Anti-Bullying Policy Students
The Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student. Education Code 234.1 requires the Board to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
OUSD encourages parents and/or students to contact their principal to address immediate concerns of bullying. If you wish to file a complaint, please complete the Bullying Report Form (also linked at the bottom of this page in several languages) and submit it to the principal at your child's school. The principal should provide a written response to your complaint within fourteen (14) school days.
What Is Bullying?
Per Board Policy and Education Code 48900(r), Bullying is defined as a physical or verbal act(s) that is severe or pervasive AND causes one of the following effects on a reasonable student:
- Reasonable fear of harm to person or property.
- Substantially detrimental effect on physical or mental health.
- Substantial interference with academic performance.
- Substantial interference with the ability to participate in or benefit from school services, activities, or privileges.
School staff who witness bullying shall immediately intervene to stop the incident and investigate the incident when it is safe to do so. Any student, parent, or guardian who believes that the sutdent has been subjected to bullying may file a written complaint.
Hazing is defined as any method of initiation, pre-initiation, or rite of passage associated with actual or desired membership in a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily, injury, personal degradation or disgrace that result in physical or psychological harm. Hazing typically, but not exclusively, involves newer members showing subservience to existing members and shall be reported to the administrator of the school and/or adviser of that student body activity (Ed. Code 48900(q)).
Types of Bullying
Bullying can be manifested in a variety of forms that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cyberbullying is bullying by electronic act, which includes transmission of a communication by text, sound, image, video, message, website post, social network activity, or other form of communication sent by an electronic device (Ed. Code 32261 (g)).
- Verbal bullying includes hurtful gossiping, making rude noises, making threats, name-calling, spreading rumors, or teasing.
- Physical bullying includes intentional, unwelcome acts of beating, biting, fighting, hitting, kicking, poking, punching, pushing, shoving, spitting, or tripping.
- Social or relational bullying includes spreading rumors, manipulating relationships, exclusion, blackmailing, isolating, rejecting, using peer pressure and ranking personal characteristics.
- Non-verbal bullying includes the use of threatening gestures, staring, stalking, graffiti or graphic images, and destruction of property to cause distress, intimidation, discomfort, pain or humiliation.
- Indirect bullying is the use of intimidation or peer pressure to cause harm to a third part(ies).
Resources for Parents
Our schools work with parents so that our students are safe and happy at school. There are several warning signs that could indicate that your child is experiencing bullying at school. Please be on the alert for:
- An unexpected drop in grades and/or interest
- Unusual moodiness, depression, anxiety, or crying
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches
- Loss of appetite or Trouble sleeping
- Damaged or missing clothing, books, or other belongings
- Unexpected bruises, cuts or scratches
- Few or no friends to spend time with
- Fear of going to school, riding the bus or walking to school
- Taking an illogical or long route home
How can I support my child if he or she is bullied at school?
Avoid blaming your child for the harassment. Think twice before giving advice - your child may have already tried the strategies you are going to suggest. Get as much information as you can. Talk with your child’s teacher, principal, or counselor and ask them to help your child be safe. Their intervention may include consequences for the bully, increased supervision, and helping your child make more friends if he or she is isolated. Ask your child what she has already tried to resolve the problem. Praise her for all the things she has tried. Give him permission to stop doing the things that haven't worked to stop the bullying. Encourage him to keep telling you and other adults. Help him to think about what has worked- or what might work. If your child is isolated, help her make connections through activities, hobbies, or clubs.
- How to Talk About Bullying
- Bullying and Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, or Bisexual (LGBT) Youth
- Prevent Cyberbullying
- Technology and Youth: Protecting your Child from Electronic Aggression For bullying and harassment using social media (such as Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr and Formspring), parents can follow the social media site's "Help" link to report abuse or policy violations such as imposter accounts, bullying, hate speech, pornography, etc.
- Help Your Intellectually Disabled Child Handle Bullying
- Bullying of Children with Special Needs
- Bullying Prevention for Parents (podcast)
Resources for Youth
There is a good chance that you have experienced bullying yourself, or that you have been the bully yourself. Probably, you have seen someone else being bullied. Bullying can take the form of words or deeds. It can be done from electronic devices. It includes repeatedly calling someone names, or repeatedly excluding someone from the group, or physically harassing someone. If you feel like you are being mistreated or isolated and it is happening again and again, talk to an adult. Know there is help. If you find yourself bullying someone else, stop the behavior and make it right. Apologize. Focus on doing things differently from now on. Ask for help with your behavior. If you see someone being bullied, take a stand and support that person. If you feel safe, tell the person doing the bullying to stop. If you don't feel safe, walk away and try to bring the victim with you. Whether you are being bullied, being the bully, or seeing someone being bullied, know that there is help. Start by talking to an adult you can trust.
- StopBullying.gov (Developed by the U.S. Health and Human Services, Education Department, (Centers for Disease Control, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Statewide Resources for Bullying Prevention
- What is Bullying
- Warning Signs that a Child is Being Bullied
- Bullying and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, or Transgender Youth
- Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Needs
- Respond to Bullying
- Cyberbullying Resources