Bullying & Harassment

Bullying and harassment  behaviors present challenges for everyone: school faculty and staff, students, parents/guardians, and the communities we live in. Sometimes behaviors can take place in other places such as “cyberbullying” and overflow on to school grounds. Regardless of where the behavior started or who started the conflict, it is behavior that no one wants to have as a “norm” in our schools. Thus, addressing incidents of bullying and harassment proactively and/or reactively, immediately and effectively, is crucial in transforming these kinds of behaviors into more positive behaviors in our schools.

What does Bullying Feel like? PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

Education is key:

  • Teaching students about the differences between bullying and harassment, teasing and taunting, flirting and hurting, or debating and denigrating.
  • Empowering students to stand up to bullying and harassment, either as a target or as a bystander.
  • Providing school faculty and staff with information and skills with which to address bullying and harassment, whether intervening in a “teachable moment,” or investigating a complaint of harassment.
  • Engaging parents/guardians in conversation and providing information about bullying and harassment as well as about school policies and procedures related to bullying and harassment.

All of these strategies, in conjunction with other strategies to create safe schools, are the most effective ways to create positive changes in our schools. Included on this website is information for students, parents/guardians, and school faculty and staff. Vermont Family Network provides information on Bullying and Harassment.

Vermont’s legislature passed  in 2000, Act 113 ,the “Safe Schools Bill” to address the importance of providing safe and healthy learning environments for all Vermont students. The Secretary of Education established the  Harassment, Hazing & Bullying Advisory Council to provide advice and recommendations on harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention strategies and resources, and to coordinate statewide activities related to the prevention of and response to harassment, hazing, and bullying.  There are many resources available to learn more about bullying and harassment, including a chart that outlines the continuum of behaviors in bullying and harassment from the Vermont Human Rights Commission. You may request an Independent Review of a Harassment Complaint. Also available is information on how to file a complaint.

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