Bullying: From Policy
to Practice
ACSA 2014 Every Child
Counts Symposium
Jan E. Tomsky
January 17, 2014
1
What We’ll Cover Today
Legal Definition of Bullying
 Truths about Bullying
 Anti-Bullying Policies: Required Components
...
What’s At Stake


Devastating, if not tragic, consequences for
students



District liability

3
Bullying: Legal Definition


AB 1156:

 Amended

the definition of “bullying” in
Education Code section 48900(r) and giv...
Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)


"Bullying"
 Any

means:

severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or
conduct, in...
Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)


Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to
his/her/their person or pro...
“Bullying” – Legal Definition


Ed. Code§48900(r)
 What

is a “reasonable pupil”?
 One who exercises average care, skil...
Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)




"Electronic act" means the transmission of a
communication, including, but not l...
“Electronic Act”


“Posting on a social network site” includes:
 Posting

to or creating a burn page (Internet
Web site ...
Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)
Bullying may include:




Sexual harassment (Ed. Code § 48900.2);
Hate violence (Ed...
Truths About Bullying







Bullying is about power
Bullies choose targets with little social support
Many bullies a...
Truths About Bullying (cont’d)






Staff inconsistency in enforcing rules makes rules
harder to enforce, even by peo...
Truths About Bullying (cont’d)


Training is unlikely to work except as part of
a schoolwide program.

(Schools Where Eve...
AB 9 Requirements







Requires schools to adopt a process for receiving
and investigating complaints
Policy must pr...
AB 9 Requirements





Publicize anti-bullying policies, including providing
information about how to file a complaint...
AB 9 Requirements


School district anti-bullying policies must
include a requirement that, if school
personnel witness a...
AB 1156 Requirements
Requires that a student who has been a
victim of bullying by another student in
his/her district of r...
Implementation of Requirements


Step 1: Establish a Reporting Process
 Accept

reports in a variety of mediums, i.e.
wr...
Implementation of Requirements


Step 2, 3, and 4: Investigation,
Recommendation, and Follow-Up

HANDOUT

19
Implementation of Requirements


Training: Law encourages in-services on
bullying prevention. Staff should be
educated on...
Bullying Prevention Tips
Imbed a campaign to promote citizenship
throughout the school community in
back-to-school and sch...
Bullying Prevention Tips (cont’d)
Establish District-wide or school-wide
expectations
 Implement consistent and escalatin...
Bullying Prevention Program
Structured opportunities for aggressive
youth to reflect on and learn from their
behavior
 Su...
Thank you for attending!
And thank you for all you do for
students!!

Information in this presentation, including but not ...
Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summar...
Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summar...
Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summar...
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Jan tomsky

