's happening. They may need support. Help them build the skills they lack so they can respond in better ways in the future.
  3. Practice role playing how to handle different problems. This helps children develop ways of handling challenges.
  4. Model an attitude of grit and optimism in the face of family challenges.
  5. Work on solving problems together.
  6. Teach your child how to manage stress. Participating in wellness activities together, like exercise or healthy cooking, can be helpful.
  7. Find someone (like a tutor, mentor, or school counselor) to help your child improve specific academic or life skills.
  8. Volunteer together to help others in need.
  9. Talk to your child about past challenges and how they helped you grow.
  10. Help your child find practical solutions to problems as they come up.

With parent and caregiver support, a child's resilience can develop and help them cope when they are faced with difficult experiences, like bullying.

Credit to: stopbullying.gov

Bystanders to Bullying

Someone who witnesses bullying, either in person or online, is a bystander. Friends, students, peers, teachers, school staff, parents, coaches, and other youth-serving adults can be bystanders. With cyberbullying, even strangers can be bystanders.

Youth involved in bullying play many different roles. Witnessing bullying is upsetting and affects the bystander, too. Bystanders have the potential to make a positive difference in a bullying situation by becoming an upstander. An upstander is someone who sees what happens and intervenes, interrupts, or speaks up to stop the bullying.

Youth who are bullied often feel even more alone because there are witnesses who do nothing. When no one intervenes the person being targeted may feel that bystanders do not care or they agree with what is happening. There are many reasons why a bystander may not interject, even if they believe that bullying is wrong. They may be afraid of retaliation or of becoming the target of bullying themselves. They might fear that getting involved could have negative social consequences.

An Upstander is someone who takes action when they witness bullying. Even one person’s support can make a big difference for someone who is being bullied. When youth who are bullied are defended and supported by their peers, they are less anxious and depressed than those who are not.

There are many things that bystanders to bullying can do to become upstanders:

  • Question the bullying behavior. Simple things like changing the subject or questioning the behavior can shift the focus.
  • Use humor to say something funny and redirect the conversation.
  • There is strength in numbers too! Bystanders can intervene as a group to show there are several people who don’t agree with the bullying.
  • Walk with the person who is the target of bullying to help diffuse potential bullying interactions.
  • Reach out privately to check in with the person who was bullied to let them know you do not agree with it and that you care. It makes a difference.
  • Be Someone’s Hero video in English or Spanish for an example of how to be an upstander.Credit to: stopbullying.gov