Anti-Bullying at IDEA

IDEA Public Schools is Committed to Respect For All

IDEA Public Schools is dedicated to providing a positive school climate and believes that all students have the right to learn in an environment free of harassment, bullying and violence. IDEA continues to work with staff and community partners to prevent harassment and to foster supportive settings for all students, families and staff members.

IDEA Respect for All initiative focuses on building awareness and encouraging tolerance through social emotional learning, student-led initiatives and ongoing dialogues. We encourage you to explore below, which provides important information about the IDEA’s policies that address bullying, harassment and violence, as well as resources for parents, students and educators.

Bullying Prevention

IDEA is here to help

If you or someone you know has been the victim of harassment, cyberbullying, discrimination, dating violence or any other kind of bullying, please say something. Report the incident to your principal, assistant principal, counselor, school resource officer or other trusted adult.

IDEA Public Schools believes that a safe and civil environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. We realize having a safe and welcoming school climate is a prerequisite to learning. Bullying, harassment and other aggressive behaviors is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a schools ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate bullying or harassment is expected by staff and students alike. It’s our goal to produce an environment where all students feel safe and are confident in achieving success in school.

The Differences between Bullying and Conflict

It seems today the media, and often educators, label any type of aggression or disagreement between people as bullying. If two students fight…it’s bullying. If one football team beats the other team too badly, it’s bullying. If one student doesn’t want to play with another student, it’s bullying. But, many times, what’s called bullying is not bullying at all. For example, bullying is not actually about conflict or anger. You do not have to be angry at someone to bully them. Bullying tends to be more about arrogance, control, and power. It’s the feeling that I’m better than you and I have a right to treat you this way. All bullying is mean, but not all mean behavior is bullying. So, if bullying is not the same as pure peer aggression or conflict, what is it?

When Does Bullying Become Harassment?

The Office for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice have stated that bullying may also be considered harassment when it is based on a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability; Or when the same person is repeatedly targeted by another student (or group of students).

Harassing behaviors may include:

  • Unwelcome conduct such as: Verbal abuse, i.e., name-calling, epithets, slurs, etc.
  • Graphic or written statements
  • Threats
  • Physical assault
  • Other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating

Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their allergies or exposing them to the things they are allergic to. In these cases, bullying is not just serious, it can mean life or death.

Creating a Safe Environment for Youth with Disabilities

Special considerations are needed when addressing bullying in youth with disabilities. There are resources to help kids with disabilities who are bullied or who bully others. Youth with disabilities often have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans that can be useful in crafting specialized approaches for preventing and responding to bullying. These plans can provide additional services that may be necessary. Additionally, civil rights laws protect students with disabilities against harassment.

Supporting Special Needs and Preventing Bullying at School

Strategies to address student’s special needs at school can also help to prevent bullying and have positive outcomes for all students, especially tactics that use a team approach, foster peer relationships, and help students develop empathy.

Some strategies include:

  • Engaging students in developing high-interest activities in which everyone has a role to play in designing, executing or participating in the activity.
  • Providing general up-front information to peers about the kinds of support children with special needs require, and have adults facilitate peer support.
  • Creating a buddy system for children with special needs.
  • Involving students in adaptive strategies in the classroom so that they participate in assisting and understanding the needs of others.
  • Conducting team-based learning activities and rotate student groupings.
  • Implementing social-emotional learning activities.
  • Rewarding positive, helpful, inclusive behavior.

 

Student Handbook & Code of Conduct

Texas: English | Español

Louisiana: English | Español

Definitions

Ally
Someone who speaks out or takes action on behalf of someone else. Also known as an upstander.

Bullying

  • means 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, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements provided by Subsection (a-1), and that:
    • (i) 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;
    • (ii) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;
    • (iii) materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or
    • (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; and
  • includes cyberbullying.

Bystander
Someone who sees something negative happening – bullying, harassment or discrimination – and does not say or do anything.

Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying 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.

Dating Violence
Dating violence occurs when a student 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. Dating violence may also occur when a person commits these acts against a person in a dating relationship with an individual who is or was in a relationship with the person committing the offense. For purposes of this policy, dating violence is considered prohibited harassment if the conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive and intentional that the conduct:

  • affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive educational environment; or has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
  • otherwise adversely affects the student’s educational opportunities.
 

Discrimination
Discrimination against a student is defined as conduct directed at a student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or on any other basis prohibited by law, which adversely affects the student.

Hazing
Hazing means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization if the act meets certain criteria described in Texas Education Code 37.151

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment of students is conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the target of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. Sexual harassment does not include simple acts of teasing and name-calling among school children, however, even when the comments target differences in gender.

Upstander
Someone who witnesses a negative action such as bullying, harassment or discrimination and takes some kind of action to stop it.

Reporting Bullying

IDEA considers bullying a very serious matter and encourages prompt reporting.

If this is an emergency, call 911!

