ISANNE School Counselors and Nurses Conference April 27, 2011 Stage Neck Inn, York Harbor, Maine - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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ISANNE School Counselors and Nurses Conference April 27, 2011 Stage Neck Inn, York Harbor, Maine


Bullying Prevention It s More Than Just a Policy ISANNE School Counselors and Nurses Conference April 27, 2011 Stage Neck Inn, York Harbor, Maine – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ISANNE School Counselors and Nurses Conference April 27, 2011 Stage Neck Inn, York Harbor, Maine

ISANNE School Counselors and Nurses Conference
April 27, 2011Stage Neck Inn, York Harbor, Maine
Bullying Prevention Its More Than Just a
  • Presented by
  • David Wolowitz, Esquire and Kate Vaughn, Esquire
  • McLane, Graf, Raulerson Middleton, P.A.
  • Contact at (603)
  • (603) 628-1180

  • The headlines tell a story.

Recent Headlines
  • Pittsburgh School Board Approves a 55K Anorexia
    Bullying Settlement (6th grade girl now
    paraplegic after suicide attempt)- 8/5/2010
  • Ohio School Sued Over Suicide in Bullying Case
    (16 year old female student bullied about
    Croatian heritage and accent)- 8/20/2010

Recent Headlines
  • Young Pupil Attempts Suicide After Repeated
    Bullying (8 year old male student -following
    incident where his pants were pulled down by
    bullies)- 3/27/2010
  • Phoebe Prince "Suicide by Bullying" Teen's Death
    Angers Town Asking Why Bullies Roam the Halls (15
    year old female in South Hadley MA taunted as
    Irish slut)- 2/5/2010

  • Who can forget that face?

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  • On January 14, 2010, she was discovered by her
    little sister hanging in her house from a noose
    fashioned from a scarf.
  • As one news reporter queried What would
    possibly drive an attractive, vibrant teen one
    who signed her text messages with the quote
    Life is an opportunity in itself to kill
  • From People Magazine, Inside Her Torment,
    April 26, 2010, page 68.

  • We have since learned that she was shoved into
    lockers, encouraged on Facebook to kill herself
    and called the Irish whore.
  • It has been labeled the case heard around the
  • Id.

  • In an unprecedented move by the District
    Attorney, six teens, ages 17 and 18, were slapped
    with felony charges including stalking and
    criminal harassment.
  • In an ironic twist, the bullies have now become
    the bullied.
  • Id.

  • Phoebes legacy has become a heightened
    awareness across the country as legislators
    enacted new, in some cases strengthened,
    anti-bullying legislation, and schools search for
    ways to do a better job.

  • Responding to recent legislative changes
  • to their states anti-bullying laws,
  • many schools began the school year with
  • new policies and trainings.

  • But for some schools,
  • it wasnt soon enough.

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  • On September 19, 2010, 13 year old Seth Walsh, a
    middle schooler, picked on for being gay also
    hanged himself. At his memorial, his younger
    brother said He was the best big brother in
    the world no the galaxy!
  • From People Magazine, Tormented to Death?
    Teen Suicide Tragedies, Deadly Bullying,
  • October 18, 2010, page 58.

  • On September 23, 2010, 13 year old 8th grader,
    Asher Brown, tortured for being gay, lisping, and
    being a Buddhist, shot himself. His mom said
    This is the worst club to be a member of.
  • Id.

  • And on September 27, 2010, we all learned in
    horror that Tyler Clement, a gifted musician and
    Rutgers freshman, killed himself three days after
    his college roommate streamed a live video of him
    in an encounter with a man in his dorm room. He
    drove himself to the George Washington Bridge and
    jumped into the Hudson River.
  • Id.

  • Think it wont happen at your school
  • think again!

Statistics on bullying
  • According to The American Academy of Child and
    Adolescent Psychiatry, as many as half of all
    children are bullied at some time during their
    school years, and at least 10 percent are bullied
    on a regular basis. 

Statistics on cyber-bullying
  • According to the National Crime Prevention
    Council, 43 percent of teens have been victims of
    cyber-bullying in the last year.  Cyber-bullying
    can be as damaging as bullying in person.

  • According to the American Academy of Child and
    Adolescent Psychiatry, children who are bullied
    experience significant suffering that can
    interfere with their social and emotional
    development, as well as their school performance.
     Some victims of bullying have even attempted
    suicide rather than continue to endure such
    harassment and punishment.

  • Education Week recently published results from
    the largest study ever done.
  • 43,000 high school students surveyed by the Los
    Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics
  • 43 percent of high school students have been
    physically abused, teased or taunted in a way
    that seriously upset them.
  • 50 percent admitted to being the bully!

Consider this
  • You are a teacher at Johnson Academy. Your
    children also go to school here. Your daughter
    tells you that, over the recent summer break, a
    friend (also a student at the school) was
    harassed and bullied by other students online.
    She worries that her friend is depressed. She
    said that her friend read her a lot of nasty text
    messages from some other students, and that her
    friend has said that she doesnt want to come to
  • What should you do?
  • Do you, or your school, have a duty to respond?

What about this?
  • While on recess duty you overhear a few boys
    talking. They are watching one of your students,
    Runako, from Zimbabwe. He is a shy, very dark
    skinned student. One of the students comments
    Here comes the tar baby. You dont think
    Runako hears the comment.
  • Should you do anything?

Or this?
  • About 7 of your student population is from
    Korea. You have a problem with the older Korean
    boys treating the younger Korean boys in an
    abusive manner. The parents of one of the boys
    has told you that this is typical and acceptable
    behavior among boys in the Korean culture.
  • Do you have any duty to act if the boys
    involved are all from Korea?

  • What are your responsibilities to address
    bullying in your school?

