The Institute of Child Health and Human Development defined bullying as a pattern of abuse over time and involves a student being “picked on.” Bullying includes physical intimidation or assault; extortion; oral or written threats; teasing; putdowns; name-calling; threatening looks, gestures, or actions; cruel rumors; false accusations; and social isolation. Bullying can be physical (hitting), verbal (teasing), or psychological (shunning). Bullying is defined as behavior aimed at causing another person to feel threatened, harassed or embarrassed. Bullying behavior is destructive to individuals and to our school’s general sense of safety and well-being. Students, staff and parents at Bala Cynwyd Middle School have identified bullying behaviors in many ways. Bullying might look like this:
- Taking hats or other items for the purpose of hurting someone’s feelings (lunch, drinks, books, binders, etc.)
- Blocking access or egress in the halls, in the classroom or cafeteria
- Threatening another student either physically or verbally or deliberately frightening or intimidating another
- Refusing to make room for or to allow another student to sit at a table or bus seat
- Shunning another student (deliberately excluding someone)
- Running in halls and pushing others maliciously
- Continuously making fun of someone, even after being asked to stop
- Calling another person names for the purpose of hurting that person
- Stealing things or damaging another’s belongings for the purpose of upsetting someone
- Making insulting, negative, or culturally insensitive remarks about another person or teasing another person’s abilities or lack of abilities in academics, sports, etc.
- Blackmail, extortion of money or favors – exploiting another student
- Making false accusations for the purpose of hurting another person (rumors)
- Sexual Harassment
Some of these behaviors may not always be bullying and often these situations can be handled through an appropriate dialogue. Students who feel that they are being bullied are encouraged to get an adult involved immediately. This adult could be their parent, guidance counselor, teacher, coach or a building principal. With the help of a caring adult, many of these situations can be addressed before they become disciplinary issues.
For more information on the district bullying policy, please refer to Administrative Regulation Number 249.
- Warning – meeting between administrator and offender (this meeting may include the victim if the victim elects to be present to confront the offender)
- Written or verbal apology
- Parent contact
- Meeting between the administrator and offender (this meeting may include the victim if the victim elects to be present to confront the offender)
- Letter sent home to inform parent/guardian of offense and disciplinary action taken
- Guidance counselor informed
- Suspension (in or out of school)
- Parent contacted
- Guidance counselor involvement
- Possible behavior contract
- Out of school suspension
- Parent conference with disciplinarian
- Referral to police
Any disciplinary action follows a fact-finding investigation conducted by the building administrator. The final decision regarding specific disciplinary actions rests with the administrator in charge of the fact-finding investigation and may involve input from other students, teachers, guidance counselors, other administrators, and parents. At each step of the disciplinary process, the individual rights of all students will be respected.