Bullying Prevention. Meeting the Requirements of the Dignity Act Eastern Suffolk BOCES Presented by: Dr. Susan Lipkins Dr. Karen Siris March 24, 2012 email@example.com. DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER….
Meeting the Requirements of the Dignity Act Eastern Suffolk BOCES Presented by: Dr. Susan Lipkins Dr. Karen Siris March 24, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER….. OCTOBER, 2010: On the heels of Tyler Clemente’s and Phoebe Prince’s “bullycides” Office of Civil Rights sent a Dear Colleague Letter reminding schools that by limiting their responses in a bullying incident they may be failing to properly consider whether the incident is in violation of students’ federal civil rights.
Bullying and Federal Civil Rights Violations Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability www.stopbullying.gov/topics/civil_violation/index.htm School districts may violate Federal civil rights statutes and U.S.E.D. regulations when peer harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disabilityis sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile environment and such harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school staff.
Why have 47 states passed anti-bullying/harassment laws? 39% of students reported that bullying, name calling, and harassment pose a serious problem at school. 66% reported that people at school were harassed at least “sometimes” because of their looks or body size, 57% reported that students were bullied or harassed “sometimes” because of the way they expressed their gender (GLSEN, 2010) 50% of high school students (2010) admit they bullied someone in the past year 47% admit that they were bullied, teased or taunted in a way that seriously upset them in the past year (Josephson School of Ethics, 2010- 43,000 students surveyed)
Are Incidents Reported? Adults are often unaware of bullying problems (Limber, 2002; Skiba & Fontanini, 2000) 60% of 10-17 year olds say they were victims of violence, abuse or crime but less than 30% told authorities
New York State’s Law The Dignity Act: It is hereby declared to be the policy of New York State to afford all students in public schools an environment free of discrimination and harassment. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/
What sites and events are covered by DA? DA applies to public schools, BOCES, and charter schools. DA applies to incidents on school property (in a school building, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot, school bus) DA applies to public school sponsored functions (school-sponsored extra curricular events or activities)
New York LawThe New York Law Dignity Act Requires districts and schools to prevent, monitor, and address bullying through: (July, 2012) Designation of a “DIGNITY ACT COORDINATOR” to be trained in non-discriminatory instructional and counseling methods and in handling human relationships
DIGNITY ACT COORDINATOR At least one employee in every school shall be designated as a Dignity Act Coordinator and Instructed in the provisions of the proposed rule and thoroughly trained in methods to respond to human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender and sex. The designation of each Dignity Act Coordinator shall be approved by the board of education, trustees or sole trustee of the school district (or in the case of the City School District of the City of New York, by the Principal of the school in which the designated employee is employed) and, in the case of a charter school, by the board of trustees.
DIGNITY ACT COORDINATOR The name(s) and contact information for the Dignity Act Coordinator(s) shall be shared with all school personnel, students, and persons in parental relation. In the event a Dignity Act Coordinator vacates his or her position, another school employee shall be immediately designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending approval of a successor Coordinator by the applicable governing body within 30 days of the date the position was vacated. In the event a Coordinator is unable to perform the duties of his or her position for an extended period of time, another school employee shall be immediately designated for an interim appointment as Coordinator, pending return of the previous Coordinator to his or her duties as Coordinator.
The New York Law Dignity Act Requires districts and schools to prevent, monitor, and address bullying through: (July, 2012) Staff training to raise awareness and sensitivity of school employees to issues of harassment and discrimination
THE DIGNITY ACT INSURES THAT SCHOOLS: promote civility and a safe, nurturing environment prevent harassment, discrimination, or bullying by students or employees provide a response to students who are harassed and bullied at school.
actual or perceived race color weight (size) national origin ethnic group religion religious practice disability sexual orientation gender identity, or sex The New York Law Dignity Act prohibits harassment with respect to certain non-exclusive protected classes including, but not limited to:
The New York Law Dignity Act Requires districts and schools to prevent, monitor, and address bullying through: (July, 2012) Sensitivity and tolerance curricula for students
Dignity Act and Student Instruction Education Law §801-a – Requires Instruction in: civility, citizenship, character honesty tolerance personal responsibility respect for others dignity for all
The New York Law Dignity Act Requires districts and schools to prevent, monitor, and address bullying through: (July, 2012) Revising the code of conduct to create a school environment free from harassment and discrimination
How Does DA Relate to School Policy? Policies to create a school environment free from discrimination or harassment Guidelines to be used in school training programs to raise the awareness and sensitivity of school employees to potential discrimination or harassment Guidelines to enable employees to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment § 13. Policies and Guidelines Boards of Education shall create policies and guidelines that shall include, but are not limited to:
The New York Law Dignity Act REQUIRES: An age-appropriate version of the policy written in plain-language to be included in the code of conduct NOTE: Codes of Conduct are to be posted on the school web site
Code of Conduct The code of conduct shall include, but is not limited to: provisions prohibiting discrimination and harassment against any student, by employees or students on school property or at a school function, that creates a hostile environment by conduct, with or without physical contact and/or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse, of such a severe nature that: (1) has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being; or (2) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.
Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation,or abuse based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, and perceived sexual orientation, gender or sex; provided that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit a denial of admission into, or exclusion from, a course of instruction Rule Making Activities NYS Register/January 18, 2012
The New York Law Dignity Act Requires districts and schools to prevent, monitor, and address bullying through: (July, 2012) Reporting acts of bullying to the NY State Education Department through the defined reporting system
DA and Uniform Violent Incident Reporting § 15. Reporting by Commissioner The commissioner shall create a procedure under which material incidents of discrimination and harassment on school grounds or at a school function are reported to the department at least on an annual basis. Such procedure shall provide that such reports shall, wherever possible, also delineate the specific nature of such incidents of discrimination or harassment, provided that the commissioner may comply with the requirements of this section through use of the uniform violent incident reporting system.
The Legal Standard in CYBERBULLYING ON CAMPUS… Schools must address cyberbullying: Occurring through district Internet system Personal cell phones, cameras, personal computers, PDA’s OFF CAMPUS…. Speech using technology that causes or threatens to cause substantial disruption at school or interference with rights of students Speech at the “harmful speech” level – that which causes emotional harm that causes danger to the victim or others
If the laws pose uncertainty about disciplinary action… Nothing prevents the school officials from resolving the concerns informally Provide the parents of the cyberbully with a downloaded copy of the harmful on-line material and advise the parents of the potential personal liability… IF THEY DO NOT TAKE PROACTIVE STEPS TO ENSURE THE HARMFUL ACTIVITIES CEASE.
Bullying is a type of harassment an intentional act of aggression, based on an imbalance of power, that is meant to harm a victim either physically or psychologically. usually occurs repeatedly and over time, however sometimes can be identified in a single event.
TYPES OF BULLYING BEHAVIORS PHYSICAL Hitting, punching, tripping Kicking, pushing, scratching Damaging/stealing property VERBAL Name calling, teasing, taunting Making offensive remark Making discriminatory remarks Verbally threatening, intimidating SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL/ RELATIONAL Excluding or threatening to exclude Spreading rumors, gossiping Ostracizing, alienating Using threatening looks or gestures Extortion CYBERBULLYING Use of the internet or cell phone to harass and intimidate
Cyberbullying is: Harasssment via digital devices: email instant messaging social networks (face book) chat room exchanges website posts cell phones
Cyberbullying vs. face to face bullying Anonymity Accessibility Bystander Punitive Fears Victims of cyberbullying often do not report in fear that their computer or phone privileges will be taken away.
Gender Differences Males tend to use physical aggression such as hitting, pushing, slapping, and elbowing another child Females tend to use the tactics of social alienation and intimidation, such as exclusion from play, manipulation of friendships, gossiping maliciously, or writing malicious notes Males and females both use extortion
Familial Aspects Mirroring - how we learn Child is observing mom, dad or sibs as the bully and identifying with them Child is victim of bullying at home and perpetrator of bullying in school Child is being bullied at home by siblings or parents and is a victim
Psychological Aspects Human nature? Conditioning Genetics Alleles - The short allele of the MAOA gene induces fear of social rejection, ... those with this allele show greatest conformity to group norms to avoid rejection. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2853930/)
School Aspects Bullying incidents are too often unnoticed or ignored No clear rules and consequences Culture of “tattling” rather than “telling” or “ratting” rather than “reporting” Little principal involvement with students Poor cohesiveness and communication among staff members and between the staff and the principal Lack of respect among all constituents
School Risk Factors Lack Of Clear Expectations, Both Academic And Behavioral Lack Of Commitment Or Sense Of Belonging At School Academic Failure Parents And Community Members Not Actively Involved
School Protective Factors Communicates High Academic And Behavioral Expectations Encourages Goal-Setting, Academic Achievement And Positive Social Development Positive Attitudes Toward School Fosters Active Involvement Of Students, Parents And Community Members
The Players THE BULLY THE TARGET/VICTIM THE BYSTANDER
Spotting “the bully” Bully may possess a superior trait Attractive Athletic Sociable Bully leads by intimidation Others follow to avoid becoming the next Bully gains power by the amount of followers MORE FOLLOWERS = MORE POWER
Characteristics of Bullies Bullying is classified as a “conduct disorder” by the American Psychiatric Association Bullies have average levels of self esteem Bullies enjoy being in control and like to subdue others Bullies see slights and hostilities when none are meant
Characteristics of Bullies Lack Empathy Display Verbally Aggressive Behavior Display Physically Aggressive Behavior Intimidate Classmates Seek Power in Relationships Provoke Fights
Long Term Effects on the Bully Nearly 60 percent of boys who researchers classified as bullies in grades six through nine were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24. Even more dramatic, 40 percent of them had three or more convictions by age 24.
