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Anti-Bullying Program

Ohlone Elementary School Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan 2018-19

Each year parents or guardians of enrolled students will be provided with information about our bullying prevention curricula. Ohlone Elementary will post this plan and related information on the Ohlone School website.  Bullying can be defined as "unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”  There are four general types of bullying: 1) Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions; 2) Verbal bullying involves saying or writing mean things; 3) Social bullying involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships; and 4) Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology to hurt another person.  Bullying can occur during or after school hours. It can occur in a school building, on the playground, while riding the bus, or on the internet.

For 2018-19, Ohlone’s Anti-Bullying Campaign is aligned with PVUSD’s “Be a Kinder, More Empathetic You.” We have incorporated the book “Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners” by Laurie Keller into our school-wide curriculum, which was presented to students in assemblies and in classrooms. Follow-up during the year consists of highlighting the character traits mentioned in the book: friendliness, politeness, honesty, being considerate, kindness, cooperation, playing fair, sharing and not teasing.

Students, parents, and staff can help build a safe social environment by:

A.    Students

  • Treating each other respectfully

  • Refusing to bully others

  • Not letting others be bullied

  • Refusing to watch, laugh, or join in when someone is being bullied

  • Trying to include others in play, especially those who are left out

  • Reporting bullying to an adult

B.    Parents

  • Encouraging their child not to engage in harmful teasing

  • Listening to their child if he/she reports being bullied

  • Reporting signs of being bullied to their child’s teacher or principal

  • Encouraging their child not to exclude others or spread rumors or gossip

  • Supporting the school if their child is identified as having engaged in bullying behavior

  • Helping their child to understand how hurtful it feels to be excluded, bullied, or harassed

C.   Staff

  • Setting clear expectations for student behavior and establishing clear school and classroom routines;

  • Discussing with students the various forms that bullying can take and what responses are appropriate.

  • Creating safe school and classroom environments for all students;

  • Using appropriate and positive responses that are firm, fair and consistent, even when students require discipline;

  • Using positive behavioral supports;

  • Encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with students;

  • Modeling, teaching, and rewarding inclusive, healthy, and respectful behaviors;

PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING

AND RETALIATION

Reporting Bullying or Retaliation

Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents or guardians, or others and may be oral or written. Staff members, parents and students can make their reports using the Bullying Report Form, which is available in the main office.  Parents, students or others who are not school employees can make their reports anonymously.  These reports will be investigated by a teacher or administrator and, if found to be true and actionable, will be entered by them into the online reporting system

Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, witnesses bullying, or has reliable information about bullying is prohibited. Retaliation may take the form of intimidation, threats, reprisal, or harassment. Behavior that is interpreted as retaliatory in response to a bullying complaint being filed is in violation of this policy and subject to the same reporting and investigative procedures as the initial complaint. Filing of false reports is also in violation of this policy. Persons found to be filing false reports or accusations of bullying or harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Complaint Resolution

All reported incidents of bullying must be investigated and acted upon as appropriate.  An online report of the alleged incident, investigation and resulting actions shall be made.  The principal shall keep a copy of all reports.   If at any time during this process a school official is made aware of behavior which may constitute a criminal offense, he/she is obligated by law to report such actions to the legal authorities.

All reports and complaints of bullying, cyber bullying, and retaliation will receive prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. This commitment will be supported in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.

Members of certain student groups may be more vulnerable to becoming targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. The school will take steps to create a safe, supportive environment for all populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.

PLEASE NOTE: As the following steps go forward, it is important that the child being bullied and/or the recipient of retaliation be given support from appropriate school staff, including counseling intervention as needed. Research has clearly shown that it is ineffective to bring a student who is being bullied and/or retaliated against together with the student who is doing the bullying for the purpose of mediating the dispute. However, each case is unique and should be addressed with sensitivity to the safety and welfare of the students involved.

I) First Incident:

If a teacher or other staff person receives a report from a student about or recognizes or perceives behavior of a relatively minor nature, such as mild teasing, name calling, or excluding a student from group activities, etc. the student or students involved will be reminded that such behavior is not allowed. Consequences beyond a warning and that are appropriate may be given and the student should be told that if the behavior occurs again more serious consequences will be given.

If there has been a history of chronic bullying on the offending student’s part, the staff member will include the principal or other administrator in on the process.

When a warning is given, the staff member should document that such a warning has taken place. A teacher reporting bullying to the office should use the Bullying Report Form.

II) Second Incident:

Should a second incident occur the principal will review school expectations and rules with the student, and a problem solving conference will be held. The parents of the student will be called and notified. The student and parents are told that any subsequent referrals for bullying or any retaliation against those who brought the matter to the attention of staff will be followed by disciplinary consequences. If the bullying behavior is judged to be severe, the principal always has the option to dispense a disciplinary consequence, even upon the initial referral to the office.

III) Third Incident:

The principal will contact the parents to set up a parental conference. The student will receive a disciplinary consequence which could range from detention to out of school suspension, depending on the severity of the behavior. During the parental conference, bullying will be addressed, and a remedial plan may be formulated. Appropriate community based interventions or counseling may also be considered.

IV) Fourth Incident:

Student who is suspected of engaging in a fourth incident will be sent to the principal who will conduct a comprehensive investigation.  If the student is found to have engaged in bullying for a fourth time, a determination will be made as to whether or not that student should be suspended. A parental conference will be arranged to create/review a remedial plan. Additional alternatives, such as referral for expulsion may also be considered.

Reporting and Record Keeping

The principal will keep a written record of any and all children referred to the office for bullying behavior. In cases where disciplinary action becomes necessary, a due process investigation will precede any such action.

Confidentiality with regard to record/information release

1) A principal may not disclose information from a student record of a target or aggressor to a parent unless the information is about the parent’s own child.

2) A principal may disclose a determination of bullying or retaliation to a local law enforcement agency without the consent of a student or his/her parent. The principal shall communicate with law enforcement officials in a manner that protects the privacy of targets, student witnesses, and aggressors to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

3) If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, non­public school, approved special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal will notify the principal or designee of the other school(s) of the incident so that each school may take appropriate action.

A principal may disclose student record information about a target or aggressor to appropriate parties in addition to law enforcement in connection with a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The principal must document the disclosures and the reasons that the principal determined that a health or safety emergency existed.