Bullying, Cyberbullying, Abuse, Sexual Harassment and Dating Violence

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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 are conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school's ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusal to tolerate bullying or harassment are expected by staff and students alike. It’s our goal to produce an environment where all students feel safe and 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, 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 that 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 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 those 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 minute 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 can recognize the signs if their child is experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Source: Dating Abuse Statistics

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.


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 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 being used for transporting students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity.  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 include physical conduct or verbal or written expression, including electronic expression, that was delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity, if the cyberbullying interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

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 reporting 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, school counselor, principal, or other District employee.

Students or parents may contact the District to obtain an Incident Report Form that may be used to submit the report. A student may report the incident anonymously.

Please note that after submission of the report to the District employee, the District will notify the parent of the alleged victim and the parent of the alleged bully. The District may assign the report to a campus administrator to follow up on the submitted report and any other important matters pertaining to the report. We encourage you to communicate with your designated campus administrator during this time.

More information about the district’s bullying policy can be found here or at 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, providing contact information will greatly assist in the investigation of the reported incident.