The Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student well-being, student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. No individual or group shall, through physical, written, verbal, visual, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any student or school personnel, or retaliate against them for filing a complaint or participating in the complaint resolution process.
The CDC defines bullying as the "unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or current dating partners, that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance, and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated." For behavior to be consider bullying, the acts in question must be
represent an imbalance of power
Bullying can take many forms, including physical harm, verbal harm, social harm, damage to one's property, or through technology (cyber bullying).
Cyber Bullying can happen on a variety of platforms and social media, including:
Internet websites with free registration and ease of regulation
Internet websites offering peer-to-peer instant messaging
Internet websites offering comment forums or sections
Internet websites offering image or video posting platforms
Research tells us that the solution to bullying isn't simple; zero tolerance approaches and expulsion have not brought about lasting change or resolution. While some students are either the bully or the victim, it is not uncommon for a student to be both bully and victim. You can learn more about bullying HERE.
Creating a campus that is free of bullying doesn't just mean addressing incidents; it includes the deliberate and ongoing effort of our principals and staff to model kindness and respect to their students. In our upper level schools, programs like Kindness Week, the Character Trait of the month, and rewards programs encourage students and create opportunities for discussions.
Additionally, all students have access to our school counselors. Listed below are other tools and programs to address mental health and student safety.
Waterford USD has numerous ways to report unsafe or unfair behavior, including bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Reports can be made in person to any school employee, by phone or message to the school office, through the STOPit App, or through the drop boxes located on campuses.
STOPit is the nation’s leading Anonymous Reporting System. Students can anonymously contact a school official to report depression, bullying, or any other high need incident. Download the App Today!
STOPit is one of the anonymous reporting tools available to students at all WUSD campuses. Contact your school office, or refer to your student handbook for your school's access code.
Every complaint of bullying is investigated and resolved according the District's policies and each school's procedures.
Digital citizenship is a foundational skill for learning and life. As the lines between digital life and real life merge, we must prepare young people to harness the power of technology for responsible participation and active engagement. But with this power come ethical and challenging issues, such as cyberbullying, hate speech, privacy violations, digital distraction, and more, that are surfacing both in schools and at home.
The following are external links provided as additional resources for parents.
Common Sense Media - Is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.
Net Smartz - Is an interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. This site has games for students videos and Spanish resources.
On Guard Online - Provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology community to help you guard against internet fraud, secure your computers, and protect your privacy.
I Keep Safe - Has educational resources to teach children of all ages, in a fun age-appropriate way, the basic rules of internet safety, ethics, and the healthy use of connected technologies.
Screen time management tools are an important way for parents to limit the time that their children can look at content on their phones or other devices. There are many from which to choose. Read more about them in the free parental guides provided above.