Please click here to fill out our Bullying Report form if you need to report an incident of bullying.
What Is Bullying?
The administration, faculty, and staff at Oregon-Davis School Corporation are committed to providing a safe and caring environment in which every student can acquire knowledge, social skills, and emotional development to attain his/her maximum potential. Unfortunately, every school has to deal with issues related to bullying. We have implemented various programs to educate students about bullying and to address the serious issues associated with bullying. Although we encourage students to immediately report instances of bullying to their teachers, counselors or an administrator, students are sometimes reluctant to make a report for various reasons. In an effort to help students more easily report bullying without fear of retaliation or repercussions, an anonymous reporting tool is being provided.
Targets (victims of bullying) and bystanders (students that have witnessed bullying, but who are unsure of how to respond to help the victim) can use this reporting tool to report the situation.
Adolescents encounter many situations as they learn to get along with their peers and develop their interpersonal relationship skills. Some of these situations are not positive, but not all of these situations are bullying scenarios, so we need to define what bullying is and is not:
Definition of Bullying
A person is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more persons. (Olweus, 1993)
Characteristics of Bullying
- The behavior is aggressive or malicious.
- The behavior is repeated and goes on over time.
- It occurs in an interpersonal relationship which is characterized by a certain imbalance of power. (The bully has more physical or social power than the victim.)
Types of Bullying
- Physical – Hitting, kicking or any other physical aggression.
- Verbal – Teasing, name-calling, put-downs or other behavior that would deliberately hurt others’ feelings or make them feel bad.
- Social, Emotional or Exclusion – Starting rumors, telling others not to be friends with someone or other actions that would cause someone to be without friends.
- Cyber-bullying – Using electronic devices such as, but not limited to, computers and cell phones to bully others (as defined above) through methods such as posting negative comments, rumors, statements, pictures, websites, text messages, instant messages and/or e-mails.
Several reasons that students do not report bullying: 1) Victims are often told: “Ignore the situation or act like it does not bother you and the bully will stop.” In reality, this does not work. Adults must be informed so that they can intervene in a professional manner to help resolve the issues. Some victims are ashamed of being bullied. They might also think, incorrectly, that no one can or will help them. Victims may also be afraid of retaliation if they make a report. 2) Bystanders are often afraid to report bullying because they do not want to become the next target of bullying. 3) Most adolescents have been conditioned to consider reporting as “snitching.” We have repeatedly tried to educate students that they always have the right to report problems if their goal is to get themselves or a peer “OUT OF” a harmful situation. We do tell them that they may be “snitching” if their only goal is revenge or to get another student “IN” trouble. When children are younger, parents and teachers work hard to stop “tattling;” however, junior high school students need to understand when their behavior is “tattling” or “snitching” and when they have the right to make a report. Most adolescents understand the difference between having a goal of helping themselves or a friend “OUT OF” a bad situation vs. getting someone “IN” trouble as a form of revenge or attention seeking.
Other Situations: Bullying describes repeated negative interactions over time with an imbalance of power. When students interact daily, many other situations occur that need to be reported to school personnel, but these situations may not be a form of bullying. Individuals may have disagreements that become intense, but these situations may not fit the definition of bullying. We want to help all of our students resolve conflict; however, if the situation does not fit the definitions listed above, please encourage your child to speak with their teacher, a counselor, or an administrator. The situation may not be a form of bullying, but we want to resolve conflicts when they occur.
Thank you for helping us ensure a safe and caring environment for all students.