District 301 is serious about addressing any form of bullying as described by the State of Illinois’ bullying policy description. If you have any questions about bullying in our school system, please contact the building administrator at your child’s attendance center. Click here to view Board Policy on Bullying.
District 301 Bullying Intervention Plan:
The General Assembly passed Public Act 95-0349, which deals with bullying prevention education.
This bill requires each school district to create, maintain and file a policy on bullying with the State Board of Education beginning 180 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act. The bill was signed by the Governor on August 23, 2007. Each school district must communicate its policy on bullying to its students and their parent or guardian on an annual basis. The policy must be updated and then filed every two years with ISBE.
A school board is required to have a student discipline policy that includes provisions to address students who have demonstrated behaviors that put them at risk for aggressive behaviors, “including without limitations, bullying as defined in the policy”. The policy must include procedures for notifying parents or legal guardians and early intervention procedures based on available community based and district resources.
INTIMIDATION / HARASSMENT / TAUNTING / BULLYING / CYBERBULLYING: repeated aggression in which a student or group of students physically or psychologically (mentally) harasses a victim.
a. The action could include but is not limited to hitting, pushing, kicking, tripping, destroying things, name-calling, ridiculing, verbal threats, gossip, rumors, isolating others, and making sexual comments or gestures.
b. This policy prohibits any person from harassing or intimidating a student based upon a student’s sex, color, race, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or other protected group status.
c. Inappropriate Written / Electronic Materials:
i. Accessing and/or distributing at school any written or electronic material, including material from the Internet that will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities.
ii. Creating and/or distributing written or electronic material, including Internet material and blogs, that causes substantial disruption to school operation or interferes with the rights of other students or staff members.
Listed above are examples of unacceptable behaviors, which may result in major disciplinary consequences. The prohibition of the offenses listed above pertains in school, on school property, on school buses, at any school-related activities, and to students traveling to and from school. Disciplinary actions can be taken on behaviors that take place off of school grounds when the behavior has an effect on the educational process. Please be advised that students who are guilty of chronic misbehavior may be subject to more severe disciplinary consequences than those guilty of an isolated, single event.
Creating a safe, equitable and non-hostile learning environment is a priority for D301. As a district, we aim to prevent instances of bullying before they occur through explicit teaching of school/classroom expectations (including Digital Citizenship), building-level character committees, reinforcement and recognition of positive student behavior, and embedded Social-Emotional Learning instruction aligned with the Illinois State Board of Education Social Emotional Learning Standards delivered through classroom instruction, elementary Social Skills Class (Kindergarten-1st grade) and the Health Curriculum. Additionally, students can access social-emotional support through school social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors and nurses as part of the district’s continuum of services. While each school addresses the issue of bullying prevention through slightly different activities and instructional strategies, it is important to note that all schools address Social Emotional Learning (SEL) through their School Improvement Plans (SIP) and that prevention education is delivered in a developmentally appropriate manner. Additionally, each school in the district provides prevention education through the following practices:
Explicit Teaching and Reinforcement of School and Classroom Expectations
At the beginning of each school year, students at all grade levels receive direct instruction on both schoolwide and classroom behavior expectations linked to the character traits of Responsibility, Respect, Citizenship, Caring, Accepting, Honesty, Perseverance, and Fairness. School and classroom expectations are visually posted, reviewed regularly and reinforced through positive recognition and rewards. Teaching, reviewing and reinforcing expectations is more effective than an individual lesson or stand-alone curriculum because these practices positively change school climate/culture, which reduces bullying/cyberbullying incidents while teaching all students skills to get their social-emotional needs met without resorting to bullying/cyberbullying (Olweus, 2003). Research also shows that this approach increases the likelihood that students who witness bullying/cyberbullying will act as upstanders and report the incident (Ross & Horner, 2010).
Building Character Committees
Character Committees include general education and special education teacher representatives, social worker(s), psychologist, counselor(s) and administrators. Some Character Committees also include student and parent representatives. Character Committees work collaboratively to develop school and classroom instruction for character education based on identified character traits. They also support planning of school events and activities such as school assemblies focused on school/classroom expectations and award/recognition programs for students.
Health Curriculum and Elementary Social Skills Curriculum (K-1st Grade)
A major component of the district Health Curriculum is decision making and bullying prevention. During Health, students openly discuss problems related to bullying in society, locally in the district and online. Students are given warning signs of bullying and coping skills on how to handle bullying should they witness or experience bullying/cyberbullying situations. This includes review of bullying scenarios related to self and others as well as roles students may play in a bullying situation. Bullying Prevention education seeks to empower all students including those who may witness bullying/cyberbullying situations by teaching them steps to respond to the incident to prevent bullying behavior from recurring.
Bullying Prevention education identifies the roles of students involved in a bullying/cyberbullying situation, teaches students how to report bullying/cyberbullying they’ve experienced or witnessed and focuses on the “Stop, Walk, Talk” method. This approach encourages students to say “Stop” if they are targeted and/or witness a bullying situation, walk away from the situation as soon as possible and immediately talk with an adult about what they experienced or observed. Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying/cyberbullying or suspected bullying/cyberbullying verbally, in writing or through the 301 CARES School Safety Electronic Tip Line.
Building Level Student Service Teams
Social-Emotional Student Service Teams, which include building administrators, social workers, psychologists and counselors are available at each building to support teaching, reteaching, review and reinforcement of explicit school-wide and classroom behavioral expectations. These staff members are also available to talk with students about situations related to bullying/cyberbullying as needed.
Once a bullying/cyberbullying incident or suspected incident is reported verbally, in writing or through the 301 CARES School Safety Electronic Tip Line an investigation by either the school administration and/or complaint manager will occur. The focus of the investigation is to determine if the bullying/cyberbullying report is founded or unfounded using the following process:
- Interview victim to determine how the bullying/perceived bullying is affecting the victim psychologically, physically, socially and academically.
- Get the victim’s version of the incident(s) and a list of possible witnesses as well as information on the type of bullying (psychological or physical), number of incidents, the time of the incident(s), and the location of the incident(s).
- Provide parents/guardians of both the victim and alleged student(s) identified as perpetrating the bullying/cyberbullying with communication that an investigation is occurring.
- Meet with the student(s) identified as perpetrating the bullying/cyberbullying.
- Use information gathered from victim, witnesses and students identified as exhibiting bullying behavior to determine if the claim is founded or unfounded and the severity of the bullying event.
Parents/guardians of both the victim of bullying and student(s) identified as exhibiting bullying behavior will receive communication from building administration and/or the complaint manager following the investigation to discuss next steps for both parties commensurate with the district’s board policy on bullying. This includes but is not limited to:
- Development and implementation of a separation plan aimed to prevent interactions between the victim and student(s) identified as exhibiting bullying behavior.
- Restorative practices aimed to repair the harm caused by the bullying/cyberbullying incident.
- Counseling or social work support for the victim and/or student(s) identified as exhibiting the bullying behavior.