Bullying Article

Informative Article about Bullying

It has come to my understanding by talking to students that we have a misconception of what bullying is and what it is not. I will assure you nothing is more important and closer to my heart as the elementary school counselor at NOW than to have a safe and healthy environment for all students and staff. You will find the definition of bullying and the NOW District Policy on Bullying at the end of this article.

Bullying has been around forever, and unfortunately, students who display bullying behaviors do exist at our school. Research shows that bullying exists at schools across the United States, but it is important when discussing this topic, we separate bullying from conflict. Most of the reported bullying in schools turns out to be a conflict, disagreement and/or a bad choice.

Bullying has become a buzz word for students and for community members to use whenever a conflict arises. It has gotten to the point that most students believe that a student who is mean to another student one time is a bully. However if this definition is accurate, than every single one of us is a bully. This is our perception of bullying across the nation in large part due to the media. I am not naïve. I know that bullying exists everywhere in our society, but because of the media we are more aware of it than ever before. Unfortunately, it is not always depicted correctly.

My goal is not to minimize the pain of bullying because I understand the physical and emotional effects that can last a lifetime by someone else’s words and actions. I want to be able to concentrate on the true bullying behaviors in our schools. People often do not understand the impact of their words and actions on another human being.

A growing form of bullying is cyberbullying. With cyberbullying, we do not have to directly see the reaction and hurt we have caused to another person. It is very easy to send a text message, an email or a Facebook message degrading someone, putting them down and spreading rumors. It is important to gather all the facts before we start calling people bullies or labeling people. I would encourage you to talk to your kids about the appropriate definition of bullying and the effects it has on others.

Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District Policy 448: Bullying


The Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District strives to provide a safe, secure and respectful learning environment for all students in school buildings, and on school grounds, on school buses and at school-sponsored activities. Bullying has harmful social, physical, psychological and academic impact on bullies, the victims and the bystanders. The district consistently and vigorously addresses bullying so that there is no disruption to the learning environment and learning process. Below is the definition of bullying:

Definition

Bullying is deliberate or intentional behavior using words or actions, intended to cause fear, intimidation or harm. Bullying may be repeated behavior and involves an imbalance of power. The behavior may be motivated by an actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic, such as, but not limited to: age, national origin; race; ethnicity; religion; gender; gender identity; sexual orientation; physical attributes; physical or mental ability or disability; and social, economic or family status.

Bullying behavior can be:

Physical (e.g. assault, hitting or punching, kicking, theft).
Verbal (e.g. threatening or intimidating, language, teasing or name-calling, racist remarks).
Indirect (e.g. spreading cruel rumors, intimidation through gestures, social exclusion and sending insulting messages or pictures by mobile phone or using internet – also known as cyber bullying).
Between students and students, students and adults, or adults and adults.

As always if you have questions or concerns about your children, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone. I always welcome the opportunity to talk to parents, as you are the key to our students’ success in the classroom and in life.

Sincerely,

Matt Jacobson, School Counselor
mjacobson@now.k12.wi.us
608-337-4420

If you have questions with students at the 7-12 grade level please contact:

Andrea Cwiak, School Counselor
acwiak@now.k12.wi.us
608-337-4401