Goliad ISD Response to Bullying
Reporting Bullying Options
Mail in or Paper Form
Goliad High School
Tel: 361-645-3259 ext 6101
Goliad Middle School
Tel: 361-645-3146 ext 7101
Tel: 361-645-3206 ext 8101
GISD Anti-Bullying Policy
What is Bullying?
Bullying and Cyber Safety Resources
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 Goliad Independent 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
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 Goliad 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.
Is it bullying or normal conflict? Normal conflict can occur any time or place and is generally accidental and resolved by the parties in the conflict. Bullying behaviors occur where the person bullying feels safe engaging in power-seeking behavior which is intentionally harmful and directed at someone who is considered weak or vulnerable. Bullying is generally resolved by third party intervention.
Bullying or Harassment Harassment behaviors share the common themes found in the definition of bullying. Harassment is typically directed toward a protected class of individuals. For example, specific types of harassment could include sexual harassment or racial harassment.
Bullying Bullying, including cyberbullying, occurs when a student or group of students directs written or verbal expressions or physical conduct against another student and the behavior results in harm to the student or the student’s property; places a student in fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property; or, is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.
Types of Bullying Bullying behaviors may be direct or indirect and include verbal and nonverbal behaviors that cause physical, social/relational, or emotional/psychological harm. Bullying can include:
Written Aggression – harm to person through written word. Written bullying can occur through a hand written communication or through information or communication technology. Examples: slam books, graffiti, texting.
Verbal Aggression – harm to person through spoken word. Verbal bullying often occurs when there is an unfair match between the bully and the victim, and can range from repeated taunting to threats of harm. Examples: taunting, intimidating phone calls, verbal threats against possessions or of inflicting bodily harm.
Physical Aggression – harm to person or a person’s property. Physical bullying often involves a smaller victim who is easily harmed by a larger bully; physical bullying demonstrates the bully’s power to others. Examples: shoving, spitting, kicking, hitting, ruining property, stealing, physically humiliating, locking in a closed space, physical violence against friends or family, threatening with a weapon, inflicting bodily harm.
Social/Relational Aggression – harm to a person’s group acceptance. Social bullies often isolate a victim by spreading rumors or lies about the victim or encouraging others to shun the victim. Examples: spreading rumors, ethnic slurs, setting up to take blame, publicly humiliating (reveal personal information), manipulation of situation to ensure rejection, threaten with total isolation of peers.
Intimidation – harm to a person through pressure or fear. Intimidation demonstrates the bully’s power to others and disempowers the victim. Examples: extortion, threaten to reveal personal information, graffiti, publicly challenging to do something, playing a dirty trick, threats of coercion, threatening with a weapon.
(Adapted from: Bonds, Marla and Sally Stoker, (2000).
Bully-Proofing Your School: A Comprehensive Approach for Middle Schools. Sopris West)
Issues Related to Bullying
.Dating Violence occurs when a person in a current or past dating relationship uses physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control the other person in the relationship. This type of conduct is considered harassment if the conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the student’s academic performance. Examples of dating violence against a student may include, but are not limited to, physical or sexual assaults, name-calling, put-downs, threats to hurt the student or the student’s family members or members of the student’s household, destroying property belonging to the student, threats to commit suicide or homicide if the student ends the relationship, attempts to isolate the student from friends and family, stalking, or encouraging others to engage in these behaviors.
Discrimination is any conduct directed at a student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, that negatively affects the student.
Harassment is conduct so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the student’s academic performance. A copy of the district’s policy regarding harassment is available in the principal’s office and in the superintendent’s office or at www.goliadisd.org. Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory language directed at a person’s religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.
Sexual harassment of a student by an employee, volunteer, or another student is prohibited. Sexual harassment of a student by an employee or volunteer does not include necessary or permissible physical contact not reasonably construed as sexual in nature. However, romantic and other inappropriate social relationships, as well as all sexual relationships, between students and District employees are prohibited, even if consensual. Examples of prohibited sexual harassment may include, but not be limited to, touching private body parts or coercing physical contact that is sexual in nature; sexual advances; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; and other sexually motivated conduct, communications, or contact.
Retaliation against a person who makes a good faith report of discrimination or harassment, including dating violence, is prohibited. A person who makes a false claim or offers false statements or refuses to cooperate with a district investigation however, may be subject to appropriate discipline. Retaliation against a person who is participating in an investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment is also prohibited.