The Bully/Victim Cycle Identification with the Aggressor Victims who have been repeatedly bullied often have an increase in aggression When they are put in a position of control or power they identify with the bully and do onto others what has been done to them Thus the victim becomes the bully
Passive Victims Social Anxiety Disorder Lack Social Skills (socially awkward) Pleasers Compliant Fear of Confrontation
Provocative Victims are: Restless Irritating to others Seen teasing and don’t know when to stop Likely to fight back, but lose Emotional Often diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder
Cyber Victims Cyber victims reported higher rates of depression than cyber bullies or bully victims Cyber victims may not be able to identify their harasser and are more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack
Effects on the Victim Depression: rat experiment Anxiety Loss of self-esteem into adulthood Decrease in attention/grades Decrease in attendance/involvement Decreased socialization/increased isolation Physical Symptoms: headaches, fatigue, stomach problems Increase in acting out behavior Suicide/Homicide
The Bystanders DEFINTION: —those who watch bullying happen or hear about it.
Bystanders: PASSIVELY acceptbullying by watching and doing nothing PROVIDE the audience a bully craves and the silent acceptance that allows bullies to continue their hurtful behavior INSTIGATE the bullying by prodding the bully to begin ENCOURAGE the bullying by laughing, cheering, or making comments that further stimulate the bully
Other bystanders . . . directly intervene, by discouraging the bully, defending the victim, or redirecting the situation away from bullying. . . . get help, by rallying support from peers to stand up against bullying or by reporting the bullying to adults.
Why don’t more bystanders intervene? They fear getting hurt or fear retribution (becoming the next victim) They feel powerless to stop the bully. They don’t like the victim or believe the victim “deserves” it. They think that telling adults won’t help or it may make things worse. They don’t know what to do.
WHAT SCHOOLS CAN DO Schools need to implement bullying prevention and intervention strategies that fit their school culture Establish a district policy to prevents and intervenes in all forms of bullying, cyberbullying and harassment
Social and Emotional Learning Children need safe, supportive, and empowering learning environments so they can thrive in school, at home, and in their friendships. Emerging scientific evidence indicates that helping children to become emotionally literate – developing the skills of recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion – is possible and beneficial. It requires support from all the adults involved in the education of children (teachers, school leaders, and parents), evidence-based practices, and continuous skill-building opportunities from preschool through high school. Dr. Marc Brackett, Yale University, 2011
Positive Culture (what we do in schools) = Positive School Climate (how we feel in schools) All adults in school: Display warmth, positive tone, interest and involvement talk to each other and students with respect and understanding alert other staff members if they are displaying unacceptable behavior toward a student structure activities to minimize opportunities for exclusion
Establish a system of rewards that positively reinforces Pro-Social Behaviors Rewards should be given to those adults and students who truly and meaningfully achieve anti-bullying goals Reward bystanders for intervening or reporting bullying. Reward teachers for establishing bully-free classrooms. Reward support staff for reporting appropriate information; i.e. as is done with tip lines.
HOW? Commit to training all constituents of the school community in prevention and intervention strategies Establish a bully intervention team (BIT) at the school building level to insure adherence to the district policy….
Bully Intervention Team Who: Principal, mental health professionals, guidance counselors, teachers, non-teaching staff (aides, bus drivers, custodians) What: Create a bully intervention plan that includes methods for prevention and intervention.
