Bullying Prevention

 

Worcester County Public Schools and the Board of Education are committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and respectful educational environment where the worth and dignity of individuals are valued and their safety and rights are protected. Behaviors that compromise this environment, interfere with school operations, or are otherwise contrary to the basic mission of our public schools will not be tolerated.

The school system takes a proactive approach to educating students and staff on what bullying is, what it looks like, and what should be done if it is suspected. There are bullying prevention programs at each of our schools; these comprehensive programs include awareness, prevention, and early intervention.

At the beginning of each school year, students receive a brochure which helps educate them on what constitutes bullying, harassment, or intimidation and explains what they should do if they believe they are being bullied. Administrators, school counselors, teachers, and staff also reinforce bullying awareness and prevention during orientation sessions at the start of each school year and throughout the school year. To review the brochure, please click on the link: Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation.

Our policy on bullying can be reviewed by clicking on the link: Policy IV-C-11.

Several comprehensive programs also support bullying prevention. Character Education programs exist at each of our 14 schools, reinforcing positive character traits and decisions, such as demonstrating fairness and respect to all individuals. Eleven (11) of our 14 schools are Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Schools which emphasize and reward good choices. In fact, nine (9) of our 11 PBIS schools earned a GOLD designation, the highest honor. We also have Peer Mediation at several schools which focuses on students supporting students and respectful conflict resolution.

Every year, we help gauge school climate through the Parent Survey. In the 2014 Parent Survey, 64 percent of our students' parents participated in the annual survey. In the area of "Safe/Orderly Environment," parents gave a favorability rating of 98 percent, with 58 percent of the respondents selecting "Excellent" when evaluating this survey item.

Bullying, harassment, or intimidation exists when there is a sufficiently severe action or persistent, pervasive pattern of actions or statements, directed at an identifiable individual or group.

Students who believe that they have been subject to bullying, harassment, or intimidation or who have knowledge of employees or students who may be engaging in bullying, harassment, or intimidation should immediately report the problem to a teacher, counselor, or school administrator.

In addition, if a student believes that he/she is being bullied, harassed, or intimidated, the student should click on the reporting form below, print the form, complete the form, and immediately return the form to the student's principal. An investigation will be conducted.

To report a suspected case of bullying, please click on the form: Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form.