What do I do when my student is a victim of bullying?
The first step is to talk to the student and document available evidence to learn about the situation.
Next, you will want to find your school’s bullying policy and use that as a guide to learn how to report the bullying behavior. Becoming familiar with the school’s bullying policy will allow you to learn how the school will respond.
Then, you will want to communicate with your school, provide evidence, and provide a detailed account of what has occurred. Working collaboratively with your school and developing a plan to support your students is always best.
It is vital to continue communicating with your students, let them know that it is not their fault, and follow their lead in creating a safe plan for them. After creating a plan with the school, continue to check in with your student and the school to monitor progress.
As per state law and local school policies, teachers must follow ethical principles while interacting with students. If you suspect your student is being bullied or harassed by a teacher or school administrator, it is crucial to take immediate action.
The first step is to gather as much information about the situation as possible and document all incidents. You may also want to talk to your child and other students to learn more about the situation. Keep track of dates, times, locations, and witnesses or evidence.
Once you have sufficient evidence, scheduling a meeting with the school administrator to discuss the issue and present your findings is essential. During the meeting, you should explain how your student has been affected by the bullying or harassment and provide specific examples to support your claims. Please also share any concerns about the school’s policies or procedures for handling these situations.
If the school fails to take appropriate action, you should contact the school board or district office to report the incident and request further investigation. You may also consider contacting a lawyer or advocacy group specializing in education law to discuss your legal options. Remember, it is vital to act quickly and decisively to protect your child’s safety and well-being.
It is not uncommon for students or parents to feel hesitant about reporting bullying incidents that involve a teacher or staff, as they may fear facing retaliation or being mistreated as a result. However, it is essential to note that parents and students are protected from retaliation under the law.
If you face retaliation after reporting bullying, document the incident, including the date, time, details, and witnesses. Retaliation is unacceptable and should be reported to the school board or district office to ensure a fair resolution and accountability for those responsible.
First, ensure that that you followed the information on step 1. If your school is not responding, we have provided a chart with steps outlined below along with contact information of one of our representatives that you may contact if you need additional support.
Parents, please note that you receive a copy of the school handbook every year. If you don’t have a copy, you can ask your school for a printed one or find it on their website. LPS Policies and Regulations
It’s important to understand that the school board’s bullying policy differs from the handbook. To find your school’s bullying policy, visit your school district website and look for the student board policies (5000) Lincoln Public Schools. You can also request a copy from your school.
Cyberbullying is a complex issue in Nebraska, as the state has no specific laws dealing with it. However, there are approximately 48 states in the US that have criminal harassment and stalking statutes that also cover electronic forms of harassment. In addition, 28 states have included this standard in their state statutes that allow Federal case law to permit schools to take disciplinary action against students for off-campus behavior that causes substantial disruption to the learning environment at school. (* info from Bullying Laws and Cyberbullying Laws Across America2022)
Most school districts have specific guidelines for cyberbullying and its prevention in their technology or bullying policies. However, it can be challenging to determine a school’s policy regarding cyberbullying that happens outside of school grounds. Most schools usually respond to cyberbullying only if it disrupts the learning environment. Contacting the district administrator is recommended if you need further guidance on the school’s stance regarding bullying or cyberbullying outside the school grounds.
Guidance for schools and parents on cyberbullying can be provided at the link below:
Both federal and state laws have measures in place to protect students from being bullied based on specific characteristics, such as their race, gender, or religion. Documenting all instances of bullying and providing a detailed report to your school is critical. This documentation can help school officials better understand the situation and take appropriate action to address it.
If you feel the school has not taken adequate steps to address the bullying, follow the steps outlined in the chart below. The chart focuses on the school’s response to biased-based bullying, including filing a complaint with the school district’s Title IX coordinator and seeking additional guidance from NDE.
Taking action against bullying is crucial to ensure students feel safe and supported in their educational environment. By documenting incidents and following the appropriate steps, you can help protect yourself and others from the harmful effects of bullying.
Parents must know their school’s discipline policy before advising their students to fight back in response to a physical altercation. Fighting back can result in additional consequences from the school, such as suspension and expulsion, and can also risk the safety of other students and staff members.
Therefore, it is crucial to have preventative strategies in place to avoid physical altercations altogether. For instance, teaching students conflict resolution skills, promoting a positive school culture that discourages violence, and fostering open communication channels between students and teachers can go a long way in preventing physical altercations.
It is worth noting that every school has unique policies regarding handling physical altercations. Therefore, it is essential to identify your school’s discipline policy and understand its expectations for students. Talking to your students will enable you to advise them appropriately and ensure they know the potential consequences of fighting back. Doing so can promote a safe and secure learning environment for all students.
If you suspect that a (your) student(s) is being bullied or threatened, it is crucial to take appropriate action to ensure their safety. In situations where the bullying is illegal, or the student(s) is in immediate danger, we recommend contacting local law enforcement. Illegal bullying is when the bullying is linked to or based on a protected characteristic such as the person’s age, sex, race, or disability.
Law enforcement officials have the necessary resources and expertise to investigate and address situations of cyberbullying and other forms of harassment that involve criminal behavior. They can also guide you on the steps you can take to protect your student from such incidents. Reporting any incidents of bullying, threats, or harassment, whether in person or online, is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of your students.