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Bullying Reporting and Actions

posted Apr 8, 2013, 5:32 AM by Forrest Ransdell
A question was posted on our site by the parent of a seventh grader asking if we are doing anything for kids being bullied.  Since this was a general question not related to a specific student, we thought a bit of information here might be helpful to all.  Middle School at Parkside takes issues of harassment and bullying very seriously.  The district policy in place follows state law and we have developed a procedure to assess and deal with any reported issues.  When each report is taken the situation is assessed by the administrator.  The law requires an determination be made as to whether bullying is taking place or there is another issue.  We keep records of each of these reports in order to determine if a pattern exists or develops.  No matter the finding, work is done to deal with the reported issue.  Responses may include, referral to guidance for interpersonal issues, parental contact, as well as disciplinary consequences when justified.  One frustrating piece of this process is the protection accorded to all involved regarding the confidential nature of these issues.  We understand the reporting party wishes to know the outcome (consequences).  We are prevented from sharing this by federal law.  We always want to stress the best way to know if the process has been successful is if the behavior stops.  

The key to this issue is knowledge.  In most cases a school can only respond to issues when they are reported.  There remains a reluctance to report issues in many cases for a variety of reasons,   Please encourage your child to report anything that is said or done to them (or if they observe something)  that makes them feel uncomfortable.  Reinforce with him or her that it is not "snitching" to report when something is wrong.  It is, in fact, the responsible thing to do.  While we can not promise total elimination of every little thing that may make someone uncomfortable if students report issues to us we can all work together to create a culture for everyone of respect and responsibility.  We thank whom ever sent in the initial question a