BULLYING: INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE
The Baldwin County Public School System is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which all members of the school community are treated with respect. Consequently, bullying, violence, and threats of violence, and intimidation are prohibited and constitute unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated. In an effort to ensure that no student is subjected to bullying, violence, threats of violence, or intimidation by any other student, the Baldwin County Board of Education passed the Jamari Terrell Williams Student Bullying Policy. As stipulated in the policy, the Baldwin County Public School System is opposed to and prohibits, without qualification, unlawful bullying based on real or perceived race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
The policy spells out the behavior the school system expects. It reads: “Students are expected to treat other students with courtesy, respect, and dignity, and to comply with the Student Code of Conduct. Students are expected and required (1) to comply with the requirements of law, policy, regulation, and rules prohibiting bullying, violence, or intimidation; (2) to refrain from inflicting or threatening to inflict violence, injury, or damage to the person or property of another student; and (3) to refrain from placing another student in fear of being subjected to violence, injury, or damage when such actions or threats are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any personal characteristic of the student that is identified in this policy.”
To constitute bullying, the policy says a continuous pattern of intentional behavior may include the following:
Place a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
Have the effect of substantially interfering with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of a student
Have the effect of substantially disrupting or interfering with the orderly operation of the school;
Have the effect of creating a hostile environment in the school, on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function;
Have the effect of being sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.
In addition, the policy notes that this behavior may occur on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function including, but not limited to, cyberbullying or written, electronic, verbal, or physical actions.
The policy further states that those students who bully, intimidate, or who conduct acts of violence or even threaten violence will be subject to disciplinary consequences and sanctions if the actions involve certain characteristics that include the student’s race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The policy spells out the investigation procedure a principal or his/her designee will use, and it also warns of acts of reprisal or retaliation against any student who has reported a violation.
If anyone wants to report bullying, the official Bullying Complaint Form for the Baldwin County Public School System may be found in the principals’ office and/or the counselors’ office. In addition, the form is available on the school system’s website.
For further review, both the Jamari Terrell Williams Student Bullying Prevention Act signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey and the Baldwin County School System’s Bullying Policy may be read in their entirety.
For the 2019-20 school year, the Baldwin County Public School System’s Counseling/Intervention Department, in collaboration with several community agencies throughout Baldwin County, hosted a Shatter the Silence event designed to bring an awareness about the negative consequences of bullying. Ms. Monique Davis, the mother of the student for whom the state of Alabama’s bullying law is named after, served as the featured keynote speaker for this event. Please click here for more details. http://www.vimeo.com/bcbe
Common Forms of Bullying
Common Forms of Bullying (Please note that this is not intended to constitute an exhaustive list) Verbal Bullying • Teasing • Name-calling • Inappropriate sexual comments • Taunting • Threatening to cause harm • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student Social Bullying • Exclusion—intentionally excluding a student • Telling other students not to be friends with someone • Spreading rumors about someone • Embarrassing someone in public • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student Physical Bullying • Hitting/kicking/pinching • Spitting • Tripping/pushing • Taking or breaking someone’s things • Making mean or rude hand gestures • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student Cyberbullying • Intimidating text messages or e-mails • Rumors by e-mail or social networking sites • Embarrassing pictures and videos • Trolling • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student Helpful resources: Best Practices in Bullying Prevention found at http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov