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Bullying, Cyberbullying, Abuse, Sexual Harassment and Dating Violence

Even if you ca't see their face, there is a person at the end of that text message.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of harassment, cyberbullying, discrimination, dating violence or any other kind of bullying, please say something. Report the incident to your principal, assistant principal, counselor, school resource officer or other trusted adult.

Groesbeck ISD believes that a safe and civil environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. We realize having a safe and welcoming school climate is a prerequisite to learning. Bullying, harassment and other aggressive behaviors is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a schools ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate bullying or harassment is expected by staff and students alike. It’s our goal to produce an environment where all students feel safe and are confident in achieving success in school.

 

There are different types of bullying, below are some of the ways that bullying could happen:

Physical bullying

Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching and pushing or damaging property. Physical bullying causes both short-term and long-term damage.

Verbal bullying

Verbal bullying includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse. While verbal bullying can start off harmless, it can escalate to levels which start affecting the individual target. Keep reading in this section for techniques to deal with verbal bullying.

Social bullying

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as covert bullying, is often harder to recognize and can be carried out behind the bullied person's back. It is designed to harm someone's social reputation and/or cause humiliation. Social bullying includes:

  • lying and spreading rumors
  • negative facial or physical gestures, menacing or contemptuous looks
  • playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate
  • mimicking unkindly
  • encouraging others to socially exclude someone
  • damaging someone's social reputation or social acceptance.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can be overt or covert bullying behaviors using digital technologies, including hardware such as computers and smartphones, and software such as social media, instant messaging, texts, websites and other online platforms.

Cyberbullying can happen at any time. It can be in public or in private and sometimes only known to the target and the person bullying. Cyberbullying can include:

  • Abusive or hurtful texts emails or posts, images or videos
  • Deliberately excluding others online
  • Nasty gossip or rumors
  • Imitating others online or using their log-in

Dating Violence

Dating violence occurs when a student in a current or past dating relationship uses physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control the other person in the relationship. Dating violence may also occur when a person commits these acts against a person in a dating relationship with an individual who is or was in a relationship with the person committing the offense. For purposes of this policy, dating violence is considered prohibited harassment if the conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive and intentional that the conduct:

  • affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive educational environment; or has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
  • otherwise adversely affects the student’s educational opportunities.

Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence – almost triple the national average.  Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of these age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.  Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.  The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

Dating Violence can include:

  • Shoves, slaps, chokes, hits, or uses weapons against you
  • Constantly checks up on you or makes you check in
  • Isolates you from your friends
  • Texts or calls you excessively
  • Has frequent mood swings: angry one minutes and the next minute is sweet and apologetic
  • Puts you down, calls you names, or criticizes you
  • Breaks things or throws things to intimidate you
  • Yells, screams, or humiliates you in front of others
  • Threatens to hurt him/herself because of you
  • Makes you feel nervous or like you are walking on eggshells
  • Forces you into proving your love or loyalty constantly
  • Pressures you into having sex

Lack of Awareness:

  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • Eighty-one (81) percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
  • Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Source: Dating Abuse Statistics – www.loveisrespect.org

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment of students is conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the target of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. Sexual harassment does not include simple acts of teasing and name-calling among school children; however, even when the comments target differences in gender.

Hazing
Any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution directed against a student, by one person alone or acting with others, that endangers the mental or physical health or the safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students.


When does bullying become harassment

There are two ways bullying can become harassment:

  1. The Office for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice have stated that bullying becomes harassment when the aggressive behavior is based on a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability.
  2. When the same person is repeatedly targeted by another student or group of students.

Harassing behaviors may include:

  • Unwelcome conduct such as: verbal abuse, i.e., name-calling, epithets, slurs, etc.
  • Graphic or written statements
  • Threats
  • Physical assault
  • Other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating

 

GROESBECK ISD
Procedures for Reporting Allegations of Bullying

The district prohibits bullying on school property, at school-sponsored or school-related activities, or in any vehicle operated by the district.  The District also prohibits cyberbullying even if it occurs off of school property and outside of the school day (see David’s Law).  

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 another district employee.  Students or parents may contact the district to obtain an incident report form that may be used to submit the complaint.

Please note that after submission of the complaint to district personnel, the district may assign the complaint to a campus administrator to follow up on the submitted complaint and any other important matters pertaining to the complaint.  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/Code/821?filter=FFI  or the campus administration office.

 

To report a bullying incident to Groesbeck ISD personnel, click on the REPORT a BULLYING INCIDENT link below.  You may submit this report anonymously; however, if you provide contact information, it will greatly assist in the investigation of the reported incident.

 

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