What is Bullying?
What is bullying? At first glance, many people might think this behavior is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. While that can still be considered bullying today, parents need to know that bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than that typical stereotype. For example, harmful bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on the Internet, causing emotional damage. Let’s consider a few definitions of bullying. Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that an act is defined as bullying when:
- The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally. Bullying can be very overt, such as fighting, hitting or name calling, or it can be covert, such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose.
- It is intentional, meaning the act is done willfully, knowingly and with deliberation.
- The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves.
- Bullying can be circumstantial or chronic.
- It might be the result of a situation, such as being the new student at school, or it might be behavior that has been directed at the individual for a long period of time.
At Dodge City Middle School we take bullying seriously. Over the years we have built into our school culture the importance of caring for one another and that respect is the key to stopping bullying behavior. We have worked hard to establish an effective bully prevention program through the development of practices that prohibits harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student. The goals of these practices include a unified effort to help support the exclusion of bullying and developing a school climate that upholds positive interaction between peers.
Bully Prevention Survey
Every two years we conduct an assessment to determine what we need to assess both community and student perceptions of current bullying problems. The information gained through the survey useful when obtaining post data to insure the effectiveness of the bully prevention program. The school Site Council and DCMS professionals review the data to determine what action steps are needed to continue to improve a safe school climate. This year we will be again conducting a school bulling survey during parent teacher conferences. We are asking that both parents and students take time while they are at school to participate in this survey.
Bully Incident Reporting
One additional feature that we will be implementing during the month of October is an online bully reporting system. Students at DCMS will be able to refer a bulling situation to the school counselor using an online form. The form is secure and only the school counselor will receive information submitted by a DCMS student. To use the form the student will need to describe the bullying situation, and who is involved. To verify that the student is a DCMS student they will also need to include their school g-mail account.
Bullying Incident TIP LINE
You have accessed the D.C.M.S. Bully Prevention Tip Line. This is an anonymous online report form that can be used by D.C.M.S. students and parents. The Tip Line can also be used to report drug usage, fighting, personal safety issues, threat, vandalism, weapons, etc.
Any unauthorized use of this form or anyone caught falsifying information will be reported. The form is a secured and only school officials will receive the information reported by a DCMS student or parent.
To confirm that you are a DCMS student, you will need to include your school g-mail account and password prior to submitting a referral. Information entered into the Bully Incident Report form will need to include the bullying situation, name of victim, witnesses and who is involved. Members of the community at large can also submit a report to the Tip Line.
All reports are kept confidential and immediate responses are activated once a report is received.