HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

EAST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, RELATIONSHIPS: THE THREE “Rs” FOR SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS

The Hingham Public School District expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences.

Our school district is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from bullying and cyberbullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process.

We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying or retaliation in our school buildings, on school grounds or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying and retaliation and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities and parent or guardian involvement.

The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying and the district is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies and the community to prevent issues of violence. In consultation with these constituencies, we have established this plan for preventing, intervening and responding to incidents of bullying, cyberbullying and retaliation.

 

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE PLAN

I.        Leadership

II.        Training and Professional Development

III.        Access to Resources and Services

IV.        Academic and Non-academic Activities

V.        Policies/Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Bullying, Cyberbullying and Retaliation

VI.        Collaboration with Families

VII.        Prohibition Against Bullying, Cyberbullying and Retaliation

VIII.        Definitions

IX.        Relationship to Other Laws

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element I: Leadership

A.          Public Involvement in PlanB.          Needs AssessmentC.         Planning and Oversight

D.         Priority Statement

A.      Public Involvement in Plan
District: School:
1.    The Hingham Public Schools District Bullying Prevention/Intervention Plan was developed in collaboration with a Bullying Prevention Planning Task Force with 29 members, representing teachers and staff, administrators, parents, law enforcement and community representatives. Two informational summer meetings for the Task Force parent volunteers were conducted on Aug. 12 and 19, 2010. The Task Force met on Sept. 20 and Nov. 5, 2010. In addition to the meetings of the district Task Force, parent representatives from the group met regularly with each of the six principals with school councils (etc.) to develop and write the school-based Bullying Prevention/Intervention Plans.2.    Notice and a public comment period on the Plan was scheduled from Nov. 22 to Dec. 6, 2010. The proposed district Plan was announced in the superintendent’s newsletter and posted on the district website for comment. Principals at all schools included notice of the Plan and the public comment period in school newsletters and principal/parent list serves.3.    The Hingham School Committee approved the Plan at the

Dec. 6, 2010 school committee meeting.

1.    The East Elementary School Bullying Prevention/Intervention Plan was developed in collaboration representatives from the district bullying prevention planning task force, the East School Council, administrators and staff.2.    Notice and public comment at December 2010 PTO meeting.3.    Plan was presented at the 2011-2012 Back to School night.

4.    Plan was presented at the 2012-2013 Back to School night.

B.      Needs Assessment
District: School:
District/school leaders, with input from families and staff, assessed adequacy of current programs, reviewed current policies/ procedures, reviewed available data on bullying and assessed available resources to identify areas of need and set priorities. At a district Leadership Team meeting on Oct. 28, 2010, school-based and district administrators and department resource leaders (37) completed a comprehensive needs assessment to identify strengths, resource gaps and significant areas of need. The needs assessment summary was shared and input was collected from the parents and staff at the Nov. 5 Task Force meeting.Based on the needs assessment findings, the following priorities were established and action steps were planned and completed:1.   School Committee Policy: Definitions/Prohibition of Bullying, Cyberbullying and Retaliation

2.   School Committee Policy: Internet Safety

3.   Administration: Procedures to Report and Respond to Bullying, Cyberbullying and Retaliation

At the school level, students, staff and parents will be surveyed utilizing the MARC surveys. Survey results and the collection of additional data will be used on an ongoing basis to inform decision-making and planning for school-based bullying prevention/ intervention initiatives.

1.      The school administration with input from families and staff. The process will include an online survey created by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. The results being reviewed by representatives of the district bullying prevention and intervention task force, East School Council, the PTO and East School Staff. Additionally, the East School Council will gather information regarding the current policies and procedures as a part of the focus group sessions. The staff will be surveyed throughout the year to assess the effectiveness of the established curriculum.2.      Questions about bullying included in School Council Focus Groups and Family Survey conducted during the 2011-2012 school year.3.      Questions about bullying included in School Council Focus Groups and Family Survey

4.      Student Survey conducted during the 2011-2012 school year.

 

 

C.      Planning and Oversight
District: School:
The following district leaders and groups are responsible for:

  • Planning professional development: Ellen Keane, Assistant Superintendent
  • Developing/revising curriculum: Ellen Keane; Heather Lewallen, School Counseling Director; Karen Beatty, Health Education Resource Teacher
  • Developing new/revised policies and procedures: Dorothy Galo, Superintendent; Policy Subcommittee, School Committee
  • Amending Codes of Discipline: Dorothy Galo
  • Leading district parent/family engagement/information: Dorothy Galo, Ellen Keane

