CPS Launches New Tool to Report Bullying
Student safety is a primary concern every day in our schools. Students simply cannot learn if they do not feel safe, and Cincinnati Public Schools considers the fight against bullying to be among our top priorities and one of our community’s greatest concerns.
Our new Bully Notification Button allows easy reporting online of bullying incidents, for use by students, families, staff and community members. You’ll find this button on the right side of every page of our website.
This new process does not replace other ways for making reports, such as reporting bullying to school staff. The button provides another option; we want to ensure that no barriers exist for reporting bullying incidents.
Student Safety Top Priority
The safety and well-being of your children is a top priority for Cincinnati Public Schools. Here are the steps we’re taking to assure your children are learning in stress-free, healthy environments.
Talking to Children about Suicide and Depression:
Talking to Children About Violence:
What is Bullying?
Most children have been teased by a sibling or friend at some point. And it’s usually not harmful when done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way, and both children find it funny. When teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it crosses the line into bullying.
Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself (Olweus Bullying Prevention Program).
More specifically, “bullying, harassment, or intimidation” means either: violence within a dating relationship, or any intentionally written, electronic act (an act committed through the use of cellular telephone, computer, pager, personal communication device, or other electronic communication device), verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibit more than once, toward another student (s) and the behavior both:
- Causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s);
- Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).
- “Bullying, harassment, or intimidation” includes, but is not limited to, conduct that is based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion or any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by the district or state educational agency. This also includes association with a person or group with one or more of the above mentioned characteristics, whether actual or perceived.
Bullying involves an imbalance of power. In a bullying situation, the student who is exposed to the negative actions has difficulty defending themselves and is somewhat helpless against the student who is bullying. The student may actually be physically or emotionally weaker than the other student, or may perceive that they are physically or emotionally weaker (source: Olweus Bullying Prevention Program).
Types of Bullying
Bullying can take on many forms. They can include:
- Physical violence and/or attacks;
- Threats, taunts and intimidation through words and/or gestures;
- Extortion, damage or stealing of money and/or possessions;
- Exclusion from the peer group or spreading rumors; and,
- Repetitive and hostile behavior with the intent to harm others through the use of information and communication technologies and other Web-based/online sites (also known as “cyber bullying”), such as the following:
- Posting slurs on Web sites where students congregate or on Web logs (personal online journals or diaries);
- Sending abusive or threatening instant messages;
- Using camera phones to take embarrassing photographs of students and posting them online; and,
- Using Websites to circulate gossip and rumors to other students;
- Excluding others from an online group by falsely reporting them for inappropriate language to Internet service providers.
How Can Parents Help?
Our schools work with parents so that our students are safe and happy at school. There are several warning signs that could indicate that your child is experiencing bullying at school. Please be on the alert for:
- An unexpected drop in grades and/or interest
- Unusual moodiness, depression, anxiety or crying
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches
- Loss of appetite or Trouble sleeping
- Damaged or missing clothing, books or other belongings
- Unexpected bruises, cuts or scratches
- Few or no friends to spend time with
- Fear of going to school, riding the bus or walking to school
- Taking an illogical or long route home
Safety in our Schools
Superintendent Mitchell addresses school safety in CPS high schools as a top priority.
Security Badges — Security badges are required for anyone who is inside CPS’ buildings or on campuses on a regular basis, and temporary badges with photo I.Ds. are required for one-time visitors.
Emergency Response — Working closely with community organizations, Cincinnati Public Schools continues to test and improve its emergency response and crisis management programs.
Truancy — Cincinnati Public Schools and the Cincinnati Police Department are working together on a program that encourages citizens to report students suspected of skipping school and helps identify underlying issues hindering a student’s ability to attend classes.