Bully Intervention Team: Creates anti-bullying policy Creates a reporting system that uses a “DECISION TREE” with specific plans of action when incidents are reported Develops and publicizes hierarchal consequences for bullying behaviors Develops intervention strategies and trains stakeholders Reward pro-social behaviors that support the policy
Training to Report – WHO? students administration, security personnel, teachers coaches, bus drivers aides custodial staff parents
Develop Specific Systems to Report Develop a 24/7 district-wide anonymous, online system and a telephone hotline; publicize the system Create “suggestion boxes” in each classroom and at other locations that give students the opportunity to communicate their concerns. Primary goal is to create a culture where students feel comfortable reporting to a responsible adult
Telling vs. Tattling Tattling “When you tell on someone to get them in trouble.” Telling - Reporting “When you are telling an adult because you are trying to keep yourself safe, someone else safe or keep the school safe.”
Should there be consequences for Failure to Report ??? ...for personnel who do not report information regarding bullying and other threatening behaviors (similar to child abuse mandates) …for students who do not report information regarding bullying and other threats of violence.
Rationale for threat assessment FBI and the Secret Service conducted studies of school shootings and found that the perpetrators were often victims of bullying who had become angry and depressed, and were influenced by a variety of social, familial, and psychological factors (O’Toole, 2000; Vossekuil, 2002). Implications for the school Issue of homicide/suicide and bullycide.
Decision Tree Evaluate the incident/threat Is threat transient or substantive? Get specifics by interviewing the victim, bully and bystanders, individually. Write down the exact content of the event and statements made by each. Consider the circumstances and intent.
INCIDENT/Threat REPORTED TO BULLY INTERVENTION TEAM Step 1. Evaluate Incident interview the instigator, the recipient and the bystanders record the statements review the circumstances and the intentions of all parties Step 2. Decide whether incident is clearly transient or substantive Consider criteria for transient versus substantive incidents Consider student’s age, credibility, and previous discipline history Incident is clearly transient Incident is substantive or Not clear
Incident is clearly transient Incident is very serious Step 3. Respond to transient Incident: reprimand, Parent notification, etc. Student can make Amends and attend mediation or counseling Step 4: Decide whether substantive incident is serious or very serious(threat to assault, use weapon, rape, inflict serious injury Step 5: Respond to serious Substantive threat Take immediate pre- cautions to protect victim Notify victim’s parents Notify student’s parent Consider contacting Law Enforcement Refer student for counseling, mediation or appropriate mediation Discipline student appropriate to severity of situation Step 6. Respond to VERY Serious Substantive threat Conduct safety evaluation Take immediate precautions to protect victims Notify victim’s parents Notify student’s parents Consult with law enforcement Begin a mental health evaluation of the student Discipline student as appropriate
Step 7. IMPLEMENT A SAFETY PLAN Complete a written plan Maintain contact with the student Revise plan as needed
Incident Interview Who does the interview? How will the interview be conducted? When will the interview take place? Where will the interview occur? What form will be used?
Disciplinary Consequences Hierarchial Verbal warning/reprimand to stop bullying behaviors Parent notification of behavior and expectations Counseling/support for victim and bully In-school or out of school suspension Student can make amends – restorative justice type of activity
Disciplinary Consequences SEVERE INCIDENT – If child poses a threat to psychological or physical well being of the school constituents – disrupting learning environment by acttions Alternate school assigned if possible Homebound instruction until placement assigned Expulsion is recommended Law Enforcement consulted Law Enforcement contacts bully and others involved in case
Disciplinary - Logistic Alter schedule of bully to increase supervision Alter schedule of bully to minimize contact with recipient Change or lose transportation Add adult presence to protect victim Other safety precaution
Therapeutic Discipline Strategies Student is evaluated for special education Mental health evaluation by school staff Mental health evaluation by outside agency Services: School based counseling Outside counseling Out of district therapeutic placement
Early Intervention Identify, monitor and track the health and well being of victims or students at risk Identify students with leadership skills and re-direct them to become more positive leaders Establish a mentor system in which adults mentor students who are likely to be victimized Encourage the communitytoconnect to school personnel with their concerns
Mental Health Interventions/guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists Work with individuals who have been identified as being “pre-victims” or “pre-bullies” to change their behaviors Provide crisis intervention services to victims, bystanders and bullies at the time of an incident Be the point person for victims and bullies and develop a special working relationship Work individually and in groups to develop empathy
Victim-Intervention Give victims a VOICE Teach victims to say NO!-verbally and with appropriate body language Teach victims to travel with a buddy
Victim-Intervention Provide class experiences where victim is paired with other students to increase pool of relationships and desensitize others to victim Encourage independent thinking for victim and class, in order to resist bully Give victims a point person to go to for support and to report incidences.
Victim- Counseling to change behaviors which increase the likelihood of being victimized to reduce sensitivity Provide assertiveness training groups Involve parents appropriately.
