Koelsch Citizenship Expectations

For a behavior to be considered bullying, it must have three elements:

It must be intended to cause harm
It must be repetitive
A difference of power (or perception of)- physical, social, or other usually exists between the bully and the target

Bullying is a subset of aggression that is typically categorized as physical, verbal, or relational.
Physical bullying includes behaviors such as hitting, kicking, or any form of overt violence toward another student.
Verbal bullying includes name calling, teasing, and verbal threats.

Relational bullying is a form of social isolation that includes behaviors such as gossiping, intentionally leaving students out of activities, spreading rumors, and other measures that seek to change peer groups.  

Schools typically give physical bullying more attention and priority (e.g., zero tolerance policies), possibly because it is more overt.

Targets of bullying can suffer a wide variety of negative side effects including:  a variety of physical symptoms, poor social adjustment, psychological distress, social isolation, truancy, suicidal feelings/attempts, depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, and excessive school absences.  

Experts in the field, have found certain interventions for bullying  completely ineffective.  Some of those approaches include teaching the targets to stand up to a bully, peer mediation, conflict resolution, “bully groups”, and ignoring the bullying.  

Current recommendations for bully prevention and intervention include:  integrate bullying response into an effective discipline program; create a secure reporting process; improve the quality of supervision (“active line of sight” at recess, transitions, bathroom, lunch room, bus, etc.); taking on foul language (considered a “disinhibitor”….allows escalating behaviors); spending some regular class time on bully prevention and peer relationships; 
and promoting systemic equality (the same rules for all).  

Handling Disclosures of Bullying

If a student discloses bullying during a lesson, remain calm.  Do not panic or express shock.  Acknowledge the student’s disclosure and continue the lesson.  For example, say:  That sounds like it was upsetting.  Let’s talk more about it later or I’d like to talk with you more about that later. 

As soon as possible after the lesson, meet and speak privately with the student.  Use the Four-A Response Process and Coaching Process as appropriate.

The Four-A Response Process

Use the following process when a student reports bullying:

1.  Affirm the student’s feelings.

You were right to talk to an adult.

I’m glad you asked for help with this.

2.  Ask questions.

Tell me more about what happened

Use our bully definition to sort it out (happened before?)

Did anyone else see/hear what happened?  (witnesses)

    3.  Assess the student’s safety.

    Determine what the student needs in order to be safe now.

    4.  Act 
    Problem solve with student to prevent future issues

    Tell student what will happen next

    Provide consequences for regular rule violations/ behavior problems (just as you always have)

    Refer to School Counselor or Principal if its determined bullying did happen 

    Adapted from  on line resources