Harrassment, Intimidation & Bullying
Guidance for Parents on the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act
HIB Incident Reporting form
Conflict vs. Bullying
Conflict and bullying are very different. Some behaviors that may appear to be bullying, such as name calling, threats, harsh words and language, or other negative conduct, may be part of a conflict between or among students. The nature of the relationship dynamic determines whether specific behaviors may be bullying. Conflicts and bullying can both interrupt the school day, damage property, and cause emotional or physical distress or injuries to the people involved. Both conflict and bullying will be addressed, but only behavior that has the potential to meet the criteria for bullying will be investigated via a HIB case.
Conflict tends to involve individuals or groups who are on essentially equal ground, sometimes among friends or former friends or romantic partners. Words and actions may have been part of a back-and-forth disagreement that escalated to a degree that it became increasingly upsetting to one or more person involved. Conflict that has escalated will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and may include (but is not limited to) counseling, restorative practices or mediation, problem-solving supports, and (if applicable) disciplinary action.
Bullying, on the other hand, involves one or more people (the bullies) intentionally committing a mean or violent act against another person or group of people (the victims). When bullying occurs, there is no mutual participation in a disagreement; it is one-sided. Bullying victims have a hard time defending themselves. The victims want the bullying to stop, but the bully continues the behavior. Bullying is motivated by one or more actual or perceived distinguishing characteristics, which may include race, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, gender, disability, or any other distinguishing characteristic in a potential victim.
Bullying occurs when:
-A bully’s behavior is motivated by actual or perceived characteristics that distinguish a potential victim from other students.
-The bully’s behavior occurred on school grounds, at a school function, on a school bus, or off school grounds (cyberspace).
-The bully’s behavior causes substantial disruption in the victim’s rights or their ability to attend school without disruption, hostility, or distress. This may include behavior that causes physical or emotional harm, fear of physical or emotional harm, demeans or insults the victim, or behavior that creates a hostile educational environment.
5131.1 Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy, Updated February 2022
What should I do if I suspect a student is being bullied?
We want all students to feel safe in school, and all incidents of suspected bullying are taken seriously. Please click here (Harrassment, Intimidation & Bullying – Students – Mainland Regional High School) to find information about Mainland’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying policy, contacts, ways to report, and other helpful information contained in the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. If you have any questions about bullying, please feel free to reach out to Anti-bullying Specialist Marisa McDole ([email protected]), Anti-bullying Coordinator Dr. Kim Spagone ([email protected]), or Assistant Principal Nathan Lichtenwalner ([email protected]). To report an incident of suspected bullying, please complete the HIB Reporting Form (Harrassment, Intimidation & Bullying – Students – Mainland Regional High School). You can save the form and email this form directly to Mr. Lichtenwalner, or drop it off in the Assistant Principal’s office. The form contains all of the information that will allow Mr. Lichtenwalner, Mrs. McDole, and Dr. Spagone to determine how to proceed.