Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Defined
Lakewood School District's definitions for harassment, intimidation and bullying
The Lakewood School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and community members that is free from harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Harassment, intimidation or bullying means:
any intentionally written message or image (including those that are electronically transmitted) or verbal or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, marital status, age, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by person with a disability, 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 crates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Harassment, intimidation and bullying can take many forms. It includes but is not limited to slurs, rumors, "put-downs," jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral, physical, or electronically-transmitted messages or images.
Sexual harassment is a type of harassment. It occurs when the types of verbal, visual or physical conduct described above are sexual in nature or are based on gender. Conduct is gender-based when it would not occur but for the sex of the person to whom it is directed.
Sexual harassment occurs when:
submitting to the harasser's sexual demands is a stated or implied condition of obtaining an education or work opportunity or bother benefit;
submission to or rejection of sexual demands is a factor in an academic, work or other school-related decision affecting an individual; or
unwelcome sexual or gender-directed conduct or communication interferes with an individual's performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Harassing conduct includes repeated sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, and continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature. It also includes graphic or degrading verbal comments about an individual or about his/her appearance, the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, and any offensive or abusive physical contact.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school age 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. Bullying can occur during or after school hours. Most reported bullying happens in the school building. It also happens on the playground or the bus, traveling to and from school, in the youth's neighborhood, or on the Internet.
From OSPI Anti-HIB Subgroup on Best Practice and Curriculum:
Bullying-intentional, repeated, negative, lack of empathy, power imbalance;
Intimidation-implied or overt threats of physical violence (WAC 495-A-121-011);
Harassment-any malicious act which causes harm to any person's physical or mental well-being (WAC 495A-121-011).
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyber-bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Kids who are cyber-bullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyber-bullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior. Cyber-bullying can happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can reach a student even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night. Cyber-bullying messages and images can be posted anonymously. They can be distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyber-bullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.