Bullying Prevention and Reporting
Bullying, a behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates someone physically or emotionally, is a serious issue that impacts thousands of students every day. As damaging as bullying may be, there is hope! With education and awareness, bullying can be prevented at school, in neighborhoods, and online.
SJUSD believes that a safe and civil school environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve and that bullying causes physical, psychological, and emotional harm to students and interferes with their ability to learn and participate in school activities. Bullying has been linked to other forms of antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, skipping and dropping out of school, fighting, using drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, and violence. It is the goal of SJUSD to create a learning environment in all its school communities where all students feel safe and supported, are protected from bullying, and are able to succeed academically and develop socially and emotionally into responsible, caring individuals.
SJUSD asks every San Jacinto Unified student, with the support of his/her parent(s), guardian(s) and the adults at school, to commit to the following principles, which will apply to everyone on school property and at school-related activities:
- I will not bully others.
- I will try to help anyone I suspect is being bullied.
- I will work to include students who are left out.
- If someone is being bullied, I will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
What is Bullying?
(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)
(cf. 6163.4 - Student Use of Technology)
Types of Bullying
Examples of the types of conduct that may constitute bullying and are prohibited by the district include, but are not limited to:
- Physical bullying: An act that inflicts harm upon a person's body or possessions, such as hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone's possessions, or making cruel or rude hand gestures.
- Verbal bullying: An act that includes saying or writing hurtful things, such as teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, or threats to cause harm.
- Social/relational bullying: An act that harms a person's reputation or relationships, such as leaving a person out of an activity on purpose, influencing others not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, or embarrassing someone in public.
- Cyberbullying: An act such as sending demeaning or hateful text messages or emails, spreading rumors by email or by posting on social networking sites, or posting or sharing embarrassing photos, videos, web sites, or fake profiles.
SJUSD has implemented measures to prevent bullying in district schools, including, but not limited to the following:
- Each school site has established clear rules for student conduct and implements strategies to promote a positive learning environment.
- Providing information to students, through student handbooks, district and school websites and social media, and other age-appropriate means, about district and school rules related to bullying, mechanisms available for reporting incidents or threats, and the consequences for engaging in bullying.
- Students are encouraged to notify school staff when they are being bullied or when they suspect another student is being bullied, and provided means to report threats or incidents anonymously and confidentially via Anonymous Alerts.
- Sites conduct assessments of bullying incidents and, if necessary increase supervision in areas where bullying occurs often such as playgrounds, hallways, cafeterias, etc.
- Teaching all students social and emotional skills and establishing classroom and school-wide practices that promote relationship-building, including teaching all school stakeholders to speak out when they see or hear bullying, degrading language, and bias or prejudice.
- Students receive bully prevention lessons that identify bullying and strategies to combat bullying.
Any student, parent/guardian, or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to bullying or who has witnessed bullying may report the incident to a teacher, the principal, a compliance officer, or any other available school employee. When a report of bullying is submitted, the principal or a district compliance officer shall inform the student or parent/guardian of the right to file a formal written complaint in accordance with AR 1312.3 (found above). The student who is the alleged victim of the bullying shall be given an opportunity to describe the incident, identify witnesses who may have relevant information, and provide other evidence of bullying.
School Employees that witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so. (Education Code Section 234.1[b]).
Within two business days of receiving a report of bullying, the principal shall notify the district compliance officer identified in AR 1312.3.
When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals with information about the activity shall be encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated. When a student uses a social networking site or service to bully or harass another student, the Superintendent or designee may file a request with the networking site or service to suspend the privileges of the student and to have the material removed.
- Report the bullying to any school employee either verbally or complete the San Jacinto USD Safety Reporting Link or make a report to Anonymous Alerts
- Complaints of bullying will be investigated and resolved in accordance with Board Policy AR 1312.3, Uniform Complaint Procedures (below)
- When a student is reported to be engaging in bullying off campus, we will investigate and document the activity and identify specific facts or circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance (see section below Reporting and Filing of Complaints)
- When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals are encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages that they feel constitutes cyber-bullying and to report it to a teacher, staff member, school administrator or fill out the San Jacinto USD Safety Reporting Link or make a report to Anonymous Alerts so that the matter can be investigated.
Reporting Board Policies, Administrative Regulations and Form
Corrective actions for a student who commits an act of bullying of any type may include counseling, behavioral intervention and education, and, if the behavior is severe or pervasive as defined in Education Code 48900, may include suspension or expulsion in accordance with district policies and regulations. When appropriate based on the severity or pervasiveness of the bullying, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the parents/guardians of victims and perpetrators and may contact law enforcement.
All certificated staff and other employees who have regular interaction with students are provided access to the California Department of Education (CDE) online training module on the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying, including the identification of bullying and cyberbullying and the implementation of strategies to address bullying. (Education Code 32283.5) CDE Resources
Training is provided to teachers and other school staff to raise their awareness about the legal obligation of the district and its employees to prevent discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying of district students. Such training is designed to provide staff with the skills to:
- Discuss the diversity of the student body and school community
- Discuss bullying prevention strategies with students, and teach students to recognize the behavior and characteristics of bullying perpetrators and victims.
- Identify the signs of bullying or harassing behavior.
- Take immediate corrective action when bullying is observed.
- Report incidents to the appropriate authorities, including law enforcement in instances of criminal behavior.
The Superintendent, principal, or principal's designee may refer a victim, witness, perpetrator, or other student affected by an act of bullying to a school counselor, school psychologist, educational therapist, school nurse, or SJUSD Student, Community, Personnel Support Staff for counseling, case management and/or participation in a restorative justice as appropriate.
If any student involved in bullying exhibits warning signs of suicidal thought or intention or of intent to harm another person, the Superintendent or designee shall, as appropriate, implement district intervention protocols which may include, but are not limited to, referral to district or community mental health services, other health professionals, and/or law enforcement.