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What is bullying?

Bullying is defined as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. The term “bullying” shall include “cyber-bullying.” It is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by a student, adult or group that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and may involve but is not limited to:

• teasing

• social exclusion

• threat

• intimidation

• stalking

• physical violence

• theft

• sexual, religious, and racial harassment

• public humiliation

• destruction of property

What is harassment?

Harassment involves any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing act or gesture; use of data or electronic communication; or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee which places a student or school board employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; has the effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school or activity.

Bullying components can be defined in the acronym RIP:

• Repeated – occurs more than once

• Imbalance of Power– when a student, adult, or group is older, larger, or perceived to be smarter and/or more popular than the other and unfairly takes advantage of the unlevel playing field

• Purposeful – deliberate goal or intent