​Bullying

What is Bullying? To cause physical harm to a student, damaging a student’s property or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm or actions resulting in an intimidating, threatening or abusive environment for a student.

Definition (according to FWISD Student Code of Conduct):
Bullying is defined as engaging in written or oral expression or physical conduct that Fort Worth ISO determines:
To have the effect of physically harming a student damaging a student's property or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or of damage to the student's property; or
To be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment for a student.

FWISD Board Policy: Student Welfare Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. FFH (Local): The District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law. The District prohibits dating violence, as defined by this policy. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of District policy. Discrimination against a student is defined as conduct directed at a student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or on any other basis prohibited by law, that adversely affects the student. Prohibited harassment of a student is defined as physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct based on the student's race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct: Affects a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student's academic performance; or Otherwise adversely affects the student's educational opportunities. Prohibited harassment includes dating violence as defined by this policy.

Examples of prohibited harassment may include offensive or derogatory language directed at another person's religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, gender identity, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; display of graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.

Types of Bullying:
The different types of bullying include:
• Physical- harm to another's body or property
• Threatened physical harm
• Threatening gestures
• Pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, tripping
• Extortion
• Hair pulling and spitting
• Destroying or defacing property
• Theft
• Sexual assault
• Arson
• Rape
• Homicide
• Emotional- harm to another's self-concept
• Insulting gestures and remarks
• Name calling and teasing
• Insulting remarks related to race, ethnic, religious or sexual orientation comments
• Harassing phone calls, texts or emails
• Threatens in order to secure silence
• Relational- harm to another through damage to relationships, friendships or group inclusion
• Gossiping and starting/spreading rumors
• Playing mean tricks
• Ruining reputation
• Undermining relationships
• Passively not including in groups
• Exclusion or ostracizing
• Public humiliation
Source: School Bullying: Tools for Avoiding Harm and Liability

Components of an Effective Bullying Prevention Program:
• Establish committee to coordinate bullying prevention activities and raise student awareness about bullying activities
• Conduct a survey of your students or host focus groups
• Establish clear policy prohibiting bullying and then communicate it to students, staff and parents
• Provide close and adequate supervision where bullying is likely to occur
• Train staff
• Integrate bullying lessons and activities in the curriculum
• Empower bystanders to support victims
• Involve parents and guardians in your effort
• Pay special attention to students at risk of being bullied
• Take reports of bullying seriously and act
• Respond to incidents with both discipline and guidance strategies. Source: The ABC's of Bullying Prevention

Prevention Strategies:
Foster a school climate of caring and cooperation by:
• Not allowing sarcasm in classroom
• Incorporating diversity and uniqueness into classroom lessons
• Discuss bullying in your classroom and how that behavior is not going to be tolerated
• Provide opportunities to recognize kind behavior
• Role play situations with students- help them prepare for potential situations
• Encourage them to support each other
• Encourage students to tell an adult if they are bullied
• Set classroom rules that include no bullying behaviors and consistently enforce them
• Closely monitor students at-risk of being bullied (new to school, those who have a characteristic
that stands out, special education students and quiet- more shy students
• Provide opportunities for the least engaged students to participate in activities
• Now the school policy on bullying and share with students
• Provide opportunities where all students are included- avoid "team choosing" type activities
• Don't minimize behaviors or the feelings of the victim
• Actively supervise hallways and playgrounds- don't use that time to catch up with other teachers
• Encourage bystanders to report behaviors
• Identify patterns of student behavior
• Provide activities during recess
• Empower bystanders to respond in a positive manner
• Provide supervision in potential bullying areas- ask your students where actions are taking place
in your building


Intervention Strategies:
• Act quickly as soon as you see or hear of a situation and inform the administrator
• Name the behavior
• Document all actions related to the incident using FWISD forms
• Give the bully an assignment related to research bullying without the aid of technology
• Be aware or restrict the unsupervised movement of the bully within the building
• Contact parents and ask them for their help in addressing behaviors; keep them informed
• Create safety plan for victim
• Monitor both parties on regular basis:
• Check-in with teachers and staff for updates
• Periodically look at absences, grades, etc.
• Provide appropriates consequences following FWISD Student Code of Conduct
• Provide counseling for the victim and bully
• Conduct violence risk assessment if appropriate
• Conduct suicide risk assessment if appropriate

SOURCE: FORT WORTH ISD “IT’S NOT OKAY” PROGRAM – BULLYING: http://www.fwisd.org/Page/2158