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Making Sense of the New Bullying Legislation HEA 1423 Presented by Dr. Brandie Oliver Butler University
The “Why” Behind the Bill • According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey: o Indiana ranks 3 rd in the nation for incidences of electronic bullying and bullying on school property • 1 in 4 students had been bullied at school during the past 12 months prior to the survey • 1 in 5 students had been bullied electronically during the past 12 months prior to the survey • 1 in 20 youth did not go to school in the past 30 days prior to the survey for fear of safety at school or going to and from school
More Statistics • Long Term Impact: Studies from the National School Safety Center reported that 60 percent of students who were identified as school bullies ended up with a criminal record by age 24. • Bullying Violence: New research on 37 school shootings, including Columbine, found that almost three-quarters of student shooters felt bullied, threatened, attacked or injured by others. In fact, several shooters reported experiencing long-term and severe bullying and harassment from their peers. Source: Secret Service and the U. S. Department of Education
The Voiceless Students reach out to an adult in only about 1/3 of the cases of bullying…why is that? • Students do not perceive that teachers or adults in the school will do anything. • Don’t want to be perceived as weak or a “tattletale” • Fear of retaliation from bully • Feelings of humiliation make children ashamed to tell adults • May already feel socially isolated and believe no one cares or can understand • Fear of rejection by peers • Parent reaction
Keeping Kids Safe • Bullying is a form of peer aggression, just like dating and gang violence, and is an adverse childhood experience (ACE) that can lead to poor physical and mental health in adulthood, including post-traumatic stress disorder. However, research has shown that minimizing exposure to ACEs can greatly improve outcomes for youth. Schools, parents, communities and youth can all play a part in creating solutions to reduce peer aggression. If provided with the appropriate research-based tools and resources, bullying and other forms of peer aggression can be greatly reduced.
Indiana’s Response to Bullying During the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly passed HEA 1423, and the Governor signed P. L. 285 -2013 into law. This law changed the definition of bullying and established bullying prevention and intervention program requirements for the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and school corporations.
Benefits of the Bill For Students • Students can feel confident if a bullying incident occurs that all adults in the school are trained and prepared to respond appropriately • Students that have been identified as exhibiting bullying behavior will be provided appropriate interventions • Students that have been the target of bullying will be provided appropriate support and resources • This bill will help ensure a safer school environment allowing students to focus on academics • Students will have developmentally appropriate bullying prevention education
Benefits of the Bill For Schools o They can benefit from guidance on research-based practices to prevent and intervene in bullying incidents o Reducing aggressive behaviors among students will create a safer school environment for students and teachers o Clearer definition of bullying and investigative measures so schools have documentation of reported incidents; not all reported incidents will be determined bullying
Requirements for the IDOE 1. 2. 3. 4. In collaboration with school safety specialists and school counselors: Provide materials and guidelines to assist a safe school committee in developing a plan and policy that addresses school safety and professional development needs. Prepare outlines or materials for age appropriate, research based bullying prevention instruction. Establish categories of types of bullying incidents to allow school corporations to use the categories in making reports. Periodically review each school corporation policy adopted under this section to ensure compliance.
