Bullying Reporting and Resources
Anyone can report a bullying incident via the online U-46 Reporting Form.
Complaints can be made anonymously, or they can share their name and contact information. The District Coordinator of Student Discipline will receive notification of the form being filed.
A student can report bullying to any adult at any school site, but the most appropriate individuals are most likely a teacher, social worker, dean, assistant principal, or principal.
Bullying is defined under Board Policy 7.193 as such:
Bullying includes cyber-bullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Bullying Based on Bias Behavior
An offense, verbal, written or symbolic in nature, committed against a person or property which is motivated by the offender's bias, a negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, gender orientation, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.
Bullying Based on Sexual Harassment
Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and/or other inappropriate verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, directed toward others.
Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, internet communications, instant, messages, or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition bullying. Cyber-bullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person of the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.
How U-46 Responds to Bullying Reports
Step 1: Upon hearing of a bullying case, a school principal will always ask all impacted parties to describe the alleged bullying incident in writing.
Step 2: An investigation commences by a school administrator or through the U-46 Coordinator of Student Discipline.
Step 3: An investigation closes within 10 days. The principal or administrator informs the parent if the allegation is founded or unfounded.
Step 4: The principal or administrator follows the Student Code of Conduct and Board of Education policy to resolve the bullying situation with a resolution as provided in the Student Code of Conduct Interventions section 1 - 6.
A Word About Student Privacy Laws
We strive to strike a balance between transparency and abiding by state and federal student privacy laws. Parents of students who are bullied understandably want to know specifics on any disciplinary action or restorative practices implemented as a result of the allegation. We cannot share that level of detail without parental consent, in the same fashion that we would not share the student information of a requesting parent’s child with a third party.
Proactive Measures in U-46
Programs that aim to address and prevent bullying behavior include everything from PBIS and similar comprehensive programs to special ongoing groups. Programs vary at each school according to the school students, community, and administrative direction. These programs are supported by the District Department of Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), which includes Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Please check with your principal.
Restorative Measures, Practices, and Circles
The U-46 School Board Policy outlines the use of restorative measures as part of a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline. Restorative measures are comprehensive and aim to improve school safety and student behavior. These measures are applied to help keep students in school, teach students the personal and interpersonal skills that they will need to be successful in school and society, and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities.
The Student Code of Conduct provides definitions of restorative practices:
Restorative Justice Practices
Restorative Justice Practices are reactive, consisting of formal or informal responses to crime and other wrongdoing after it occurs. Restorative practices also include the use of informal and formal processes that precede wrongdoing: those that proactively build relationships and a sense of community to prevent conflict and wrongdoing.
The restorative conversation intervention is held between one adult and one or more students involved in a minor incident to resolve a conflict.
The restorative conference intervention focuses on the collective voice of those impacted by a specific incident to resolve conflict and repair harm.
The restorative circle intervention provides re-teaching, reflection, and opportunity for a student to repair harm or reintegrate into the school or classroom setting.
What can I do if my report is not heard or investigated correctly?
We encourage you to please refer to the Communication Guidelines for Parents and Guardians. We are dedicated at School District U-46 to providing you with transparent information about your child’s education in a timely manner. We want you to feel comfortable addressing your questions in our District. We encourage our parents and guardians to take an active role and have engaging conversations with your child’s teacher and school staff throughout the school year. We created this guidebook as a resource for you to get answers to your questions. We recommend contacting your child’s school first.
- StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides information on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.