Bullying

BULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND INTIMIDATION PROHIBITION POLICY

In its commitment to providing all students and staff with a safe learning environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is physically or emotionally harmed, the Board of Education will not tolerate any student or staff member being bullied (including cyber‐bullying), harassed, or intimidated in any form at school or school‐related events, (including off‐campus events, school‐sponsored activities, school buses, any event related to school business), or outside of school hours with the intention to be carried out during any of the above.

Such acts include those that are reasonably perceived as being motivated either by an actual or perceived attribute that includes but is not limited to race, religion, creed, color, marital status, parental status, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, mental or physical disability or any other distinguishing characteristic.

The district further prohibits the inciting, aiding, coercing or directing of others to commit acts of bullying or cyber‐bullying, harassment or intimidation.

Any staff member that observes, overhears or otherwise witnesses bullying (including cyber‐bullying), harassment, or intimidation, or to whom such actions have been reported must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the behavior and to prevent its reoccurrence as detailed in the applicable Administrative Procedure. Students who observe, overhear, or otherwise witness such actions must, and parents/district visitors are encouraged to report the behaviors to a staff member. At each school, the principal or principal's designee is responsible for receiving and promptly investigating complaints alleging violations of this policy. Any form of retaliation in response to a report of such acts is prohibited.

What is bullying?

Simply put, bullying is a pattern of unwelcome or aggressive behavior, often with the goal of making others uncomfortable, scared or hurt. It's almost always used as a way of having control or power over their target, and it is often based on another person's appearance, culture, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among peers that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. This form should be used to report a possible incident of bullying as defined in the San Diego Unified District's Policy prohibiting bullying and harassment. Any student/adult can report bullying or harassment by talking to an Administrator, completing this online form, or completing a paper form available in the Muirlands' Office and returning it to a Counselor or Administrator. If you believe that a student is in IMMEDIATE danger, please immediately report the incident to a Muirlands School Counselor or Administrator. Thank you for helping keep Muirlands Middle School Bully-free! Intentional false reporting can lead to disciplinary action.

All incidents of bullying are serious and need to be addressed. Please fill in this form to report any bullying incident.

Bullying vs. Conflict

We need to clearly identify the difference between conflict and bullying, in order to appropriately respond to bullying incidents. While the two seem similar in some instances, there is actually a distinct difference.

Two female members of the school basketball team are arguing with each other over the loss of a recent game. One of the girls is blaming the other for letting the opposing team knock the ball out of her hands before she could throw it. The other girl is saying it's her teammate's fault because she didn't pass the ball to her during the last few seconds of the game. They continue to fight until their coach gets involved and tells the girls to stop arguing.

This is an example of conflict. Both girls have equal power and are disagreeing over the outcome of a game. Neither is threatened or harmed, and neither is showing signs of humiliation or distress.
If one of the girls continued to blame the other and started calling her names, taunting her outside of the gymnasium or even getting others to gang up on her for the purpose of hurting her feelings or alienating her from her team and peers, that would be considered bullying.

Muirlands Safe to Speak Bullying Report Form

 

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