Anti-Bullying Summer Task Group • Task group formed on June 3, 2013 • Target completion date : July 26, 2013 • Goals: 1. Create a website with information and materials to guide and support school corporations with: a. Minimal compliance with the law b. Development of Effective, Comprehensive Bully Prevention and Intervention Programs 2. Design the website to be “organic” in nature 3. Provide tools such as Power. Points, webinars, sample lessons, etc. 4. Meet the 8 week deadline
Anti-Bullying Summer Task Group Challenges 1. What constitutes “research based? ” § Bully prevention curriculum based on proven theoretical foundation, with some measures of effectiveness 2. How do schools prevent over reporting due to new staff accountability requirements? § Recognized the need for schools to educate stakeholders on specific definitions of bullying behaviors 3. How do schools meet the Oct 15 th deadline? § “Minimal Compliance / Better / Best” model
HEA 1423 Definitions Link to Legislation & Bullying Categories Prevention Elementary Middle School Minimal Compliance Program Outline Better Program Outline Best Program Outline Elementary Resources Best Program Outline Middle School Resources School Policy High School Minimal Compliance Program Outline Better Program Outline Best Program Outline High School Resources Staff Training Investigation & In -School Reporting Protocols Overview: Teachers Substitute Teachers Instructional Aides Discipline Follow-up Services State Reporting Guidelines Training Employees Prevention Instruction for Students Legal Considerations Overview: Support Staff Overview: Volunteers Overview: Bus Drivers Staff Training Tools Research Based Resources Websites Bibliography
http: //www. doe. in. gov/student-services/bullyingprevention-intervention-indiana
Bullying Prevention and the Law Bullying is defined for Indiana schools in HEA 1423 • IC 20 -33 -8 -0. 2 – “Bullying” means: Ø Overt (intentional) unwanted, repeated acts or gestures including: Ø Verbal or Written communication, or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically) Ø Physical acts committed, aggression, or any other behaviors that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to Ø Harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student and Ø Create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment
Defining Bullying Unwanted, aggressive behavior Repeated or potential for repeated behavior Real or perceived power imbalance
What is NOT bullying? • There are many other types of aggressive behavior that don’t fit the definition of bullying. This does not mean that they are any less serious or do not require intervention. o Peer Conflict o Teen Dating Violence o Hazing o Gang Violence o Harassment o Stalking
Conflict or Bullying?
Types of Bullying (Categories of Bullying for IDOE Reporting Requirements) § Physical § Verbal § Social/Relational § Electronic or Written Communication § Combination of Categories
Physical Bullying Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes: Ø Hitting/kicking/pinching Ø Spitting Ø Tripping/pushing Ø Taking or breaking someone’s things Ø Making mean or rude hand gestures
Verbal Bullying Verbal bullying involves saying mean things. Verbal bullying includes: Ø Teasing Ø Name-calling Ø Taunting Ø Threatening to cause harm
Social/Relational Bullying Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes: Ø Leaving someone out on purpose Ø Telling other children not to be friends with someone Ø Spreading rumors about someone Ø Embarrassing someone in public
Electronic/Written Bullying Electronic or Written Communication bullying (including all forms of Cyberbullying) is bullying that takes place through the use of written messages or using various forms of electronic technology. Examples include: Ø mean text messages or emails, Ø rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and Ø embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Terminology • Target (aka Victim) • Bullier (aka Bully) o Student exhibiting bullying beavior • Witness (aka Bystander)
Why Do Students Bully? Information about bullying suggests that there are three interrelated reasons why students bully. 1. Students who bully have strong needs for power and (negative) dominance. 2. Students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to other students. 3. Students who bully are often rewarded in some way for their behavior with material or psychological rewards. (section taken from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, www. olweus. org)
The Impact of Bullying Effects on targets Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience: • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood. • Health complaints • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores— and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school. • A very small number of bullied children might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990 s, the shooters had a history of being bullied. http: //www. stopbullying. gov/ http: //www. creducation. org/resources/bullying_prevention/index. html
The Impact of Bullying Kids Who Exhibit Bullying Behaviors Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to: • Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults • Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school • Engage in early sexual activity • Have criminal convictions as adults • Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults http: //www. stopbullying. gov/ http: //www. creducation. org/resources/bullying_prevention/index. html
The Impact of Bullying Effects on Witnesses Kids who witness bullying are more likely to: • Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs • Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety • Miss or skip school http: //www. stopbullying. gov/ http: //www. creducation. org/resources/bullying_prevention/index. html
Risk Factors-Target • • Perceived as “being different” from peers Perceived sexual orientation Perceived ability/disability level Perceived socioeconomic status Poor social skills Socially isolated/few friends Overweight/underweight Many more…. basic premise of “perceived difference”
Responding to HEA 1423 through Model Policy
Model Policy Frames the issue • The school board of Corporation XXXX prohibits acts of bullying of a student. The school board has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards; bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe and disciplined environment. Since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Model Policy (Cont. ) Criteria to determine bullying incident Definition (as stated in code) and: • places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to the targeted student’s person or property; • has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health; • has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s academic performance; or • has the effect of substantially interfering with the target student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, and privileges provided by the school. • Exceptions as listed in HEA 1423
Model Policy (Cont. ) Appropriate Follow-Up, Responses, & Interventions • The school corporation requires school administrators to implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses for students who commit one or more acts of bullying, consistent with the code of student conduct, and the consequences and remedial responses for staff members who commit one or more acts of bullying. Appropriate consequences and remedial actions are those that are graded according to the severity of the offenses, consider the developmental ages of the student offenders and students’ histories of inappropriate behaviors, per the code of student conduct.
