Bullying and Harassment

Hughes Middle School 2017-2018

~A Safe and Positive Environment Is the Foundation for Student Learning~

What We Believe

FCPS and Hughes Middle School is deeply committed to creating a safe and positive school environment where all students can learn. All students have the right to attend school and not fear the interruption of their learning by others who intimidate, humiliate, or cause harm. Our staff is committed to responding to all observed and reported incidents of verbal and/or physical acts of bullying and harassment.

Definition of Bullying

According to the Virginia Department of Education, bullying is aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate, the victim. It involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma.

Key Elements of Bullying Include:

  • Intentionally aggressive behavior designed to inflict harm
  • Repetitive behavior planned into the future
  • Interpersonal relationship marked by an imbalance of power

Forms of Physical Bullying:

Includes, but are not limited to, hitting, punching, shoving, poking, pinching, jabbing, kicking, choking, unwanted touching, cornering, tripping, etc. 

Forms of Emotional Bullying

Includes, but are not limited to, name-calling, threatening, taunting, incessant teasing, spreading, rumors, mocking, public humiliation, etc.  

Forms of Cyberbullying:

Refers to threats through text messages, emails, or websites. It involves electronic means to communicate deliberate, hostile, hurtful, or vulgar messages, intended to harm others.

Harassment:

Harassment is a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of his or her safety. Harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed, and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim and results in a hostile environment for the victim and bystanders.

Sexual Harassment:

Any unwelcome sexual advances, regardless of sexual orientation, requests for favors, and other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Discriminatory Harassment:

Harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal and/or state law.

Administrative Responses to Bullying:

Reports of bullying and harassment are taken very seriously by school administrators, and the confidentiality of the students involved is maintained at all times. Administrators will work as a team with students, parents, teachers, and counselors to address incidents of bullying as they arise. Disciplinary consequences will be progressive and will be determined based on the frequency and severity of the incident, including but not limited to a conference, in-school suspension, or out-of-school suspension.

Student Expectations Regarding Bullying and Harassment:

 I will abide by the school’s policy concerning bullying and harassment.

 I will report incidents of bullying and harassment to a trusted teacher or staff member.

 I will stand up for victims of bullying and harassment.

 I will encourage others to treat all students with respect and kindness.

 I will help make the school a place where everyone feels safe, heard, and respected.

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