IDEA provides two ways to report incidents of bullying (reporters have the option to remain anonymous using both options):

  1. The IDEA Hotline: 1-855-428-3561​ The Hotline is manned between the hours of 7:30 AM and 6 PM. Calls made to the hotline outside of these hours will be recorded via voicemail and responded to within 12 hours.
  2. Filling out the form below (If the form does not appear below, click this link: Bullying Incident Form)

Bullying Prevention

IDEA is here to help

If you or someone you know has been the victim of harassment, cyberbullying, discrimination, dating violence or any other kind of bullying, please say something. Report the incident to your principal, assistant principal, counselor, school resource officer or other trusted adult.

IDEA Public Schools believes that a safe and civil environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. We realize having a safe and welcoming school climate is a prerequisite to learning. Bullying, harassment and other aggressive behaviors is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a schools ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate bullying or harassment is expected by staff and students alike. It’s our goal to produce an environment where all students feel safe and are confident in achieving success in school.

The Differences between Bullying and Conflict

It seems today the media, and often educators, label any type of aggression or disagreement between people as bullying. If two students fight…it’s bullying. If one football team beats the other team too badly, it’s bullying. If one student doesn’t want to play with another student, it’s bullying. But, many times, what’s called bullying is not bullying at all. For example, bullying is not actually about conflict or anger. You do not have to be angry at someone to bully them. Bullying tends to be more about arrogance, control, and power. It’s the feeling that I’m better than you and I have a right to treat you this way. All bullying is mean, but not all mean behavior is bullying. So, if bullying is not the same as pure peer aggression or conflict, what is it?

When Does Bullying Become Harassment?

The Office for Civil Rights and the Department of Justice have stated that bullying may also be considered harassment when it is based on a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability; Or when the same person is repeatedly targeted by another student (or group of students).

Harassing behaviors may include:

  • Unwelcome conduct such as: Verbal abuse, i.e., name-calling, epithets, slurs, etc.
  • Graphic or written statements
  • Threats
  • Physical assault
  • Other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating

Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their allergies or exposing them to the things they are allergic to. In these cases, bullying is not just serious, it can mean life or death.

Creating a Safe Environment for Youth with Disabilities

Special considerations are needed when addressing bullying in youth with disabilities. There are resources to help kids with disabilities who are bullied or who bully others. Youth with disabilities often have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans that can be useful in crafting specialized approaches for preventing and responding to bullying. These plans can provide additional services that may be necessary. Additionally, civil rights laws protect students with disabilities against harassment.

Supporting Special Needs and Preventing Bullying at School

Strategies to address student’s special needs at school can also help to prevent bullying and have positive outcomes for all students, especially tactics that use a team approach, foster peer relationships, and help students develop empathy.

Some strategies include:

  • Engaging students in developing high-interest activities in which everyone has a role to play in designing, executing or participating in the activity.
  • Providing general up-front information to peers about the kinds of support children with special needs require, and have adults facilitate peer support.
  • Creating a buddy system for children with special needs.
  • Involving students in adaptive strategies in the classroom so that they participate in assisting and understanding the needs of others.
  • Conducting team-based learning activities and rotate student groupings.
  • Implementing social-emotional learning activities.
  • Rewarding positive, helpful, inclusive behavior.

 

Student Handbook & Code of Conduct

Texas: English | Español

Louisiana: English | Español

Definitions

Ally
Someone who speaks out or takes action on behalf of someone else. Also known as an upstander.

Bullying

  • means 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, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements provided by Subsection (a-1), and that:
    • (i) 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;
    • (ii) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;
    • (iii) materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or
    • (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; and
  • includes cyberbullying.

Bystander
Someone who sees something negative happening – bullying, harassment or discrimination – and does not say or do anything.

Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying 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.

Dating Violence
Dating violence occurs when a student 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. Dating violence may also occur when a person commits these acts against a person in a dating relationship with an individual who is or was in a relationship with the person committing the offense. For purposes of this policy, dating violence is considered prohibited harassment if the conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive and intentional that the conduct:

  • affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive educational environment; or has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
  • otherwise adversely affects the student’s educational opportunities.
 

Discrimination
Discrimination against a student is defined as conduct directed at a student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or on any other basis prohibited by law, which adversely affects the student.

Hazing
Hazing means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization if the act meets certain criteria described in Texas Education Code 37.151

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment of students is conduct that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the target of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. Sexual harassment does not include simple acts of teasing and name-calling among school children, however, even when the comments target differences in gender.

Upstander
Someone who witnesses a negative action such as bullying, harassment or discrimination and takes some kind of action to stop it.

Reporting Bullying

IDEA considers bullying a very serious matter and encourages prompt reporting.

If this is an emergency, call 911!

IDEA provides two ways to report incidents of bullying (reporters have the option to remain anonymous using both options):

  1. The IDEA Hotline: 1-855-428-3561​ The Hotline is manned between the hours of 7:30 AM and 6 PM. Calls made to the hotline outside of these hours will be recorded via voicemail and responded to within 12 hours.
  2. Bullying Incident Form

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