What is the policy on Bullying
The Lawson Academy is a “Bully-Free” School, and as such, acts in full compliance with House Bill 1942 as well as the policies outlined by the United States Department of Education. This Anti-Bullying policy is in compliance with state of Texas requirements for all school board trustees to adopt a policy on bullying that prohibits the bullying of a student and the retaliation against any person who in good faith provides information concerning an incident of bullying.
Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he/she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Every individual should have the right to be spared oppression and repeated, intentional humiliation, in school as in society at large. A student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students. The following are some negative actions associated with bullying:
• Physical aggression – Engaging in assault not involving bodily injury, which is defined as intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, i.e., hitting, kicking, destroying property, claiming to have a weapon or referencing family members who will
• Social aggression – Engaging in socially alienating behaviors that interfere with another student’s willingness to participate in the educational process, i.e., spreading rumors, excluding someone from a group, persuading other students to give someone else the silent treatment
• Verbal aggression – Engaging in threats or other acts of intimidation that interfere with another student’s desire or willingness to participate in the educational process, such as name calling, teasing, threatening, or making intimidating phone calls
• Written aggression – note writing, graffiti, slam books, cyber-bullying
• Sexual harassment – comments or actions of a sexual nature which are unwelcome and make the recipient uncomfortable, i.e., inappropriate touching, grabbing, comments about someone’s body, sexting
• Racial and ethnic harassment – Making comments containing racial or ethnic content which are unwelcome and make the recipient uncomfortable, i.e., ethnic jokes, racial name calling, racial slurs
The Lawson Academy Code of Student Conduct considers bullying a Level III disciplinary offense. A student may be suspended, placed in in-school suspension, or, if serious or persistent behavior occurs, removed from the regular classroom and expelled.
Campus procedures for addressing incidents of bullying
If a student believes that he or she is the victim of another person’s bullying, that student is expected to immediately inform a teacher and allow the teacher to conduct a timely investigation.* If the teacher is able to substantiate the student’s claim, then the teacher will inform the appropriate campus administrator.
Once the administrator has been informed and/or has substantiated that the student has engaged in bullying, the administrator will immediately contact parents and schedule separate conferences between the aggressor, the victim, any witness(es), their parents and the academy counselor.
Campus responsibilities related to bullying prevention policies and procedures
All faculty and staff have engaged in professional development related to bullying, and they are trained in the acceptable and effective methods they must practice.
District responsibilities related to bullying prevention policies and procedures – The procedures for reporting bullying will be posted on the district’s Internet website to the extent practicable.
*If a student does not follow the correct procedure and retaliates against his/her aggressor, he/she will be susceptible to the same consequences that govern students’ discipline. (See The Lawson Academy Code of Student Conduct).
Harassing Behavior and Bullying
At The Lawson Academy, we believe every person deserves to be treated with sensitivity and respect. Students who uphold the Honor Code will strive to make all members of the community feel accepted from the first moment they arrive at the school and will treat everyone, regardless of physical, mental, or other differences, with respect.
As a community, we will not tolerate harassment of any kind, whether it is of a general nature or falls within the specific examples listed below.
• Ethnic harassment: abuse of an individual or group on the basis of ethnic origin
• Religious harassment: abuse of an individual or group on the basis of religion
• Gender harassment: abuse of an individual or group on the basis of gender
• Sexual Orientation harassment: abuse of an individual or group on the basis of sexual orientation
• Sexual harassment: use of sexuality to harass
Harassment includes both the more easily identified acts of verbal, written or physical abuse, (i.e. persistent derogatory comments, persistent demeaning remarks, threatening remarks, racial or ethnic slurs, leering references to someone’s body) and the more subtle, but equally damaging forms, such as graffiti and stereotypical jokes.
In our world, to “look the other way” is often to condone, and there is no better time than the Middle School years to harness our students’ idealism by joining together to make our school a community where honesty and integrity prevail.
The staff hopes to create an environment in which students expect their peers to adhere to the Honor Code and feel comfortable reporting violations or confronting one another. Because the age of our students and the size of our student body make the burden of required reporting of violations too great, students will be encouraged, and taught how, to speak up when they observe another student violating the Honor Code. Likewise, all other members of the school community – parents, teachers, and staff – will be called upon to do their absolute best to protest, in an appropriate way, behavior that lacks integrity.
Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. “Cyber-bullying” occurs when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both side, or at least have been instigated by a minor against a minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking.
It is important for each student to report any bullying or threats, whether made during school or away from school, to the nearest teacher or adult at school as soon as possible so school officials may take appropriate action. Similarly, parents who have concerns about bullying should meet with the campus administrator. If your child is receiving SpEd/504 services, go to the ARD committee to focus on the problem and arrange a plan to solve the issue.