Reviewing/updating Plan annually: Dorothy Galo, Ellen Keane

1. The following East School personnel are responsible for:

  • Receiving reports on bullying: All Staff
  • Collecting/analyzing school data on bullying: Tony Keady/Melissa Smith/Cathy Rein
  • Creating process for recording/tracking incident reports      and accessing information: Tony Keady/Melissa Smith
  • Planning supports for targets/aggressors: Tony Keady/Melissa Smith/Cathy Rein/Jen Milia
  • Implementing policy/procedures: Tony Keady/Melissa Smith
  • Amending student/staff handbooks: Tony Keady/Melissa Smith
  • Family/engagement information: School Council
  • Revising/updating School Plan annually: Tony Keady/Melissa Smith/ Cathy Rein
D.      Priority Statements
District: School:
1.  See page 1 of the Plan 1.  See page 1 of the Plan

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element II: Training and Professional Development

A.         Annual Staff Training on the Plan

B.          Ongoing Professional Development

C.          Written Notice to Staff A.      Annual Staff Training on the PlanDistrict:School:1.  Introductory district trainings on the Bullying Prevention/Intervention Law including definitions, staff duties, an overview of steps taken by principal/designee(s) upon receipt of bullying/retaliation report, and overview of bullying prevention curriculum K-12 were conducted on the following dates:

  • Administration: Leadership Team meetings–Sept. 23 and Oct. 28, 2010
  • Teachers and staff: school opening faculty meetings–Sept. 1, 2010 and K-12 early release/inservice trainings–Oct. 6, 2010
  • Para-educators: school opening para-educator meetings and inservice training–Dec. 1, 2010
  • Coaches: Nov. 8, 2010
  • Bus drivers: Nov. 4, 2010
  • Cafeteria, custodians/maintenance and administrative assistants: elementary–various dates and middle and high school–Dec. 1,    2010

2. Training on the Plan: Jan. 20111.       School-based introductory trainings on the Bullying Prevention/ Intervention Law including definitions, staff duties, an overview of steps taken by principal/designee(s) upon receipt of bullying/retaliation report, and overview of bullying prevention curriculum K-12 were conducted on the follow dates:

  • Faculty and staff: 9/1/10, 10/6/10, 12/8/10
  • Para-educators: 12/1/10

1.      School-based training on the Plan: 1/11/11, 8/31/11, 8/29/12B.      Ongoing Professional DevelopmentDistrict:School:1.  District representatives from all six schools attended and were certified at the MARC Train-the-Trainer session: Oct. 7, 2010

2.  MARC “certified” staff conducted ongoing professional development including the required elements: Oct.-Dec., 2010 on various dates for all staff members

Ongoing professional development programs on social/emotional development and school climate have been conducted with staff. These programs include Responsive Classroom, Second Step/Steps to Respect and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS).

District professional development addressing ways to prevent/respond to bullying or retaliation for students with disabilities were conducted as follows:

  • Training was provided for all districtwide special education staff on the bullying law, definitions, identification of signs of bullying, protocol to address bullying, harassment and teasing, modifications of the HPS social skills curriculum, problem solving and conflict resolution on Sept. 1, 2010.

Further training was provided for districtwide special education chairpersons/school psychologists on Sept. 1, 2010, Oct. 8, 2010 and Nov. 5, 2010. Continued training will occur on Dec. 3, 2010, Feb. 4, 2011 and Mar. 4, 2011.1.    The professional development approach will use established programs as a foundation and incorporate other approaches in response to identified needs.

2.    The professional development will focus on:

o     definition of bullying including cyberbullying,

o     recognizing signs of bullying behavior,

o     social dynamics,

o     strategies to prevent bullying,

o     interventions for targets and aggressors,

o     creating effective safety plans.

3.    The special education team members are aware of including in student’s IEP the nature of interventions that will be implemented if the student is determined to be susceptible to being a target or aggressor as a function of the disability or if the disability affects social skills development.C.      Written Notice to StaffDistrict:School:1.       Annual written notice of the Plan will be published in the HPS Employee Handbook and distributed to all staff, etc.

1.      Annual written notice of the Plan is published in the East School handbook and distributed to staff during the initial staff meeting. The Plan is also available on the East School website.

