|Definitions of Bullying|
|Definition in Midway ISD Policy: |
Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school sponsored or school related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the District that:
- has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property; or
is sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.
Conduct is considered bullying if it:
Other areas of bullying:
Midway ISD is committed to working together with parents to promote the health and wellbeing of our students. Bullying often occurs outside of school, and some forms of bullying may be exclusively off-campus. The prevention and reponse information on this site may apply to all types of bullying, including:
Teen dating violence is defined as the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship, as defined by Section 71.0021, Texas Family Code. Teen dating violence is a pattern of coercive behavior that one partner exerts over the other for the purpose of establishing and maintaining power and control.
Cyberbullying is defined as willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices. Although most cyberbullying is created on computers, cell phones and other devices that are not owned by the district or not located on school property, cyberbullying can nevertheless affect the school environment and the welfare of students.
What bullying is not:
Bullying does not include normal childhood behavior such as sibling rivalry or one-on-one fighting of siblings or peers with competing claims. Nor does it include acts of impulsive aggression-in other words, aggression that is a spontaneous, indiscriminate striking out, with no intended target. Bullying does not include criminal activities that may have begun as a conflict and escalated.
Possible warning signs that a child is being bullied:
- Comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings;
- Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches;
- Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time;
- Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers (such as clubs);
- Takes a long, “illogical” route when walking to or from school;
- Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school;
- Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home;
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical ailments;
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams;
- Experiences a loss of appetite; or
- Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem.
Witnesses: Bystander or By-strander?
Bystanders are the third group of players in this tragedy. They are the supporting cast who aid and abet the bully, through acts of omission and commission. They stand idly by or look away, or they can actively encourage the bully or join in and become one of a bunch of bullies. Injustice over-looked or ignored becomes a contagion that infects even those who thought they could turn away.
Standing Up and Speaking Out
Bullying is challenged when the majority stands up against the cruel acts of the minority. Establishing new norms, enforcing playground rules, and increasing supervision are policy decisions that can help reduce the incidents of bullying. Since much of the bullying goes on "under the radar of adults," a potent force is kids themselves showing bullies that they will not be looked up to, nor will their cruel behavior be condoned or tolerated. Kids need not be bystanders. They can become active witnesses, standing up for their peers, speaking out against injustices, and taking responsibility for what happened among themselves.
Quiz: Are you a cyberbully?
Long-Term Effects for the Bully:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services explains that the effects of bullying extend beyond the school years. Bullying may lead to criminal behavior for those who bully and future health and mental health problems for both the bully and the victims:
Six out of 10 kids identified as bullies in middle school are convicted of a crime by the time they reach age 24.
Children exposed to violence either at home or at school often suffer long-term problems such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, anger, and self-destructive behaviors.
The district prohibits bullying on school property, at school-sponsored or school-related activities, or in any vehicle operated by the district. Bullying may be verbal or written expression or expression through electronic means, or physical conduct. Bullying is not tolerated by the district and any student or parent of a student who believes that the student or another student has experienced bullying or that a student has engaged in bullying is encouraged to immediately report the incident. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of district policy and is prohibited.
Students or parents may report an alleged incident of bullying, orally or in writing, to a teacher, counselor, principal or other district employee. We encourage you to communicate with your designated campus administrator during this time.
More information about the district’s bullying policy can be found at http://pol.tasb.org/Policy/Download/860?filename=FFI(LOCAL).pdf.