BULLYING AND HARASSMENT
Bullying and harassment are taken very seriously by the faculty, staff, and administration at Old County Road School. We abide by the Smithfield Public School's Bullying Policy and Harassment Policy. If you should have concerns, we recommend you start by contacting your child's school counselor or the administrators. Often, this early intervention can prevent issues from escalating to bullying.
Bullying is a frequently used word, with many different definitions. Sometimes what is initially reported as bullying is more appropriately classified as a social conflict or unkind behavior, which nonetheless should be addressed but does not rise to the level of bullying. Please read through the definitions of bullying and cyberbullying. If you believe that bullying is occurring, please submit the form at the bottom of the page to trigger an investigation.
The Smithfield Public Schools, in conjunction with state legislation, defines bullying as below:
BULLYING means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that:
a. Causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student's property;
b. Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
c. Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student;
d. Infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities; or
e. Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
The expression, physical act or gesture may include, but is not limited to, an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as:
Race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or mental, physical, or sensory disability, intellectual ability or by any other distinguishing characteristic.
Bullying occurs as repeated behavior and is not a single incident between the alleged bullying/cyberbullying offender(s) and the alleged bullying victim(s). There are many examples of unkind behavior that must be addressed in school but that are not considered bullying under this policy.
Another form of bullying is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is increasingly a concern as students enter adolescence and have access to cell phones with various apps and social media platforms, some that parents may be unaware of. While much of this activity occurs outside of school, some have the potential to impact the learning environment. Parents are perhaps the most important partners in preventing and addressing cyberbullying. Check out this resource on how you can help. Smithfield Public Schools' policy defines cyberbullying at school as below:
Forms of cyber-bullying may include but are not limited to:
a. The creation of online content in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
b. The knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages; or
c. The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (a) to (e) of the definition of bullying.
AT SCHOOL means:
a. on school premises,
b. at any school sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises,
c. on a school transportation vehicle,
d. at an official school bus stop,
e. using property, equipment, or accounts provided by the school, or
f. acts which create a material and substantial disruption of the education process or the orderly operation of the school.
Bullying Complaint Form (Submit completed forms to school administration)