Bully-Intervention change the dynamics of power so that the bully is not overtly or covertly reinforced by the teacher, coach or other authority figures identify the bully as having anti-social behaviors which will lead to trouble listen to the bully and give him/her a point person to speak with whose role is to help the bully use their leadership skills in a positive manner, emphasizing cooperation, collaboration and equality. develop empathy in bully
Bully-Counseling use individual counseling sessions to develop empathy and identification with the victim try to develop insight and understanding of why the bully behaves in that manner provide alternative approaches to interactions and model cooperative behaviors discuss short and long term consequences of being a bully involve parents as needed
Bystander Intervention “The whole drama is supported by the bystander. The theater can’t take place if there’s no audience.” (Labi, N. “Let Bullies Beware.” Time online, March 25, 2001.) ENCOURAGE bystanders to: Speak up to bullies if it is safe to do so Band together as a group against bullies Avoid joining in Ask adults for help Reach out as friends to isolated peers, be an ally, offer support Continue to offer victim support at future time
Turning Bystanders into Upstanders Help students understand the dynamics of bullying situations – 80% of students stand by and watch Train interested students in teaching the strategies of upstanding behaviors Help the students understand the power they have to make a difference – that THEY are the solution
Turning Bystanders into Upstanders Insure that bystanders understand that adults will support their actions Teach all children about the reporting system that is in place in your school Reward “upstanding” behaviors and make them the norm.
Teacher Intervention Strategies Create classroom environments that minimize opportunities for exclusion Create classroom charters that focus on how the children want to feel in school, what they have to do to insure they feel that way Suggested simple classroom rules: We shall not bully other students We shall try to help students who are bullied We shall make a point to include students who are left out When we can not help, we will get help from an adult
Teacher Intervention Strategies Be aware of student friendship and create working partnerships and groups for students that promote positive interactions Hold class meetings that air student’s concerns and feelings (group guidance, advisory) Be on the alert for bullying behaviors and step in… Refer to the class charter Follow established guidelines for hierarchal consequences that have been established for bullying behaviors (physical, social, emotional)
Teacher Aide/Monitor/Bus Drivers Intervention Strategies Adequate numbers of TRAINED support staff during unstructured time such as recess, lunch room, hallway passing, bus stops, etc. should be available SUPPORT STAFF: should be trained in bullying prevention and intervention strategies should adhere to school rules and acceptable behavior policy should have time to communicate with classroom teachers and supervisors
Teacher Aide/Monitor Intervention Strategies should be trained to provide structured games that are inclusive of many children should keep an eye out for children who are alone during lunch and recess and insure that they join in a game or conversation should be trained in a reward and consequence system that reinforces positive behaviors and have authority to implement it should be on alert for bullying behaviors and quickly intervene and report
Parent Intervention Strategies Parents should follow the same guidelines that the school uses when they observe bullying at home Establish rules that are acceptable during social gatherings and computer time Tell the bully to stop Impose consistent consequences at home for the bully, just as they are given consequences at school
Parent Education Parents will be taught to recognize the signs of bully and victim behaviors Parents will be encouraged to model appropriate upstander behavior Parents will be taught when and how to intervene Parents will learn how to report incidents Parents will learn how to support children who are being victimized by bullying and cyber bullying Parents need to confront excuses and not accept the answer “just joking.”
Caring Majority Program Invite 6th grade students to help create a CARING MAJORITY Train 6th graders through workshop Create an “upstander” philosophy “ambassadors” form teams and create their own grade level presentations “ambassadors” take a mentoring role in the grade level they have chosen Caring Majority becomes a part of the school culture and enhances a positive school climate.
Caring Majority Ambassadors Seek the help of students to spread the word about the dangers of bullying - can be done at various ways at all levels Caring Majority Ambassadors - Elementary Caring Allies – Middle School Natural Helpers – High School Training given by principal with support of social worker/psychologist Students train the classmates on the importance of inclusion, empathy and caring about each other On-going partnerships/mentoring established between older and younger students
PROBLEM: Too many of our students are coming to school unable to learn because they are consumed by the fear of being bullied on a daily basis. QUESTION: How can we create effective bullying prevention and intervention in our schools so that ALL children feel emotionally safe and able to learn?
ACTIONPLAN Choose a data collection plan for building bully survey climate survey interviews, questionnaires Review and Interpret Data Develop data- driven Intervention/Prevention Plan Implement intervention training for all constituents Create an effective reporting system Establish a hierarchy of consequences Continually re-assess the effectiveness of the plan (reflection action)
Today’s presentation is available on-line at: bullyinterventionexperts.com