Cyberbullying is when a person is threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another person using information or communication technology. Examples include e-mail, cell phone, pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites or blogs, sending or posting photos via cell phone or web sites.
Who is Involved in Bullying?
The person who exhibits bullying behaviors (bully, perpetrator)
Characteristics: displays power in some form (size, popularity, athleticism, knowledge, number, etc.) thrives on feelings of dominance; lacks empathy; uses blame; does not accept responsibility; craves attention; may have a small network of friends; without intervention, could continue to exhibit bullying behaviors which may escalate to other types of antisocial or more aggressive behaviors.
The person who experiences the bullying behaviors (target, victim)
Characteristics: may lack social skills such as friendship and assertiveness skills; may be passive (withdraws appearing weak) or provocative (restless with pesky behaviors or taunts); may experience isolation, frustration, hopelessness or fear leading to inability to concentrate, loss of interest in school, and, in more severe situations, suicide or violence toward others.
A person may be involved as both – one who exhibits bullying behaviors and one who experiences bullying behaviors
Characteristics: high levels of depression; punishment and zero tolerance are not effective; needs one-on-one
therapeutic model in order to break the cycle of bullying/victimization.
The person who observes or knows about the bullying behaviors (bystander, witness)
Characteristics: feelings of empathy yet seldom stepping forward; feels powerless to defend support the target; actions (not reporting, joining in, etc.) protect self from becoming a target; may begin to think the bullying behaviors are the ‘norm’; may feel guilt for not acting to stop the harmful behaviors; can successfully prevent or intervene if given instruction and practices intervention strategies (not join in, involve peers, assertive statements, report procedures, friendship and other social skills).
Bullying Investiagion Process
Any student, parent, or employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to bullying or retaliation has the right to file a complaint, by completing the Goliad ISD Complaint Form , or Online form and to receive prompt and appropriate handling of the complaint. All reasonable efforts shall be made to maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of all parties, but proper enforcement of this policy may require disclosure of any or all information received. There are several ways to report bullying incidents. Students and parents are encouraged to begin all reports with the classroom teacher. The classroom teacher will then inform the assistant principal or supervisor. If an assistant principal or supervisor is not available, the school counselor will take the report and be responsible for notifying the assistant principal or supervisor. There may be some circumstances in which a parent or student feels that it is best to begin the process by making a report to the principal.
The principal, assistant principal or supervisor is responsible for conducting a prompt investigation upon receiving a report of bullying or retaliation. The nature and duration of an investigation will depend on the circumstances, including the type, severity and frequency of the alleged conduct. The goal is to obtain an accurate and complete account of all incidents and circumstances deemed relevant to the allegations in the complaint. The investigation will generally include personal interviews with the complainant, the target/victim(s) of the complaint and others who witnessed or may have potentially relevant knowledge about the alleged incident giving rise to the complaint. Confidentiality as well as FERPA guidelines will be followed. Review of documents, videos, voice mails, emails, websites, text messages, instant messages, and other items deemed relevant may also be included.
Once a determination has been made that there will be an investigation the assistant principal will inform the campus principal as well as the subject of the complaint and their parents/guardians of the status of the investigation and estimated timing for making a determination. To the extent practicable, staff members will take steps to protect all parties from incidents or retaliation pending the outcome of the investigation. These steps may include, but are not limited to, ordering interim disciplinary action, appropriate adult supervision, reassigning classroom seating, temporarily transferring the student subject of the complaint from classes with the complainant, instructing the alleged perpetrator to avoid contact and maintain appropriate safe distance from the alleged target while on school property and at school events and monitoring compliance with any court‐ordered protective orders. All interviewees, alleged targets/victims, and alleged perpetrators will be warned against retaliation and made aware of the prohibition to speak about the matter in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation.
Information regarding any student may not be disclosed to a parent unless the information is about the parent’s own child. Disciplinary action will only be shared with parents/guardians of the student receiving such action as dictated by FERPA.
Documentation and Records:
Goliad ISD has standardized reporting and investigation protocols in regards to bullying investigations. If there are questions regarding the process or the outcome of an investigation, those questions can be directed to the Student Campuses Principals.