Bullying and Harassment
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School Safety Center

Bullying and Harassment (HIB) Toolkit

The 2010 Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2801, a Washington State law which prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) in our schools.

RCW 28A.300.285 defines harassment, intimidation or bullying as any intentionally written message or image—including those that are electronically transmitted—verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property.
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education.
  • Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Schools are required to take action if students report they are being bullied. Since August 2011, each school district has been required to adopt the model Washington anti-bullying policy and procedure.

The Washington HIB Prevention and Intervention Toolkit provides background information, best practice materials for program planning, classroom implementation, staff training, and additional resources for HIB prevention and intervention for districts, schools, students, families and others across Washington.


+ Anti-HIB Work Group

The Washington State legislature has established the Anti-HIB Work Group to help maintain focus and attention on, and to monitor progress of implementation of harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) prevention and intervention efforts. Follow the link for information on the Work Group information and meetings.


+ Bullying - Definitions

Washington State legislation speaks to harassment, intimidation and bullying. That definition, as well as definitions for each of the related terms, is given here.

Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying in Washington: “Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any intentionally written message or image—including those that are electronically transmitted—verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property or
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education or
  • Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment or
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Within that definition:
Bullying – negative actions which are intentional, repeated, negative, show a lack of empathy, and a power imbalance

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: A person is being bullied when he/she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons. Negative action is when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways. Note that bullying is both overt and covert behaviors.

Center for Disease Control defines bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. A young person can be a perpetrator, a victim, or both (also known as "bully/victim"). Bullying can occur in-person and through technology. Electronic aggression or cyber-bullying is bullying that happens through email, chat rooms, instant message, a website, text message, or social media.

Stopbullying.gov: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children 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.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • 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.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Intimidation - implied or overt threats of physical violence - WAC 495A-121-011

Harassment - any malicious act, which causes harm to any person's physical or mental well being – WAC 495A121-011

    Discriminatory harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Equity Book: p.32
    Malicious harassment – threat to harm (often based on protected category)
    Sexual harassment - unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct directed at person because of his/her sex where:
    (a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's academic standing or employment; or
    (b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions or employment affecting such individual; or
    (c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment. WAC 495A-121-011

Hazing - any method of initiation into a student organization or living group… that causes, or is likely to cause bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm...

Additional Information




+ Data

The state gathers information and data in HIB across the state from a variety of sources.


+ District-Created Resources on Bullying , Harassment and Intimidation

Districts are creating a variety of tools and resources to help address bullying, harassment and intimidation across Washington. They are being made available for others to access and adapt:



+ Investigating HIB

Incidents of of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation, or bullying which are reported to school or district staff require an investigation. Investigation guidance is provided here.


+ Legislation & Policies

The following is a limited list of laws and policies. It is not exhaustive, but rather identified several of laws and policies which are pertinent to cyberbullying and digital/Internet safety. Please check with state and local agencies for laws and policies in your area.
State by State:

Federal: Washington:


+ Model Policies and Procedures

Substitute House Bill 2801 called for OSPI to create a model policy and procedures on harassment, intimidation and bullying. OSPI submitted the following policy and procedure to the Legislature on December 1, 2010. Districts were required to adopt or amend their policy and procedures to, at a minimum, incorporate these models by August 1, 2011:


+ Organizations and Resources

There are several organizations which provide help and resources on bullying prevention and intervention.

Project Against Bullying: A project run by students for students to raise awareness of the prevalence of bullying in schools globally through community-based research.

The Pacer Institute: PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages and educates communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant and interactive resources.

Stopbullying.gov: provides information from various government agencies on bullying, cyberbullying, who is at risk, and how to prevent and respond to bullying.

Committee for Children: Provides many resources for bullying prevention. This site can guide the selection of a bullying prevention program by the bullying prevention committee.

Cyberbullying Research Center: The Center provides up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

Girls Study Group: (2008) Understanding and Responding to Girls' Delinquency (PDF): An examination from the U.S. Department of Justice on the involvement of girls in violent activity and the contexts in which girls engage in violent behavior.

International Bullying Prevention Association: The IBPA supports and enhances quality research based bullying prevention principles and practices to achieve a safe school climate, healthy work environment, good citizenship and civic responsibility.

National School Safety Center: Established by presidential directive, the national center is an advocate for safe, secure and peaceful schools.

The Office of the Education Ombudsman provides assistance to resolve complaints, disputes, and problems between families and elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning.

Restorative Practice: To help improve communication, develop a sense of community, manage discussions and disagreements, challenge inappropriate behaviors, resolve conflicts, and handle disciplinary issues.

Safe & Supportive Schools: Follow the Products and Tools link for bullying training toolkits during staff meetings, training events and conferences.

STRYVE: Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere: A national initiative, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which takes a public health approach to preventing youth violence before it starts.

Tribes: Tribes Learning Communities is a research-based process that creates a culture that maximizes learning and human development


+ Parent/Family Resources

All the resources listed throughout this site are available to families. Families may be especially interested in using the Sample HIB Incident Reporting Form, and the Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying – Targeted Student Safety Plan Template. They may also want to check the list of Compliance Officers for their district’s HIB contact person.

The following is a list of additional resources and sites specifically for parents and families.


+ Planning & Implementation

The planning tools provided here are meant to help districts and schools identify curriculum and best practices to address harassment, intimidation and bullying, improve school climate, create respectful learning environments, and train staff and students in de-escalation and intervention techniques.

Although they can be used separately and independently, a suggested sequence of use is:


+ Program and Curriculum Resources

The following are links to information on bullying prevention and intervention background, educator and parent resources and programs.

Bullying Prevention Resources (PDF)

Committee for Children: Provides many resources for bullying prevention. This site can guide the selection of a bullying prevention program by the bullying prevention committee.

Community Matters: Programs and services organized around a whole-school framework to improve school climate and reduce bullying related incidents.

Let’s Get Real: Young people tell their stories in their own words–and the results are heartbreaking, shocking, inspiring and poignant.

The Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center: MARC provides academic-based, high-quality, free or low cost programs, research and resources for education, communities and families, nationwide.

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program - A comprehensive, school-wide program designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, junior high or high schools.

Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center: Unites, engages and educates communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant and interactive resources.

Peaceful Playgrounds: The purpose is to introduce children and school staff to the many choices of activities available on playgrounds and field areas

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: A decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students.

Project Adventure: The Peaceable Playground Program was developed by Project Adventure to address aggressive play at recess.

Rachel’s Challenge: A series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and ally feelings of isolation and despair.

Safe & Civil Schools: A series of materials and services that schools and districts can use to implement Positive Behavior Support solutions.

Seattle MS Cyberbullying Curriculum: Lessons can be used alone, but contain materials designed to coordinate with and fit into ongoing Olweus Bullying Prevention programs.

StopBullying.gov: Provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.

Teaching Tolerance: A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools.


+ Training Materials

The following PowerPoint presentations are provided to assist districts with the harassment, intimidation and bullying training requirements of RCW 28A.300.285. Several of the materials in other sections of this Toolkit can also be used to supplement trainings.

 

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