Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Information

Anti-Bullying

Mission Statement:

The School Safety Team of the Robert Treat Academy creates a safe and secure environment where all students can feel respected and valued and meet their full academic and social potential without fear of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

Dedication to School Climate:

Robert Treat Academy is committed to following the creeds of the National School Climate Council (NSCC). The prevention of acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying is a key component of the development and maintenance of a positive school climate. RTA engages in systemic and sustained harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention efforts. With weekly Character Educations class, school wide events and programs and teacher HIB training our staff and students are empowered to maintain a positive and supportive climate within the RTA community.

 

This climate includes:

• Every individual contributes to the constructive environment of the school and to the awareness of one another.    

• Students, families and educators work together as a community to cultivate and support the school vision.

• Morals, ethics and expectations support all students and staff in feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe.

 • Individuals are involved and appreciated with a school wide line of respect.

 • Educators model and nurture beliefs that support the benefits of gaining knowledge and learning.

 

HIB School Grade

ROBERT TREAT ACADEMY HAS RECEIVED ITS OFFICIAL DISTRICT AND SCHOOL GRADE BASED ON THE NJ DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SCHOOL SELF-ASSESSMENT FOR DETERMINING GRADES UNDER THE ANTI-BULLYING BILL OF RIGHTS.   

 THE ACADEMY SCORED 76 POINTS OUT OF A POSSIBLE TOTAL OF 78 POINTS ON THE ASSESSMENT. PLEASE REFER TO THE GRADE LINK FOR OFFICIAL ASSESSMENT. 

RTA HIB GRADE 2021.pdf 

 

What is Bullying?

What is the definition of HIB under the NJ Anti-bullying Bill of Rights?

HIB means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication,

whether it be a single incident or series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic; and takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or off school grounds as provided for in N.J.S.A. 18a:37-15.3; and substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students, and that a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student's education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.

Conflict vs. Bullying

Bullying is not a conflict between students or among groups of students. Conflict is a mutually competitive or opposing action or engagement, including a disagreement or an argument which is a normal part of human development. Bullying is one-sided, where one or more students are victims of one or more person's aggression, which is intended to physically or emotionally hurt the victim(s).

"Harmful or demeaning conduct motivated only by another reason, for example, a dispute about a relationship or personal belongings, or aggressive conduct without identifiable motivation does not come within the statutory definition of bullying." K.L. v. Evesham School District (App. Div. 2011)

There generally are four types of bullying behaviors. These behaviors and some examples are identified below:

   • Verbal – Includes taunting, name calling, malicious teasing or making threats (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);

   • Psychological – Includes spreading rumors, purposefully excluding people from activities, breaking up friendships (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001);

   • Physical – Includes hitting, punching, shoving, spitting or taking personal belongings (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001); and

   • Cyberbullying – Includes using the Internet, mobile phone or other digital technologies to harm others. (DuPage County Anti-Bullying Model Policy and Best Practices, 2011).

Cyberbullying

What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullies use the Internet or cell phones to send hurtful messages or post information to damage people’s reputation and friendships. Here are some examples of kinds of cyberbullying:

Flaming: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language.

Harassment: Repeatedly sending nasty, mean, and insulting messages.

Denigration:
“Dissing” someone online. Sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships.

Impersonation: 
Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material to get that person in trouble or danger or to damage that person’s reputation or friendships.

Outing:
 Sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information or images online.

Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, then sharing it online.

Exclusion: Intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group.

Cyberstalking: Repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear.


Click link for full description: Cyberthreats.pdf

Know the Apps

Friending your child on Facebook is now just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online safety. Monitoring your child's phone and app downloading is an effective way to be pro active. Here is information about 12 popular apps children and teens may use or know about. 

 

Yik Yak: The producers of this app call it "the anonymous social wall for anything and everything." All users are anonymous (registration requires no personal information, other than a user's location), and their posts are called "Yaks" and show up in a live feed for other users — or "Yakkers" — in their area. The app's content-generation and moderation is entirely in the hands of its users (who can "vote" posts up or down in the news feed; after two "down" votes, a Yak disappears). The app is rated ages 17+ and targets college students, but younger users are easily getting their hands on the app.
 
Ask.fm: This app allows users to interact in a question-and-answer format — with friends, peers, and anonymous users alike. The app is rated ages 13+ and is most popular in Europe but is catching on in the U.S. This app has been linked with hurtful cyberbullying.
 
Kik: A mobile app that people can use to text with friends at high speed and with more of a "face-to-face feel" than regular texting (users' profile pictures appear in a little bubble next to their text, and they can quickly text photos, sketches, or even pre-designed greeting cards to individuals or groups). The app is rated ages 17+, but there is no age verification so anyone can download it. Kik allows your teen to connect with others using just a username (rather than texting from her phone number).   
 
