Often people dismiss bullying as “just teasing” or as a normal part of growing up. Bullying is harmful and can lead children and teenagers to feel threatened, intimidated, or afraid. Children or adolescents who bully use power to control or dominate others and have often been the victims of physical abuse or bullying themselves.
Incidences of bullying, both in and out of school, are affecting our children daily. The Bradbury School District wants our parents and our community to recognize bullying when it occurs and to work with our schools to prevent the bullying of our children. To do this, it is important that we all understand what bullying is, and is not, and what we can do to prevent it.
Bullying is defined by state law in Texas Education Code Section 37.0832 as a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression through electronic means, or physical conduct and:
- has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property, or;
- is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student, or;
- materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school, or;
- infringes on the rights of the victim at school; and
- includes cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is also defined in Texas Education Code Section 37.0832 and means bullying that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including through the use of a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, an Internet website, or any other Internet-based communication tool.
Schools have authority to address Cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the bullying interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.
Schools have authority to address Bullying or Cyberbullying when the conduct:
- occurred on or was delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property, or;
- occurred on publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity.
The Bradbury Independent School District prohibits bullying as defined by state law. The District also prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes a bullying complaint. For more information about retaliation, you may look under “Issues Related to Bullying” in the information below.