  1. 1. Bullying: From Policy to Practice ACSA 2014 Every Child Counts Symposium Jan E. Tomsky January 17, 2014 1
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover Today Legal Definition of Bullying  Truths about Bullying  Anti-Bullying Policies: Required Components  Investigation  Bullying Prevention Tips  2
  3. 3. What’s At Stake  Devastating, if not tragic, consequences for students  District liability 3
  4. 4. Bullying: Legal Definition  AB 1156:  Amended the definition of “bullying” in Education Code section 48900(r) and gives it the same meaning in the Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985 (Education Code section 32261): 4
  5. 5. Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)  "Bullying"  Any means: severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a pupil or group of pupils;  Directed toward one or more pupils;  That has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following: 5
  6. 6. Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)  Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to his/her/their person or property  Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.  Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance.  Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school. 6
  7. 7. “Bullying” – Legal Definition  Ed. Code§48900(r)  What is a “reasonable pupil”?  One who exercises average care, skill and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age, or for a person with his or her exceptional needs 7
  8. 8. Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d)   "Electronic act" means the transmission of a communication, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image, or a post on a social network Internet Web site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager. AB 256 (effective January 1, 2014):  Transmission can originate either on or off the school site 8
  9. 9. “Electronic Act”  “Posting on a social network site” includes:  Posting to or creating a burn page (Internet Web site created for the purpose of bullying)  Creating a credible impersonation of another student  Creating a false profile 9
  10. 10. Bullying: Legal Definition (cont’d) Bullying may include:    Sexual harassment (Ed. Code § 48900.2); Hate violence (Ed. Code § 48900.3); and Harassment, threats and intimidation that can be reasonably expected to materially disrupt classwork, create substantial disorder, and invade the rights of personnel or pupils by creating a hostile educational environment (Ed. Code § 48900.4.) 10
  11. 11. Truths About Bullying      Bullying is about power Bullies choose targets with little social support Many bullies are happy and self-confident; many bullies are popular. The “cost” of bullying behavior for the bully is an important part of the process of change. When targets of bullying are excluded by peers, the bystanders add to the hurt (Schools Where Everyone Belongs, Stan Davis.) 11
  12. 12. Truths About Bullying (cont’d)     Staff inconsistency in enforcing rules makes rules harder to enforce, even by people who believe in them. If rules are difficult to enforce, there will be inconsistency. Vague rules will not be enforced. Inconsistency teaches bullies that their behavior is OK. It teaches targets that they deserve to be bullied. (Schools Where Everyone Belongs, Stan Davis.) 12
  13. 13. Truths About Bullying (cont’d)  Training is unlikely to work except as part of a schoolwide program. (Schools Where Everyone Belongs, Stan Davis.) 13
  14. 14. AB 9 Requirements     Requires schools to adopt a process for receiving and investigating complaints Policy must prohibit discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics Timeline to investigate and resolve complaints Appeal process for complaints 14
  15. 15. AB 9 Requirements     Publicize anti-bullying policies, including providing information about how to file a complaint Post policy in schools and offices Maintain documentation of complaints Ensure that complainants are protected from retaliation 15
  16. 16. AB 9 Requirements  School district anti-bullying policies must include a requirement that, if school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying, they take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so. 16
  17. 17. AB 1156 Requirements Requires that a student who has been a victim of bullying by another student in his/her district of residence to be given priority for inter-district transfers at the request of parent or guardian  Recommends that school districts conduct in-services as a means to promote cyber safety among students  17
  18. 18. Implementation of Requirements  Step 1: Establish a Reporting Process  Accept reports in a variety of mediums, i.e. written form, telephone, e-mail, text, in-person  Advertise availability of reporting resources  Advertise that reports are accepted from victims and witnesses  Permit reporting to be conducted anonymously 18
  19. 19. Implementation of Requirements  Step 2, 3, and 4: Investigation, Recommendation, and Follow-Up HANDOUT 19
  20. 20. Implementation of Requirements  Training: Law encourages in-services on bullying prevention. Staff should be educated on:  Updated policies and procedures  Sexual orientation as basis for bullying  New definition of bullying  Reporting and investigation process  Requirement to intervene 20
  21. 21. Bullying Prevention Tips Imbed a campaign to promote citizenship throughout the school community in back-to-school and school safety materials  Evaluate and update all applicable school policies to include responsible use of new technology  Implement a mechanism for the school community to anonymously report bullying  Parent involvement and education  21
  22. 22. Bullying Prevention Tips (cont’d) Establish District-wide or school-wide expectations  Implement consistent and escalating consequences  Create individualized intervention plans  Respond immediately to reports of bullying  (Building a Caring School, Celeste Campbell, Ed.D) 22
  23. 23. Bullying Prevention Program Structured opportunities for aggressive youth to reflect on and learn from their behavior  Support for targets and for young people who need friends  Classroom instruction in emotional literacy, problem solving and crisis resolution  Bystander training and empowerment  23
  24. 24. Thank you for attending! And thank you for all you do for students!! Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summary only and not legal advice. We advise you to consult with legal counsel to determine how this information may apply to your specific facts and circumstances. 24
  25. 25. Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summary only and not legal advice. We advise you to consult with legal counsel to determine how this information may apply to your specific facts and circumstances. 25
  26. 26. Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summary only and not legal advice. We advise you to consult with legal counsel to determine how this information may apply to your specific facts and circumstances. 26
  27. 27. Information in this presentation, including but not limited to PowerPoint handouts and the presenters' comments, is summary only and not legal advice. We advise you to consult with legal counsel to determine how this information may apply to your specific facts and circumstances. 27

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