Voxer:  This walkie-talkie PTT (push-to-talk) app allows users to quickly exchange short voice messages. They can have chats going on with multiple people at a time and just have to tap the play button to hear any messages they receive. Although it largely has an adult following, including some people who use it for their job, it's becoming popular among teens who enjoy its hybrid style of texting and talking. Hurtful messages from cyberbullies can be even more biting when they're spoken and can be played repeatedly.
 
Snapchat: An app that allows users to send photos and videos that disappear from view within 10 seconds after they're received. It's rated ages 12+. Some kids are using the app to send pics because they believe the images can't be saved and circulated. But it turns out that Snapchat pics don't completely disappear from a deviceOpens in a new browser tab, and users can take a screenshot before an image vanishes in the app. 

Poke: A Facebook app that, similar to Snapchat, promises that photos sent will "self-destruct" within seconds after they're received. While Poke isn't nearly as popular as Snapchat, it is still gaining young users who can use it for texting. Also like Snapchat, the images sent via Poke can be saved or viewed with certain workarounds. The App store rates it ages 4+ (but it is connected to Facebook, which is a 13+ site.)

Vine: A Twitter mobile app that allows users to shoot and share short loops of video (6 seconds or less). It's rated 17+, but children and teens are still downloading it.

Whisper: This 17+ app's motto is: "Share Secrets, Express Yourself, Meet New People."  Whisper lets users set up anonymous accounts to make their messages or confessions overlap an image or graphic (similar to e-postcards), which other users can then "like," share, or comment on. The app also shows a user's location. Although the app is geared toward older teens and adults, younger children are finding their way to it. 

Tumblr: his hugely popular photo-sharing site is owned by Facebook, so you may be more familiar with it than with other photo-sharing apps. Users can add cool filters or create collages of their photos and share them across Facebook and other social media platforms. The app is rated 13+ and may be slightly tamer than Tumblr, but users can still find mature or inappropriate content and comments throughout the app (there is a way to flag inappropriate content for review). "Trolls" — or people making vicious, usually anonymous comments — are common. A user can change the settings to block their location or certain followers, but many users are casual about their settings, connecting with people they don't know well or at all. Check out connectsafely.org's "A Parents' Guide to Instagram."
 
Instagram: This hugely popular photo-sharing site is owned by Facebook, so you may be more familiar with it than with other photo-sharing apps. Users can add cool filters or create collages of their photos and share them across Facebook and other social media platforms. The app is rated 13+. A user can change the settings to block their location or certain followers, but many users are casual about their settings, connecting with people they don't know well or at all. 

Shots of Me: Justin Bieber has invested in this 12+ "selfie-only" photo-sharing appOpens in a new browser tab in part because he was attracted to its "anti-trolling" aspect; it does not have a comment section under photos posted on the app. Instead of a public comment area, the app has a direct-messaging feature where users can only send private messages to one another. The app does show a user's location and how long ago a photo was added unless those features are managed in the app's settings. 

Jailbreak Programs and Icon-Hiding Apps:  these aren't social media apps — and they're confusing — but you should still know about them. "Jailbreaking" an iPhone or "rooting" an Android phone basically means hacking your own device to lift restrictions on allowable applications. It's hard to say how many teens have jailbroken their mobile device, but instructions on how to do it are readily available on the Internet. Cydia is a popular application for jailbroken phones, and it's a gateway to other apps called Poof and SBSettings — which are icon-hiding apps. These apps are supposedly intended to help users clear the clutter from their screens, but some young people are using them. 


Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

Robert Treat Academy use the research based on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program as the foundation for creating a safe environment for children.  This program presents a clear definition of the term “bullying”   “A person is bullied when he/she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more persons.” (Olweus, 1993) .

 

This program provides a structured approach to the prevention of bullying.  It promotes increased understanding of the issues involved with “bullying” behaviors and provides a coordinated plan for addressing these issues.  The program involves training for staff and students as well as information for parents.  Information regarding bullying behaviors is shared systematically in the school. Supervision is coordinated among all staff members.  Interventions may occur with individuals or groups within the school.

 

The goals of the program are:

  • To reduce (and ideally eliminate) existing bully/victim problems among school children
  • To prevent the development of new bully/victim problems
  • To achieve better peer relations at school

 

Four building rules apply to bullying.  In our bully-free school, we will:

  • Not bully others
  • Help students who are bullied
  • Include all students who are left out
  • Tell an adult at school and home when someone is bullies
 
For additional information about the program visit: http://www.clemson.edu/olweus/

Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Policy