Help Bullyproof Our Schools
“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” Samuel Johnson
Students should treat each other with respect at all times.
This is more than the “nice thing” to do. It is required behavior at Apache Junction Unified School District. No two human beings are exactly alike. Fellow students may have different ethnicity, religion, body type, sexual orientation, income, ability, disability or other factors; however, these differences (and others) are not appropriate reasons to treat others disrespectfully.
Conflict, though NOT acceptable, is part of human interaction, and in most cases can be resolved. However, it is important for students, parents, and others in the community understand there is a difference between normal peer conflict and harassment, bullying and cyberbullying. The latter has more serious consequences – including expulsion, and even arrest.
Since conflict can escalate into harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying, the sooner bad behavior is identified and stopped, the better.
What is bullying?
Bullying is more than simple conflict between two students. It is defined as any aggressive, intentional behavior carried out by a person or group repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself or herself. A bullying situation is one that has an observed or perceived imbalance of power. This could be physical strength, or access to embarrassing information that could emotionally harm the victim.
Bullying can include:
Verbal – name-calling, teasing, taunting and threats.
Physical – pushing, hitting or kicking, tripping, or taking the victim's property.
Relational – damaging, or attempting to damage the victim's relationships or reputation by exclusion, spreading rumors or defamation.
Cyberbullying - any act of bullying that uses electronic technology or communication devices, including social networking sites and other Internet communications that occurs on school property or at a school-sponsored event; interferes with a student's education; threatens the educational environment; or disrupts the school. Examples of cyberbullying include sending mean text messages or emails or posting embarrassing pictures or videos.
Cyberbullying is the fastest-growing bullying behavior and can have tragic effects. If your child is cyberbullied…
- Document the harassment and be sure to save and download evidence. You may also forward it to your Internet service provider (ISP). If you do not know whoposted the information, ask your Internet service provider to trace messages. Once identified, you may tell the cyberbully to stop, change your child’s email address, or block or filter information sent through email and messaging.
- File a complaint. Many cell phone companies and Internet service providers have regulations.
- Contact the school, parents, attorney or police.
What is harassment?
Harassment is abusive conduct directed at one or more students because of the student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status or pregnancy) or disability and is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the school. Harassment includes sexual harassment and retaliation.
Tips on how to Prevent Bullying
Signs Your Child is Being Bullied
Is Your Child a Bully?
AJUSD is committed to providing a safe learning environment. Both students and parents should become familiar with the school’s rules and regulations and the consequences of inappropriate behavior. Below is a link to the AJHS student Handbook.
School is a place of learning. However, it goes beyond education. It is a place where all students work cooperatively with their peers. It is not necessary to share the same opinions as others, but is necessary to be respectful.
Reprinted with permission, November 2017.
© STOMP Out Bullying™
Additional information and resource material
Reprinted with permission. Florence Unified School District, 2017.