Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention and Response Policy

Proximity Learning Support -

 

Proximity Learning is committed to each student’s success in learning within a caring, responsive, and safe environment that is free of discrimination, violence, and bullying.  We work to ensure that all students have the opportunity and support to develop to their fullest potential and share a personal and meaningful bond with people in the school community.

Proximity Learning believe that all students have the right

  • To learn in a safe and friendly place
  • To be treated with respect
  • To receive the help and support of caring adults

 

Proximity Learning will cooperate and collaborate with district and school officials in any documentation, reporting, disciplinary action associated with any alleged misconduct including cyber bullying incidents by student enrolled in Proximity Learning courses.

 

Definition of Bullying and Cyberbullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying that takes place through an online medium, such as an online classroom, Learning Management System, message board, social media, text message or any other similar method.  Proximity Learning treats all forms of bullying equally, whether online, in person, or through any other method. 

Bullying includes behaviors that are aggressive such as:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
  • Actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

 

Bullying can take many forms, examples include:

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures
  • Cyberbullying
    • Any type of bullying that takes place using electronic technology.
    • Mean text messages or emails
    • Rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites
    • Sharing embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

 

Some forms of bullying may rise to the level of harassment, discrimination, hazing, or assault.  Proximity Learning will report such incidents to the appropriate authorities as required by law.  Under federal civil rights laws, harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct based on a protected class (race, national origin, color, sex, age, disability, religion) that is severe, pervasive, or persistent and creates a hostile environment.

 

 

Steps students should take if bullying occurs:

  • Don’t respond to and don’t forward cyberbullying messages (except to report them to your teacher or a school administrator).
  • Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.
  • Block the person who is cyberbullying.
  • Immediately report the bullying to your online teacher, in-class teacher, and to safety@proxlearn.com

 

 

Proximity Learning bullying response principles and procedures for teachers and administrators:

 

Stop Bullying on the Spot

When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.

  • Intervene immediately and request assistance from the in-class facilitator if needed.
  • Separate the kids involved, and if necessary remove students from the online classroom.
  • Make sure everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
  • Report all incidents of bullying to the Proximity Learning Director of Implementation.

 

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
  • Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
  • Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
  • Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
  • Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
  • Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.

 

Get police help or medical attention immediately if:

  • A weapon is involved.
  • There are threats of serious physical injury.
  • There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
  • There is serious bodily harm.
  • There is sexual abuse.
  • Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.

If necessary Proximity Learning teachers can contact the Director of Implementation for immediate assistance with contacting the proper authorities in serious or urgent cases.  Teachers must report any cases of harassment, assault, or other serious misconduct to the Director of Implementation.

 

Reporting Procedures

Students, teachers, parents and anyone else who witnesses or is made aware of bullying or cyberbullying should report the incident to Proximity Learning immediately.  All reports of bullying received by Proximity Learning will be taken seriously, handled confidentially, and dealt with appropriately.  There are several ways to report bullying or similar misconduct:

 

Notify the in-class facilitator

All Proximity Learning classes which take place on a school campus will be overseen by a classroom facilitator.  Students can report bullying directly to the facilitator, just as they would report any other on-campus incident to a teacher.

Notify a campus administrator

Students can notify an administrator at their school, in accordance with the schools bullying reporting procedures, the same way any other on-campus misconduct would be reported.

Notify the Proximity Learning online teacher

Student, classroom facilitators, parents, and school administrators can report incidents of bullying in Proximity Learning classes directly to their online teacher.  Students can send their teacher a private message using the Canvas Inbox, or by sending an email to their teachers Proximity Learning email address.

Notify Proximity Learning administrators

Student, classroom facilitators, parents, and school administrators can report incidents of bullying to Proximity Learning Administrators by email and by phone:

 

 

 

Proximity Learning’s bullying prevention and response policy is based on examples and best practices published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services at http://www.stopbullying.gov and other sources.

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