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element III: Access to Resources and Services

A.          Identifying ResourcesB.          Counseling and Other ServicesC.          Students with Disabilities

D.          Referral to Outside Services

A.      Identifying Resources
District: School:
1.  The Director of School Counseling completed a process to review/map district counseling and other services by reviewing school counseling staff levels and student to counselor ratios. Counseling responsibilities and capacity to provide services offered as well as available community services will continue to be reviewed annually. (completed Oct. 15, 2010)2.  The following district existing and needed resources were identified:

Strengths:

  • Existing Second Step and Steps to Respect curriculum in grades K-8
  • Responsive Classroom and PBIS at elementary level
  • Health class curriculum and counseling seminars in grades 9 and 10
  • Programming offered to grades 9-12 – Rachel’s Challenge (Sept. 9, 2010)
    • Suicide Prevention Peer Leader programming for grade 9 (completed Fall 2010)
    • ·Collaboration with outside community resources such as South Shore Mental Health, Youth Health Connection, and          South Shore Coalition of Independent Therapists
    • Needs: Cyberbullying lessons for K-5
    • Bullying prevention/intervention curriculum integrated in grade 9/10 health classes/counseling seminars
      • ·Bullying and cyberbullying prevention for grades 11 and 12

3.  Recommendations/action steps to fill resource and service gaps:

  • Explore supplemental curriculum and programming to address bullying and cyberbullying in grades K-5
  • Adapt and integrate bullying and cyberbullying prevention curriculum more fully in grades 9 and 10 (Winter/Spring of 2011)

Develop bullying and cyberbullying prevention curriculum and programming in conjunction with health department in grades 11 and 12 (Spring 2011)

 

 

1.       The school will review annually and monitor student/ counselor ratio and responsibilities in order to determine capacity to provide counseling and other services for targets, aggressors, and their families.2.       This will include a review of current staffing and programs that support the creation of positive school environments by focusing on early interventions and intensive services.

3.       The school will develop recommendations and action steps to address resource and service gaps.

 

 

 

B.      Counseling and Other Services
District: School:
District staff/service providers and counseling and other services have been identified:

  • Second Step and Steps to Respect curriculum provided by school adjustment counselors, school psychologists, and classroom teachers in grades K-5
  • Second Step curriculum provided by school counselors in grades 6-8
  • Social skills intervention provided by school adjustment counselors in grades K-8, and grades 9-12 as needed
  • Behavioral intervention plans completed by school adjustment counselors and school psychologists K-12

Threat Assessment Protocol developed by School Adjustment Counselors and School Counselors in place K-12

 

 

1.       Adjustment Counselors will identify availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate resources within the school and district.2.       As needed Adjustment Counselors will identify possible linkages with community based organizations including Community Service Agencies (CSAs) for Medicaid eligible students.3.       Adjustment Counselors will develop safety plans for students who have been targets of bullying or retaliation. Plans can also be developed for students who have been identified as exhibiting bullying behavior.

 

 

 

 

C.      Students with Disabilities
District: School:
1.  In accordance with M.G.L. c. 71B Sec. 3, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010, (Bullying Law), the special education team will take under consideration the requirements whether or not the student has a disability that affects social skills development or the student may participate in or is vulnerable to bullying, harassment or teasing because of their disability. Such concerns will be addressed in the student’s IEP.2.  Special Education Chairperson/School Psychologists will share instruction responsibilities in Second Step and Steps to Respect with school adjustment counselors at the elementary level.

3.  Special Education Chairperson/School Psychologists will use Functional Behavioral Assessments, Behavioral Intervention Plans and ongoing collaboration with staff, students and parents to address concerns related to bullying.

 

 

 

 

 

1.  IEP teams determine students who have disabilities that affect social skills development or may participate in or are vulnerable to bullying/harassment/teasing because of disabilities2.  IEP teams include services to develop student’s skills/proficiencies to avoid/respond to bullying/harassment/ teasing
D.      Referral to Outside Services
District: School:
1.  District referral protocols have been evaluated/revised as needed:

  • Creation and implementation of Bullying Prevention/Intervention Incident Report Form K-12 (Dec., 2010)
  • Instructional Student Intervention Team (ISIT) process and procedures in place K-12
  • District Threat Assessment protocol in place grades K-12

2.  District established referral protocol for referring students/families to outside services

Formalization of written protocol (Winter/Spring 2011)

1.    Adjustment Counselors will maintain updated lists of licensed mental health practitioners or service providers that will be available to families.2.     Adjustment Counselors will be available to help families access appropriate and timely outside services.

