Bullying

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BULLYING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR and you don’t have to put up with it.

THERE IS A LAW IN CONNECTICUT TO HELP STUDENTS:

Teachers, parents and kids need to remember that Connecticut has a law that protects kids from being bullied at school. This law, Public Act 02-119, requires that each local and regional board of education develop a policy to address the existence of bullying in its schools. Each school’s policy must:

There are other requirements.

The 2011 Connecticut Legislative session passed a bill SB 1138 that expands the types of conduct that constitutes school bullying and the situations where it can occur. It expressly identifies as bullying (1) any targeting of a student based on the student’s actual or perceived “differentiating” characteristics, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical appearance and (2) actions taken through electronic communications or devices that otherwise qualify as bullying and are known collectively as “cyberbullying.” The bill (1) also makes the school principal responsible for investigating or designating someone to investigate and address bullying whether it occurs in or out of school, if it affects the school or students in the school or school district and (2) requires all school employees, not just teachers and administrators, to report bullying incidents they see or that are reported to them to the principal or his or her designee.

For more information go to: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/BA/2011SB-01138-R01-BA.htm

So, if bullying is making you feel uncomfortable at school, or if you witness bullies making another person’s school day difficult, report it to your parents, your teachers, your guidance counselors, or your principal. You can make this report anonymously, which means you don’t have to give your name when you report the behavior.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying includes a variety of behaviors, but all involve a person or group trying to take advantage of the power they have to hurt or reject someone else. These behaviors can be carried out physically (hitting, kicking, pushing), verbally (calling names, threatening, teasing, taunting, spreading rumors), or in other ways such as leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, stealing or damaging their things, making them feel uncomfortable and scared, and making faces or obscene gestures.

Bullying is also hard on kids who witness someone else being bullied because it can make them feel guilty or helpless for not standing up to the bully. If you see someone being bullied get a teacher, parent, or other responsible adult to come help immediately.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If a bully begins to harass you, do not let the bully see how much he or she has upset you. If at all possible, stay calm and respond firmly or else say nothing and walk away. If possible avoid situations where bullying can happen. If you can’t get the other person (or persons) to stop, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. You have the right to be treated with respect and you have the right to be protected against bullies who won’t quit.

If you or a classmate is being bullied, talk to your parents, a teacher, or a school administrator. A trusted adult can help develop a plan to end the bullying. Sometimes kids feel ashamed or embarrassed because they think they should be able to handle the problem on their own or that involving an adult will only make the situation worse. Sometimes the adults themselves become part of the problem when they blame the kid for not being able to “handle” the bullies. The truth is that every kid has a right to safety, respect, and a comfortable environment in all school settings, so please report bullies to an understanding, trusted adult.

WHAT IS CYBERBULLYING?

“Cyberbullying” is being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material using the Internet, cell phone, or other digital communication devices. Some forms of cyber bullying are:

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

For more information about cyberbullying go to: www.stopcyberbullying.org or www.cyberbullying.org

CONNECTICUT GROUPS THAT ARE FIGHTING BULLYING:

CONNECTICUT STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CHARACTER EDUCATION
860-713-6740
Bureau offers workshops, training, and technical assistance to schools and other agencies working to prevent bullying. Also, parents with concerns and/or complaints about bullying in their child’s school can contact the bureau for information and guidance.

NEW BULLYING-PREVENTION TOOLKIT RELEASED (Source: MCH Alert, March 14, 2008)

Eyes on Bullying . . . What Can You Do? A Toolkit to Prevent Bullying In Children’s Lives offers a variety of tools to help parents and other caregivers understand bullying in a new way, reexamine their knowledge and beliefs about bullying, and shape the beliefs and behaviors of the children in their care. The toolkit, created at Education Development Center, is designed especially for parents and other caregivers of preschool, school age children and youth to use in child care programs, after-school programs, youth programs and camps. The toolkit is available at http://www.eyesonbullying.org/pdfs/toolkit.pd. All the content from the toolkit and additional information, materials, and resources are available from the Eyes on Bullying Web site at http://www.eyesonbullying.org.

RELATED LINKS:

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: Bullying Prevention

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SOURCES: Safe Child Program, Cyberbullying website; Connecticut State Department of Education
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: April2017