Overall Legal Responsibilities of School
  • The primary legal duty of school employees
  • is the duty to use reasonable care.

  • The duty to provide adequate supervision of
    students under your care.
  • The duty to protect against foreseeable harm.
  • The duty to report abuse or neglect.
  • The duty not to engage in inappropriate behavior
    or abuse your power or authority.
  • The duty to provide a safe and bully-free school

In loco parentis
  • The duty to protect and care
  • for students
  • as the parents of the students would.

  • Anti-bullying prevention is more than just a
    policy or responding when bullying occurs.
  • Providing a healthy, safe respectful school
    atmosphere is a schools best tool to combat

  • As one head of school recently commented to his
    employees about bullying prevention
  • .this is where each of us has a role in
    identifying threads before they become a weave,
    and creating a culture of kindness that supports
    and draws out the best, not simply stamps out the
    worst afterwards.
  • Quoted with permission of Craig Sellers, Head of
    School, The Derryfield School, Manchester, N.H.

  • A wonderful resource for bullying educational
    materials is Stop Bullying Now at the U.S.
    Department of Health and Human Services, Health
    Resources and Services Administration. They have
    a theme Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop
    Bullying Now.
  • Found at

Ten suggested anti-bullying prevention
strategiesFrom Stop Bullying Now Tip Sheets
  • 1. Focus on the social environment of the school.
  • 2. Assess bullying at your school.
  • 3. Garner staff and parent support for bullying
  • 4. Form a group to coordinate the schools
    bullying prevention activities.
  • 5. Train your staff in bullying prevention.

  • 6. Establish and enforce school rules and
    policies related to bullying.
  • 7. Increase adult supervision in hot spots where
    bullying occurs.
  • 8. Intervene consistently and appropriately in
    bullying situations.
  • 9. Focus some class time on bullying prevention.
  • 10. Continue these efforts over time.

  • Bullying prevention should be woven into the
    entire school environment.
  • From Stop Bullying Now Tip Sheet.

What should independent schools schools do
considering the changes in their state
anti-bullying laws?
  • Amend or adopt an anti-bullying policy that
    incorporates any new definition of bullying and
  • Consider covering the ramifications of off-campus
    bullying and cyberbullying if not mandated by
    your state law.
  • If your states law does not apply to independent
    schools, review the public school requirements
    and tailor policies and procedures to fit your
    school culture and environment.

  • Ensure appropriate responsive procedures
    including reporting obligations within the
    school, investigation and disciplinary or
    supportive services.
  • Educate your students and employees about your
    schools policies, procedures, expectations and
    ramifications of inappropriate behavior.

  • Consider how the bullying policy will incorporate
    into your schools overall safe school policies
    and procedures such as
  • Harassment
  • Hazing
  • Internet Acceptable Use Policy
  • Abuse Reporting
  • Off-campus Behavior
  • Counseling Services
  • Student Discipline
  • Social Networking

Post -bullying responsive action also a key to
  • Following an incident of bullying, school
    administrators should ensure that they take
    prompt, appropriate and effective responsive
    action. At a minimum, this will include
  • Conducting such investigation as is needed to
    determine what happened.
  • Ensuring that the school follows its bullying
    policy and any applicable laws including any
    bullying or mandatory reporting laws.
  • Taking whatever disciplinary or other responsive
    action (e.g. required counseling, separating the
    students in class, forbidding contact, etc.)
    might be needed.

  • Communicating with parents and other involved
    schools (if some students are from another
    school) about the schools factual findings and
    what can be communicated about the schools
    conclusions and responsive actions. (Take into
    consideration a students possible rights of
    privacy to information such as required anger
    management or counseling, etc.)
  • Following up to ensure there is no retaliation.
  • Continuing to monitor the situation to ensure
    that the responsive actions remain effective and
    no further or additional acts of bullying takes

  • Taking appropriate and effective responsive
    action will help to instill confidence in the
    schools policy and management of bullying,
  • and also help to foster an environment in which
    the students and other members of the school
    community understand that bullying is not

The key to bullying prevention
  • .This is where each of us has a role in
    identifying threads before they become a weave,
    and creating a culture of kindness that supports
    and draws out the best, not simply stamps out the
    worst afterwards.
  • Quoted with permission of Craig Sellers, Head of
    School, The Derryfield School, Manchester, N.H.

Recommended Resources for Anti-bullying Efforts
  • 1) Stop Bullying Now, Take a Stand, Lend a Hand.
    HRSA. Resource Kit.
  • 2) Materials by Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D.,
    Cyberbullying Resource Center
  • 3) Direct From the Field A Guide to Bullying
    Prevention by Laura Parker-Roerdon, David
    Rudewick and Donald Gorton, A Joint Project of
    The Governors Task Force on Hate Crimes, The
    Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian,
    Bisexual and Transgender Youth, and the
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health,
    Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2007 (Excellent
    may be downloaded on line).
  • 4) South Hadley Public Schools, Anti-bullying
    Task Force to Promote Civil and Ethical
    Behavior, Final Report, June 2010 (with helpful
    flowchart of bullying complaint responses)

  • 5) MARC, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction
    Center pamphlets on anti-bullying such as the
    Guide for parents.
  • 6) Massachusetts Department of Elementary
    Secondary Education, Interim Report to the
    Legislature The Behavioral Health and Public
    Schools Task Force, December 2009 to build a
    framework to promote collaborative services and
    supportive school environments for children.
  • 7) Book Teaching Children to Care Classroom
    Management for Ethical and Academic Growth, K-8
    by Ruth Sidney Charney, Northeast Foundation for
    Children, Inc., 2002
  • 8) SAU 19 Anti-Bullying Project with policy,
    investigation form, project overview, report on
    Faculty Bullying Survey, curriculum, and other
    resources. Found at http//
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