3.     Referral process will be reviewed annually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2015-2015

Essential Element IV: Academic and Non-academic Activities

A.           Specific Bullying Prevention ApproachesB.           Review Plan with StudentsC.          General Teaching Approaches that Support Bullying Prevention Efforts
A.      Specific Bullying Prevention Approaches
District: School:
  • Hingham Public Schools utilize the Second Step/Steps to Respect evidence-based curriculum programs (Committee for Children) in K-8. In grades K-3, designated Second Step lessons are taught by classroom teachers, school adjustment counselors and/or school psychologists. In grades 3-5, adjustment counselors also teach bullying prevention/intervention lessons using Steps to Respect. Developmentally appropriate cyberbullying lessons will be added in grades K-5. The Second Step middle school curriculum has been revised to include bullying/cyberbullying instruction.
  • In grades 9-12, evidence-based bullying prevention/intervention curriculum will be integrated into the grades 9/10 health education and school counseling services utilizing lessons from the “Aggressors, Victims and Bystanders” unit of the Teenage Health Modules curriculum.

In grades 11 and 12, administrators and staff will develop a plan to implement bullying prevention approaches.

1.      The current bullying prevention curricula is:

  • K – Grade 3: Second Step – a researched based program that helps students develop strong bonds to school, solve problems without anger and treat others with compassion. The program provides scripted lessons, DVDs with role plays that lead to class discussions about positive behavior. Selected lessons are taught by the classroom teachers.
  • Grades 4 &5: Steps to Respect – a researched based approach that teaches students to recognize, refuse and report bullying, be assertive and build friendships. The program provides scripted lessons, DVDs with role plays that lead to class discussions about how to prevent bullying. Selected lessons will be taught to the 4th grade by the adjustment counselor and to the 5th grade by classroom teachers.

 

B.      Review Plan with Students
District: School:
The Plan will be reviewed with students K-12 Jan. 2011 at each school and annually at the beginning of each school year. 1. Germane sections of the plan will be reviewed with students in a developmentally appropriate manner as a part of the established bullying prevention curricula and All School Meetings.
C.      General Teaching Approaches that Support Bullying Prevention Efforts
District: School:
Schoolwide climate and behavior management programs have been implemented K-12 at all schools. At the elementary level, K-6 staff have been trained in the Responsive Classroom approach and this approach has been implemented at all four schools. In addition, all four elementary schools have implemented school-based Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) programs. At the secondary level, the middle school and high school have ongoing climate committees and a variety of student leadership and support initiatives have been implemented.

 

 

 

1.    Classroom teachers are trained in Responsive Classroom program that facilitates the creation of a positive classroom climate.2.    PBIS committee –School based PBIS committee is implementing a Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports program.3.    Buddy Classes – All classes will be partnered with another class from a different grade levels

4.    All School Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element V: Policies / Procedures for Reporting / Responding to Bullying and Retaliation

A.           Reporting Bullying / RetaliationB.           Responding to Bullying / Retaliation ReportC.          Investigation

D.          Determinations

E.           Responses to Bullying

A.      Reporting Bullying / Retaliation
District: School:
1.    The School Committee approved the district bullying prohibition policy at the Dec. 6, 2010 School Committee meeting, after a first reading of the policy at the Nov. 22, 2010 School Committee meeting. The existing student Internet safety policy will be updated, revised and approved by the School Committee. The administration completed written procedures for receiving, reporting and responding to bullying, cyberbullying and retaliation in Dec. 2010.2.    All school and district staff members are required to report immediately to the principal or designee any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents/guardians or others and may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member will be recorded in writing using the district Bullying Prevention/Intervention Incident Reporting Form. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of staff to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district procedures for behavior management and discipline.Reports made by students, parents/guardians or other individuals who are not school or district staff members may be made anonymously; however, no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. A variety of reporting resources are available to the school community including an Incident Reporting Form and an anonymous Incident Reporting Form. Copies of the reporting forms will be included in student/parent handbooks distributed at the beginning of the school year, made available in the school administrative offices, the counseling office and the school nurse’s office and posted on district and school websites. Annual written notice of policies, procedures, and the Plan will be provided to students, parents and staff in student and staff handbooks and on district and school websites.

 

 

 

See District Procedure
B.               Responding to Bullying / Retaliation
District: School:
Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal or designee will take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary. The principal or designee will implement appropriate strategies for protection from bullying or retaliation for a student who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation. See District Procedure
C.               Investigation
District: School:
The investigation steps are as follows:1.    Bullying/retaliation report is made to principal/designee.2.    Incident Report Form completed by staff, student, parent/guardian or others and forwarded to principal/designee.

3.    Upon receipt of a viable report, the principal or designee will promptly contact the parents/guardians of the alleged target and alleged aggressor.

4.    The principal or designee will interview the target(s) and alleged aggressor(s), students, staff, witnesses, parents/guardians and others as necessary.

