November 23, 2017

HSD's Policies on harassment introduced to students


In an effort to further enhance our school-wide expectations: be kind, be responsible, be respectful, do your best and be safe we spent time explicitly teaching our k-5 learners the difference between bullying and harassment.  We introduced the Hartford School District’s policies on harassment and the implications if one chooses to bully or harass others.  A great emphasis was placed on how to get help if you feel that you are being bullied or harassed as well as how to report it if you see, hear or know that it is happening.

Our staff worked with mixed grade, smaller groups on brainstorming ways that we can stop bullying and harassment.  These ideas were then shared with the whole group.

 What is the real meaning of bullying?

 

Bullying is when one says or does something over and over again that is meant to “ridicule”, “humiliate” or “intimidate” another person.  This can be done in person OR through a text message, an email, a posting on Facebook, Twitter or any other type of electronics.

  • “Ridicule” is to make fun of a person and to try to make others laugh at a person in an unkind way.
  • · “Humiliate” is to embarrass another person on purpose
  • · “Intimidate” is to frighten someone with threats or to prevent a person from doing something such as getting help from an adult by threatening that person.

What does bullying look like and sound like?:

Examples of bullying: 

  • · Name calling and verbal taunts (teasing)
  • · Physical threats or actual physical harm

 

  • Off-campus text messages or social media posts that ridicule or intimidate to the extent that the targeted student is not able to fully access the school’s programs.

In order to be determined bullying these kinds of things must be repeated over a period of time, directed at a particular person and they are meant to “ridicule”, “humiliate” or “intimidate”.

It is important to understand that bullying can happen during or outside of school.  But if it’s interfering with or preventing a student from participating in school activities it will be labeled bullying and there are consequences for this.

Sometimes acts of bullying may be determined to be unlawful harassment.  This means it IS NOT LEGAL.  

When harassment happens the behavior is based on or motivated by a student’s or student’s family member’s actual or perceived:

  • · Race  (based on your family’s genetics)
  • · Creed (religious beliefs)
  • · Color (color of one’s skin)
  • · National Origin (the country you were born in)
  • · Sex (male or female)

Disability (any handicap conditions either learning or physical)

  • · Sexual orientation (homosexual or heterosexual)

(The state also identifies gender identity and marital status as other forms of harassment.)

For more information on the HSD’s harassment policies see our WRS Family Handbook that was distributed on the first day of school.  These can also be found on the Hartford School District website.