Indian Trail Elementary Anti-Bullying Plan, 2021-22
Indian Trail Elementary and Union County Public Schools strive to create a positive, welcoming and inclusive community where all students flourish. To that end, bullying of any form is expressly prohibited at any Union Public School. Students are protected under North Carolina law on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. Any violation of this law is unacceptable and will be handled according to state law and Board of Education Policy.
Union County Board of Education Policy 4-7
The Board believes that all employees and students should be free of unlawful discrimination, including harassment and bullying, as a part of a safe, orderly and inviting working and learning environment. It commits itself to non-discrimination in all its educational and employment activities. The Board expressly prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, or bullying however motivated, directed toward any person or group, including, but not limited acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
Definition of Bullying Behavior Bullying
Bullying behavior, under North Carolina Law, is defined as any pattern of gestures, or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication that takes place on school property. A rude comment in isolation is a rude comment. The comment is inappropriate, rude, and unnecessary, but does not constitute a pattern of behavior. A pattern occurs when the perpetrator continues with the aggression and does not deviate from the offense directed toward one person or group. Bullying can occur in various forms including: physical, verbal, social, psychological, and cyber-bullying. Bullying behavior may include, but is not limited to: physical aggression (i.e. kicking, hitting, pushing, pinching, biting), verbal harassment (i.e. taunting, name calling, spreading rumors, threats), social intimidation/exclusion, stealing, and cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying occurs when a child, preteen, teen or staff member/adult is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen, teen or staff member/adult using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
Statement of Purpose
Indian Trail Elementary considers bullying a serious offense. Bullying will never be tolerated here. School personnel, students, parents and the community will work in collaboration to prevent all forms of bullying through education and the establishment and maintenance of policies and programs designed to eradicate bullying. Indian Trail Elementary values relationships and recognizes the importance of those relationships promoting positivity, inclusiveness and accountability.
Determination of a “Pattern”
As Indian Trail Elementary stakeholders, we all share responsibility to identify patterns of behavior which constitute bullying and work together to promote respectful relationships and communication for the benefit of the whole school community. In an effort to recognize when a pattern exists, all bullying behavior is to be reported to school personnel so that due process can be provided to all parties. When an incident is reported or witnessed, please notify school personnel immediately by describing the incident, and noting the pattern of behavior of concern. Behaviors which constitute a pattern of bullying:
1. Persistent harassment motivated by a differentiated characteristic (race, color, religion, ancestry, gender identity, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, mental/physical development, or any disability.
2. Persistent acts of disrespect, intimidation, or threats such as verbal taunts, name-calling, and put-downs, derogatory comments or slurs, lewd propositions, exclusion from peer groups, extortion, implied/stated threats, assault, impeding/blocking movement or accessed, offensive touching or any interference limiting normal movement.
3. Persistent patterns of cyberbullying via the internet includes but is not limited to emailing or text messaging any of the above offenses, use of personal websites intended to cause harm to persons or groups, and sharing of harmful images or language.
Consequences for Bullying at Indian Trail Elementary are:
1st offense: Parent contact by the teacher. (Administration may be involved due to the severity)
2nd offense: Same as above. Conference with parent may be necessary. Alert school counselor. School counselor may need to monitor more closely and may observe within the learning environment.
3rd offense: Teacher and/or school counselor will contact the parent. Possible conference needed. Parent notified of consequence of the 4th offense (1-3 days of suspension.)
4th offense: Administration makes contact with parent. Parent conference is required with school counselor and teacher present as well. 1-3 day suspension may occur.
5th offense: Administration, school psychologist, school resource officer and school counselor meet with parent. Possible PEP for behavior is developed. Possible 3-5 day suspension.
Prevention at Indian Trail Elementary
Many programs/activities have been implemented at Indian Trail Elementary to promote the development of respectful relationships, positive character traits, healthy coping skills, and behaviors that result in academic and social success. Indian Trail Elementary will take a direct approach to dealing with bullying by providing the following opportunities for our students and staff:
1. Leader in Me (7 Habits)
2. Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS)
3. Principal Awards
4. Safety Patrol
5. Classroom Guidance Lessons
6. Small Counseling and Psycho-educational Groups
7. Individual Counseling
8. School to Home Communication (daily agenda, email, notes home, phone calls, postcards)
1. Leader in Me (7 Habits) – We are focused on building the future leader by establishing a strong foundation of interpersonal skills.
2. PBIS - A school-wide program that promotes positive behaviors in students. Appropriate student behavior is taught and reinforced consistently throughout the school both in and outside of classroom settings.
3. Terrific Kids – Four celebrations are held throughout the school year in which students are recognized in front of peers and family members for exemplifying positive behavior. Teachers and classes nominate students to receive a Terrific Kid award whom they feel is a positive role model to other students. Through partnering with the Kiwanis Club in the community, this program is possible.