5.    The principal or designee will remind the target(s), alleged aggressor(s), and witnesses that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

To the extent practicable, the principal or designee will maintain confidentiality during the investigation process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See District Procedures

 

 

D.      Determinations
District: School:
District determination procedures are as follows:1.    The principal or designee will make a determination based upon all of the facts and circumstances.2.    If bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal or designee will determine what remedial, responsive or disciplinary action is necessary.

3.    The principal or designee will promptly notify the parents/guardians of the target(s) and aggressor(s) about the results of the investigation and, if bullying or retaliation is found, what actions are in place to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation and the procedures for responding to bullying.

4.    All notice to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations.

5.    If the bullying or retaliation involves students from other schools, the principal or designee will promptly notify by telephone the principal or designee of the other schools so that appropriate action may be taken, in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations.

At any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after the investigation, if the principal or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor(s), the principal or designee will notify the local law enforcement agency, consistent with requirements and locally established agreements.

 

 

 

 

 

See District Procedures
E.      Responses to Bullying
District: School:
District responses to bullying include the following:1.    The schools will use a range of responses that balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior, including skills building and other relevant educational activities and positive behavior supports and plans.

2.    Disciplinary action will be determined based on the nature of conduct and the age of students involved and will be consistent with the district and school codes of conduct.

3.    The principal or designee will consider what adjustments, if any, are needed in the school environment to enhance that target’s sense of safety and that of others.

Within a reasonable period of time, the principal or designee will contact the target(s) to determine whether there has been a recurrence of the prohibited conduct and whether additional supportive measures are needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element VI: Collaboration with Families

A.           Parent Education and Resources

B.           Notification Requirements A.      Parent Education and ResourcesDistrict:School:

District schools will offer education programs for parents/guardians that are focused on the parental components of the bullying prevention and social competency curriculum used at each level. The programs are offered in collaboration with parent groups and have been conducted or scheduled for various dates at each school at PTO, School Council and other parent meetings, including the district Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC).1. The Second Step and Steps To Respect programs include a take home component that reinforces skills taught in school that can be implemented by parents/guardians. Furthermore, teachers will include bullying prevention information during presentations as a part of the Curriculum Night.

2. Additional bullying prevention information and trainings will be a part of selected PTO meetings and various school wide events.

 

 

B.      Notification RequirementsDistrict:School:1.  Each year district schools will inform parents/guardians about the bullying prevention/intervention curriculum used, including      information about the dynamics of bullying, cyberbullying and online safety.

2. District schools will send parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Plan and the district Internet safety policy. Notices will be available to parents in hard copy and electronic formats. The district and schools will post the Plan and related information on websites.1. The school will inform parents and guardians about the bullying prevention plan and intervention programs during the annual Curriculum Night. Furthermore, the curriculum information will be included in the Parent Handbook available on the website and hardcopy.

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element VII: Prohibition Against Bullying Prevention / Retaliation

Acts of bullying, which include cyberbullying, are prohibited:

(i)  On school grounds and property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school district or school; or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school district or school, and

(ii)At a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school district or school, if the acts create a hostile environment at school for the target or witnesses, infringe on their rights of school, or materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

 

Retaliation against a person who report bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is also prohibited.

 

As stated in M.G.L. c. 71, § 370, nothing in this Plan requires the district or school to staff any non-school related activities, functions or program.

 

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element VIII: Definitions

Aggressor is a student who engages in bullying, cyberbulling or retaliation.

 

Bullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 370, is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

(i)     Causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property;

(ii)   Places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property;

(iii) Creates a hostile environment at school for the target;

(iv)  Infringes on the rights of the target at school; or

(v)    Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

 

Cyberbullying is bullying through the use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers and the Internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and Internet posting. See M.G.L. c. 71, § 370 for the legal definition of cyberbullying.

 

Hostile environment, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 370 is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student’s education.

 

Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

 

Staff includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff or paraprofessionals.

 

Target is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying or retaliation has been perpetrated.

 

 

 

HINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS

BULLYING PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLAN

2014-2015

Essential Element IX: Relationship to Other Laws

Consistent with state and federal laws, and the policies of the school and district, no person shall be discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town or in obtaining the advantages, privilege and courses of study such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. Nothing in the Plan prevents the school or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected category under local, state, or federal law or school or district policies.

 

In addition, nothing in the Plan is designed or intended to limit the authority of the school or district to take disciplinary action or other action under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H1/2, other applicable laws, or local school or district policies in response to violent, harmful or disruptive behavior, regardless of whether the Plan covers the behavior.