Follow-Up Services Intervention Strategies Appropriate for Targets • Ongoing individual support (school counselor/school social worker) – Resiliency skill development – Self-Esteem development • Outreach to parents to provide resources/information: Encourage a team approach to support • Increase School Connectedness – Involvement in after-school programs: Assist in helping student finding clubs/groups/activities • Provide resources for community organizations or community resources (i. e. , additional counseling) • Referral to a mentoring program (peer or adult mentoring)
Follow-Up Services (Cont. ) Intervention Strategies Appropriate for Bulliers (students exhibiting bullying behaviors) • Psycho-educational Individual Support – Empathy Building/Training – Focus on increasing emotional intelligence – Communication Skills Development – Knowledge of Impact of Bullying on Others • Provide clear and consistent consequences to all student bulliers • Increase School Connectedness – Involvement in after-school programs: assist in helping student finding clubs/groups/activities • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS); for more information visit: http: //www. pbis. org/ • Referral to a mentoring program (peer or adult mentoring)
Follow-Up Services (Cont. ) Strategies to AVOID • Group Counseling: Please do not provide group counseling to targets or bulliers • Peer Mediation: Peer mediation programs are a wonderful school resource to assist in conflict resolution, but it should never be used in a bullying situation. • Inconsistent Responses: It is critical to provide fidelity regarding your school’s policy on bullying prevention and intervention. • Zero Tolerance Policy: please see “Multiple Responses, Promising Results: Evidence-based, Nonpunitive Alternatives to Zero Tolerance, ” for more information. • Do not put the onus to address the bullying on the target
Model Policy (Cont. ) Reporting & Investigative Procedures: School community • The school board requires the principal at each school to be responsible for assigning a member of their staff tasked with receiving all complaints alleging violations of this policy. All board of education members, school employees, volunteers and contracted service providers who have contact with students, are required to verbally report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or the principal’s designee on the same day when the individual witnessed or received reliable information regarding any such incident. All board of education members, school employees, and volunteers and contracted service providers who have contact with students, also shall submit a report in writing to the school principal within one school day of the verbal report.
Model Policy (Cont. ) Reporting & Investigative Procedures: Parents & Students • Students, parents, and visitors are encouraged to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal on the same day when the individual witnessed or received reliable information regarding any such incident. Students, parents, and visitors may report an act of bullying anonymously. Formal action for violations of the code of student conduct may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
Anonymous Reporting Options Below are strategies your school may want to consider to ensure all school community members have the option to report bullying incidents anonymously. • Provide the option on the reporting form for anonymous submission • “Bullying Reporting Box” in a centrally located location in school (or multiple boxes throughout school) • Phone line dedicated to reporting • Provide a website available to all school community members to report bullying incidents. The following website is an example reporting site: www. reportabully. com • Provide a web link from your school site to an online form
Model Policy (Cont. ) Timeline & Reporting Procedures • The school board requires a thorough and complete investigation to be conducted for each report of an alleged incident of bullying. The investigation shall be initiated by the principal or the principal's designee within one school day of the verbal and/or written report of the incident. The principal may appoint additional personnel who are not school anti-bullying specialists to assist the school antibullying specialist in the investigation. The investigation shall be completed and the written findings submitted to the principal as soon as possible, but not later than 5 school days from the date of the written report of the alleged incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The principal shall submit the report to the superintendent within ten school days of the completion of the investigation The superintendent or his/her designee, shall report the results of each investigation to the board of education on a quarterly basis during regularly scheduled board meetings.
Model Policy (Cont. ) Reporting Procedures/Data Collection • The school board requires each school to record and report to the corporation office and to the Indiana Department of Education, the frequency of bullying incidents in each of the four main categories; verbal bullying, physical bullying, social/relational bullying and electronic or written communication bullying in accordance with HEA 1423.
