Information about bullying
Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression , expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the District and that:
- Has the effect or will 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
- Is sufficiently severe, persistent and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.
This conduct is considered bullying if it:
- Exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator and the student victim through written or verbal expression or physical conduct; and
- Interferes with a student's education or substantially disrupts the operation of a school.
[Act of June 17, 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., H.B. 1942, § 7 (to be codified as Texas Education Code § 37.0832)]
Bullying of a student may include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name calling, rumor spreading, or ostracism.
The District prohibits retaliation of a student or District employee against any person who in good faith makes a report of bullying, serves as a witness, or participates in an investigation. Examples of retaliation may include threats, rumor spreading, ostracism, assault, destruction of property, unjustified punishments, or unwarranted grade reductions. Unlawful retaliation does not include petty slights or annoyances.
Individuals Involved in Bullying
Most individuals have some type of contact with bullying. The individuals involved in bullying possess some of the following characteristics:
- Bully: displays power in some form (size, popularity, athleticism, knowledge, number, etc.), thrives on feelings of dominance, lacks empathy, uses blame, does not accept responsibility, craves attention, and may have a small network of friends.
- Victim: may lack social and/or assertiveness skills, may be passive, may experience feelings leading to the inability to concentrate, may lose interest in school, and may consider suicide or violence toward others.
- Bystander: has feelings of empathy yet seldom steps forward, feels powerless to defend the victim, behaves in a way to prevent becoming a victim him/herself, may begin to see bullying as the "norm," may feel guilt for not intervening, can successfully prevent or intervene if given instruction for intervention strategies.
Any student who believes that he/she has experienced bullying or believes that another student has experienced bullying should immediately report the alleged acts to a teacher, counselor, administrator, or other District employee.
Any District employee who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced bullying shall immediately notify the principal or designee.
- Report: A report may be made orally or in writing. The principal or designee shall reduce any oral reports to written form. Reports of bullying shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act. A failure to immediately report may impair the District's ability to investigate and address the prohibited conduct. To access the online Complaint Form, click the link to the right.
- False Claims: A student who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a District investigation regarding bullying shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
- Investigation: The principal or designee shall conduct an appropriate investigation based on the allegations in the report and take interim action to prevent bullying during the course of the investigation. A final, written report shall include a determination of whether bullying occurred, and if so, whether the victim used reasonable self-defense. A copy of the report shall be sent to the Superintendent. If an incident of bullying is confirmed, the principal or designee shall promptly notify the parents of the victim and of the student who engaged in bullying.
- Outcomes: If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying occurred, the District shall promptly respond by taking disciplinary action in accordance with the District's Student Code of Conduct. A student who used reasonable self-defense in response to bullying shall not be subject to disciplinary action. A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal through FNG(LOCAL), beginning at the appropriate level.
For additional information, consult the Snook ISD Student Handbook or FFI(LOCAL) policy.