Wisconsin Anti-Bullying Center

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1 Patrick Evans, M.S. CESA 7 - Project Management Consultant Green Bay, Wisconsin Certified Trainer Wisconsin Emergency Management Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools Writer, Editor, Contributor, and Presenter National Anti-Bullying Initiatives for School Districts

2 Intruder Alert! There is an Intruder in the building But it s not a person. It is a disease

3 Bullying Definition 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. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. 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 actions: making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. What is Bullying? StopBullying.gov

4 Well then How do we stop bullying?... Let s pass some laws Because that will certainly stop bullying... Right???... No. No???... No. But we do need the laws They protect us as educators

5 State Law 2009 Act 309 created Wis. Statute Bullying is prohibited in all schools, buildings, property, and educational environments, including any property or vehicle owned, leased or used by the school district. The prohibition states that this includes public transportation regularly used by students to go to and from school and defines educational environments as including every activity under school supervision. Legal Update: Related to Student Discipline, Bullying and Harassment Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

6 Requirement for Districts to establish Procedure for Reporting All staff members and school officials who observe or become aware of acts of bullying are required to report. Any other person, including a student that is a victim of bullying is encouraged to report. The Board of Education is to designate a staff member or administrator to receive reports of bullying. Legal Update: Related to Student Discipline, Bullying and Harassment Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

7 Reports may be made in writing or orally. A written record of the report will be made by the recipient of the report. The school official that receives a report of bullying is required to immediately notify the school employee that has been designated to investigate bullying. Retaliation against persons making reports or assisting with an investigation is prohibited and persons engaging in retaliation are subject to disciplinary action. Legal Update: Related to Student Discipline, Bullying and Harassment Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

8 National Bullying Statistics There are about 160,000 (15%) children that miss school every day out of fear of being bullied. About 56% of all students have witnessed bullying take place while at school. Almost 44% of teens have been a victim of cyberbullying at least once. 88% of social media users from the ages of 12 to 17 have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person on a social networking site. About 71% of students feel bullying is an on-going problem. Some of the top years for bullying include 4th through 8th graders in which 90% were reported as victims of some kind of bullying. 54% of students reported that witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school. Among students of all ages, homicide perpetrators were found to be twice as likely as homicide victims to have been bullied previously by their peers. Bully.org National Bullying Statistics compilation 2010 and / National Crime Prevention Council 2012 / Pew Internet and American Life Project 2011

9 Cyberbullying Your responsibility??? Yes (Incidents occur outside of school = ramifications occur inside of school) Cyberbullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about or to another person. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls cyberbullying the most common online risk for all teens. Types of Bullying Online Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances. Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group. Impersonation: Breaking into someone s or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others. Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages. Cyberstalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats. Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs. Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online. Cyberthreats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies. Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children American Academy of Pediatrics 2011

10 Judge Samuel Alito (Free Speech and Cyberbullying) (Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006) Speech that would substantially interfere with a students educational performance is prohibited. The primary function of a public school is to educate its students; conduct that substantially interferes with the mission is, almost by definition, disruptive to the school environment Associate Justice Samuel Alito for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (Philadelphia PA) Saxe v. State College Area School District Court Decision (start of case in 2001) / Free Speech

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12 Bullying Can Be a Factor in School Violence In a number of cases, bullying played a key role in the decision to attack. A number of attackers had experienced bullying and harassment that were longstanding and severe. In those cases, the experience of bullying appeared to play a major role in motivating the attack at school. Bullying was not a factor in every case, and clearly not every child who is bullied in school will pose a risk. However, in a number of cases, attackers described experiences of being bullied in terms that approached torment. Preventing School Shootings U.S. Secret Service Safe School Initiative Report

13 Attackers Talk About Their Plans Prior to most incidents, the attacker told someone about his idea or plan. In more than three-fourths of the cases examined in the Safe School Initiative, the attacker told a friend, schoolmate, or sibling about his idea for a possible attack before taking action. In one case, an attacker made comments to at least 24 friends and classmates about his interest in killing other students, building bombs, or carrying out an attack at the school. Some of the conversations were long enough that peers conveyed detailed information about the plans, including the date it would happen. However, the study identified a major barrier to the prevention of targeted school violence. In nearly all of the cases, the person who was told about the impending incident was a peer, and rarely did anyone bring the information to an adult s attention. It is important, therefore, that threat assessment inquiries involve efforts to gather information from anyone who may have contact with the student in question. It also is important to decrease barriers that may prevent students who have information from coming forward. In addition, both schools and investigators need a thoughtful, effective system for handling and analyzing any information that is provided. Preventing School Shootings U.S. Secret Service Safe School Initiative Report

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15 REALLY????? Bullying Awareness Day (4 th Wed. in Sept.) Bullying Awareness Day was established to bring attention to the harmful effects of bullying in the school setting through Wisconsin ACT 309 of 2009; (9t).

16 Action Day

17 Safe & Healthy Schools Program Education/Awareness/Action Safe and Healthy Schools Peer to Peer Student Training. Safe and Healthy Schools Prevention Program Assessment & Development/Tribes TLC Process Sustainability. Assist school districts in the development of comprehensive, integrated, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug education (AODA) programs. Assist in developing partnerships at the community, county, regional, state, and national levels in order to facilitate cooperation and sharing, maximize resources, and reduce the duplication of SH&S services. Assist schools and communities in the development of an integrated framework to foster healthy, resilient, successful learners.

18 Challenge your popular, intelligent and active students to stand up to bullying. Create small antibullying pockets. Ask your students this question: Is there anything about your school that you have concerns about or makes you worry? You will definitely learn something! Teach it! Teach it! Teach it! Role play and practice (like fire drills). Creates a better understanding, increased knowledge how to handle the situation, and more strength to deal with the bullying. Promise yourself to visit an Elementary School.

19 Open Discussion on Your Anti-Bullying Initiatives What work s in your school district? What doesn t work in your school district? What one question would you like answered?

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