Model Policy (Cont. ) Parent Contact (Both parties) • Parents of the students who are parties to the investigation shall be provided with information about the investigation, in accordance with Federal and State law and regulation. The information to be provided to parents includes the nature of the investigation, whether the district found evidence of bullying, or whether consequences were imposed or services provided to address the bullying incident.
Model Policy (Cont. ) Discipline provisions for teachers, school staff, or school administrators who fail to initiate or conduct an investigation of a bullying incident. • A school administrator, faculty member or support staff employee who receives a report of harassment, intimidation, or bullying from a student, parent or district employee, and fails to initiate or conduct an investigation, or who witnesses or observes a bullying incident and fails to take sufficient action to minimize or eliminate the harassment, intimidation, or bullying, may be subject to disciplinary action.
Model Policy (Cont. ) Discipline provisions for students • The school board authorizes the superintendent to define the range of ways in which school staff will respond once an incident of bullying is confirmed, and the principal or his/her designee shall respond to confirmed bullying, according to the parameters described in the school discipline policy. The school board recognizes that some acts of bullying may be isolated incidents requiring that the school officials respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious that they require a response either at the school district levels or by local law enforcement officials. Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student who commits an act of bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion.
Discipline *The discipline rules may be applied regardless of the physical location in which the bullying behavior occurred, whenever: §the individual committing the bullying behavior and any of the intended targets of the bullying behavior are students attending a school within a school corporation; and §disciplinary action is reasonably necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or prevent an unreasonable threat to the rights of others to a safe and peaceful learning environment.
Model Policy (Cont. ) False Reporting • The school board authorizes the principal of each school to acknowledge and respond to instances of false reporting of alleged bullying incidents. The principal is expected to respond with consequences and remedial actions regarding any person found to have falsely accused another as a means of bullying as permitted under HEA 1423 for: • 1) Students – Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student could range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. • 2) School Employees – Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee or contracted service provider who has contact with students could entail discipline in accordance with district policies, procedures and agreements. • 3) Visitors or Volunteers – Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer could be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, including law enforcement reports or other legal actions, removal of building or grounds privileges, or prohibiting contact with students or the provision of student services.
Model Policy (Cont. ) • Inform school community of bullying policy • Provide training to all members of school community o “direct and ongoing contact with students” • Inform parents/guardians of bullying policy • Inform students of bullying policy • Provide education on bullying prevention to all students by October 15 of each academic year o Intent is that this training is only a portion of a school’s overall bullying prevention/intervention comprehensive program
Model Policy (Cont. ) Working towards a comprehensive program • The school board understands that the characteristics and resultant needs of each school within the district will continue to evolve and that the existing base of knowledge regarding bullying prevention and intervention will continue to grow. Research on bullying prevention practices will continue to emerge, and the data on the nature of bullying behaviors will continuously change. It is essential that school district administrators and school officials regularly review available bullying prevention and intervention data. Additionally, school administrators are expected to collect and analyze in-house data regarding bully incident investigations, incident frequency and the effects of the district’s efforts to address bullying behaviors. Through data driven practice, our administrators will be best qualified to determine the need for changes to policies and procedures and to institute improvements to prevention and intervention programs and approaches.
Comprehensive Anti-Bullying Program • • Increase Awareness Coordination of Services Ongoing Evaluation Source: “Early Identification and Intervention. Bullying Prevention, ” by Dr. Russell Skiba, Indiana Education Policy Center
Summary Bullying in schools is everyone’s problem. As we move forward…. 1. Focus on school corporation compliance with HEA 1423 by developing policy, protocols and a delivery plan for age appropriate, research-based bully prevention curriculum 2. Utilize resources provided through the IDOE Bullying Prevention and Intervention Website 3. Move beyond minimal compliance by developing an effective, comprehensive bully prevention and intervention program
My Contact Dr. Brandie Oliver College of Education Butler University [email protected] edu 317 -940 -9069
Resources • www. state. nj. us/education/parents/bully. htm • http: //www. stopbullying. gov/index. html • http: //kidshealth. org/teen/your_mind/problems/bull ies. html • http: //www. bullyingstatistics. org/