Definition of Bullying in law
Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010 legislation:
The repeated use by one or more students [aggressor(s)] of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
(i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target's property;
(ii) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself or of damage to his/her property;
(iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
(iv) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or
(v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of requirements related to this law, bullying shall include cyber-bullying.
See section 5 of the legislation for more details on the definition of cyber-bullying and more.
Lack of safety
Is one of the top concerns of young people, and bullying is a
real and constant threat. A child's emotional development is just as
important, if not more so, than academic development. In fact, a safe,
healthy emotional environment is essential to academic growth and
Humiliation, fear, anxiety and depression are the constant companions of a child that is bullied. It can lead to harmful, shocking and unexpected behavior from an otherwise shy or timid child.
Victims feel ashamed and tend to view themselves as failures. They are more prone to stress related illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches. In extreme cases, the victim of a bully can experience sever depression and entertain thoughts of suicide.
When the bully targets a student because of the student's disability, that is a civil rights violation (akin to sexual harassment in the workplace).
Bullies! Every classroom has at least
one. Whose name comes to mind
when you hear the word
"bully"? Who was the kid who could upset your day
with his verbal, physical, or
emotional insults? Most adults who were
bullied remember such
childhood events vividly.
Bullying among elementary school children and teenagers is a growing problem in many schools in the United States. It's happening in urban,
suburban, and rural schools. Kids who have learning disabilities (LD)
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) Kid a Victim?
Is your child teased and tormented at school? How to find out the truth and help your child prevent further bullying.
Being bullied or bullying is not just a part of growing up! Use this information to help you better understand bullying.
Bullying among elementary school children and teenagers
is a growing problem in many schools. Itís happening in urban, suburban and
rural schools. Children who have learning or other disabilities seem to be
especially prone to bullying. While bullying isnít new, professionals today have
a new level of understanding of the problem. Bullying is a learned behavior that
can be prevented! Effective bullying prevention programs are being used in many
school systems throughout New Mexico. Itís important for parents, students,
teachers and school administrators to understand and learn to manage bullying
that occurs at school and elsewhere.
. . .
For the complete article:
School Bullying: A Closer Look and Possible Interventions (43 pages)
A Report of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholarsģ program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (was refer to as MA DOE, now DESE):
Bullying Prevention and Intervention Resources
Safe & Drug Free Schools info
The Attorney General's Disability Rights Project will also come into
schools to speak to staff if there is bullying or harrassment based on
disability. There is a reference to G.L. C. 265 sec 43A regarding criminal harassment.
Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime, A Guide for Schools (January, 1999)
US DOE OCR SITE, put out as a joint publication by the U. S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
National Association of Attorneys General Endorsed by the National School Boards Association.
A threat to kill should be a police and District Attorney's Office (DA's) matter, no question about it, and a school matter as well, but it is against the law to threated to kill someone. Contact the OCR office.
Your District Attorney's Office (DA's) office (county based, Middlesex County,) should have a Bullying/School Programs department.
They are also funded to provide FREE workshops (great for a PAC topic).
You can consider asking your high school adjustment counselor for leads and resoures.
You can suggest this topic to your PTA/PTG/PTO as a parent workshop because bullying is prevalent and it parents need to have their awareness heightened on this issue. Not only about what happens to targets, but what happens to unchecked bullies.
up for your child. Don't diminish their concerns over a teacher's
attitude or behavior. You have the right to question school
authorities, and you owe it to your child to do so.
suspect a teacher is bullying your child, request a meeting with the
Before your meeting, get as many details as possible from your child.
Speak to other parents to see if their child has voiced any complaints or observed mistreatment of your child.
Take notes and prepare yourself. When you speak to the teacher or administrator, try to keep calm, but make sure you get answers.
If your concerns are dismissed without resolution, take it a step further.
Document your efforts, meet with the superintendent, write an article for the newspaper, or attend a PTO or school board meeting to voice your concerns.
Our children have enough to deal with; a bully for a teacher shouldn't be one of their problems.
article: When the teacher is the bully, Bullying has become a national issue. But what do you do if the school bully is your child's teacher?
Schools Where Everyone Belongs:
Practical Strategies for
by Stan Davis.
Based on research by Olweus, Davis's book discusses practical programs for schools to deal with bullying. He lays out the step very clearly, and stresses that bullying is not the fault of the victim and needs to be dealt with systematically by schools. You can see samples from the book at his site:
Massachusetts Bullying and Cyberbullying books and links:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as part of the HRSA's;
Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now! campaign.
PACER Center's new innovative curriculum, "Is Your Child a Target of Bullying? Intervention Strategies for Parents of Children with Disabilities," addresses these and other types of bullying. An engaging and superbly produced resource, the curriculum is meant for professionals and parent leaders to present to parents at meetings, workshops, trainings, and myriad other occasions.