4. Principal Paw Awards – At the end of each 9 weeks the principal personally recognizes a student in each K – 5 classroom who have set positive examples for other students through their words and actions.
5. Safety Patrol – Select 5 th grade students who have displayed positive behavior are given the responsibility of helping ensure that the hallways and cafeteria are free of bullying behaviors during arrival and dismissal times.
6. Classroom Guidance – Lessons are provided by the School Counselor to all students in K – 5 on a regular basis. Age-appropriate lessons are presented that focus on bullying. The lessons teach students what bullying is, why students bully, assertion skills and how to seek help for bullying. Students in upper grades are also taught about cyber-bullying and are informed of possible consequences for cyber-bullying should it affect school. Students are informed of a confidential way to report bullying to the counselor.
7. Counseling and Psycho-educational Groups - Small groups will be provided to those students who have been identified through our PBIS program. The topics of these groups will vary and will be developed to meet students’ needs, but will help the students develop necessary skills to be successful in school. Topics and strategies help students develop positive coping skills and relationships through discussions, role-plays, experiential activities, etc.
8. Individual Counseling – Individual counseling will be provided to those students who are being affected by bullying behaviors as identified through PBIS, teacher and staff observations, and student referrals. This is provided by a collaborative initiative with Union County mental health staff.
9. Parent Communications – Parents receive frequent communications to help ensure that they are aware of efforts to promote positive, non-bullying behaviors at Indian Trail Elementary. Parents should be notified of students who are selected to receive Terrific Kids and Principal Paw awards. Teachers, administrators and counselors communicate concerns regarding bullying behaviors to parents to help reduce bullying behaviors and help ensure all students feel safe at Indian Trail Elementary. Parents are sent home follow-up discussion questions after certain classroom guidance lessons to help increase the school to home connection.
Monitoring and Evaluating
The effectiveness of the strategies, programs and procedures that are in place to address bullying at Indian Trail Elementary are monitored and evaluated through data collection and collaboration. Details of the bullying plan are communicated by the counselor at a staff meeting at the beginning of the year. Teachers track student behavior daily and this data is collected by the School Counselor every nine weeks. In addition, our students set goals and monitor their own learning with Leadership notebooks. This allows for student behaviors to be tracked, monitored and addressed on a regular basis and is done as a part of the PBIS program. Bullying behaviors that result in an immediate office referral are also documented by administration and then communicated to the counselor. The bullying plan is posted on the school website and in each student’s handbook. Students and parents are asked to review these policies and procedures that the beginning of each school year or at the time of enrollment.
Procedures to Report Bullying Behavior
Students: Students are instructed to report bullying behaviors to their teacher or any staff member/adult at school. They are able to do so verbally or in written form and can choose to remain anonymous. They are taught the importance of reporting dangerous/hurtful behaviors immediately so that the proper course of action can be followed to address any bullying.
Staff: All staff members are responsible for monitoring student behavior at all times and are responsible for addressing bullying behavior immediately when it is observed/when they become aware of it. Teachers follow the consequences as outlined in the bullying policy. Cyberbullying should also be immediately communicated to school administration. Although we may not be able to punish what happens outside of school, Indian Trail administration will contact authorities and report any incidents of cyberbullying. NOTE: All infractions must be documented in Educator’s Handbook for accurate records.
Parents/Guardians: Incidents of bullying should be reported to school administration when parents or other stakeholders are made aware. Indian Trail Elementary administration welcomes the opportunity to partner with community stakeholders to promote a healthy, welcoming and positive community for all students.
Strategy for Dissemination: To make all parties aware of procedures, programs, prevention and consequences the following efforts will be taken:
● The plan will be shared with staff
● The plan will be available to parents on the school website
● Classroom guidance will be used as a effort to help students recognize bullying, understand consequences and take action to prevention
Resources to Support the Anti-Bullying Plan
Union County Public Schools
Board of Education Policy 4-7
https://bullyingnoway.com.au This website showcases strategies that have proven to be successful in increasing school safety and reducing bullying and harassment in schools throughout Australia.
www.kidscape.org.uk/ Kidscape provides practical skills and resources to prevent bullying for children under age 16.
http://www.cyberbullying.us This cyberbullying research center presents research statistics, tips, prevention strategies, stories, fact sheets, handouts, and other downloads to combat cyberbullying.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/cyberbullying.html This site presents general information about cyberbullying and how parents can help at home.
http://www.brainpop.com Animated Science, Health, Technology, Math, Social Studies, English, and Arts & Music movies, quizzes, activity pages and school homework help for K-12 kids. Also includes video clips on cyberbullying. Login required.
https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship This site provides lesson plans and activities for educators and students on bullying and cyberbullying.