What is Bullying?
Columbus School District is committed to making our schools safe for students. Students and staff will treat each other with respect and will refuse to tolerate bullying in any form at our schools.
Identifying an act as "unkind" or "bullying" may, at times, be unclear. Decisions are based on interpretation of events following an investigation, perception of intent by the target and intent/motive of the individual causing harm. It is important to understand what is bullying and what is not based on the definitions below.
- Deliberate or intentional behavior using words or actions, intended to cause fear, intimidation, or harm.
- Intentional, aggressive, and hostile behavior.
- An act that involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the target.
- Behavior that is repeated over time rather than an isolated incident.
Bullying is not an "unkind act."
Unkind acts may be:
- Remarks or actions that are insensitive, unfriendly, thoughtless, inconsiderate, unsympathetic or lacking pity or compassion.
- A single incident or ongoing.
- A result of poor decision-making, lack of consideration of outcomes, self-centered behaviors that are part of a student’s normal growth and development as a social being.
Bullying behavior and unkind acts can both include:
- Physical (assault, hitting, kicking, punching, other acts that physically hurt another person).
- Verbal (threatening statements, teasing, name calling, or put downs).
- Indirect (spreading rumors, falsely accusing another person, intimidation through gestures, social exclusion, cyber-bullying).
UNKIND ACTS AND BULLYING CAN APPEAR TO BE SIMILAR BEHAVIORS, BUT THE MOTIVATION AND INTENT BEHIND THE ACTS ARE DIFFERENT.
Successful enforcement of the Columbus School District anti-bullying policy and prevention requires a collaborative effort among the school, students, and parents.
Staff will do the following things to prevent bullying and help students feel safe at school:
- Closely supervise student in all area of the building to watch for warning signs of bullying -and stop it when it happens.
- Respond quickly and sensitively to bullying reports.
- Take parental concerns about bullying seriously and inform/provide parents with incident reporting form.
- Implement bullying reporting/investigating protocol involving all of the impacted individuals including parents.
- Document interventions and outcome of investigation.
- As appropriate, utilize restorative practices to repair harm.
- Assign consequences for bullying
Students will do the following things to prevent bullying:
- Treat each other respectfully.
- Be an “upstander” and intervene when observing incidents of bullying.
- Use incident reporting form to report bullying.
- Serve as a model to peers.
Parents will do the following to prevent bullying:
- Recognize the warning signs a child may be involved in bullying.
- Understand what is bullying and what it is not based on the definitions provided above.
- Talk to the child about bullying to encourage open communication.
- If it has been determined the child has either been bullied or witnessed bullying parents can do the following:
- To report the bullying, see the directions here.
- Contact school principal or student services personnel who can provide and/or assist with completion of Incident Report