School Social Workers and Bullying Presented by: Jon West, MSW, Buncombe County Schools Katherine Sims, MSW, LCSW, Buncombe County Schools. Hot Topics in Bullying. Cyber bullying – “My Space”, “Face Book”, “You-Tube” & “target” websites
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School Social Workers and BullyingPresented by: Jon West, MSW, Buncombe County SchoolsKatherine Sims, MSW, LCSW, Buncombe County Schools
"What we do in the name of health, safety, and well-being are linked with teaching and learning. Teaching and learning can't take place if students aren't healthy, aren't physically and mentally fit, or aren't safe."
------ William Modzeleski,
Director, Safe and Drug-Free School ProgramU.S. Department of Education
NC Senate Bill 526
It’s the law!
NC Senate Bill 526: An act to enact the school violence prevention act and to define Bullying or Harassing Behavior
Pattern of gestures,
Written, electronic, or verbal communications
Physical act or threatening communication
That takes place on school property, the school bus, or any school-sponsored event that:
Places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property,
Creates or is certain to create a hostile environment (defined by the target) by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits
Bullying or harassing behavior includes:
Acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by
Mental, Physical, Developmental or Sensory Disability or
Association with a Person who has or is PERCEIVED to have one or any of the above characteristics
Serious Violent Crime
Source: Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007, US DOJ
3 Types of Bullying….
Name calling, insults, repeated teasing (persistent), sexual harassment, racist remarks, threats, intimidation, etc.
Gossip, spreading nasty rumors and lies, embarrassment, humiliation, premeditated exclusion, hurtful graffiti, manipulating relationships, cyber bullying (text messaging, Email, web pages, instant messaging), etc.
Violence defined – is any word, look, sign or act that hurt’s a person’s body, feelings, or things. Hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, kicking, taking thing, vandalism, etc.
Students can be criminally charged for bullying, sexting, and cyberbullying incidents.
According to, "Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard (2009 Corwin Press)" by Hinduja & Patchin, kids cyberbully for the following reasons:
22% motivated by revenge
18.7% said the victim deserved it
10.6 % said they did it for fun
3.9% hated the victim
3.5% pressured by peers
2.8% retaliated against a bully
2.5% venting anger
5.7% other reasons
Punching & Shoving
Verbal: Teasing, Name calling & Gossip
Nonverbal: Use of gestures & Exclusion
From ‘Demystifying and Deescalating Cyber Bullying’ by Barbara Trolley, Ph.D. CRC, Connie Hanel, M.S.E.d & Linda Shields, M.S.E.d. http://www.nyssca.org/CYBERBULLYING-pp-BT28th.ppt
Two Massachusetts high school students have been suspended following the suicide of a teen girl who was allegedly bullied at school and online, the BostonHerald.com reported.
Friends and school officials told MyFoxBoston.com that Phoebe Prince, 15, had been picked on since moving to Massachusetts from Ireland last fall. School bullies reportedly taunted the teen through text messages, Facebook and other social networking sites. 1/28/2010
Meier hanged herself on Oct. 16, 2006, after being dumped by "Josh," a fictitious boy created by Drew ( a middle –aged woman), in order to find out what Meier was saying about the Drews' daughter. One comment of more than 2500 posted from Drew stated: "You have psychological problems," one began. "Don't burn in hell. Instead, I hope you rot in the dirt with the maggots and other disgusting vermin, since that's the only thing you deserve.“
Some courts have ruled:
Statistics on Bullying
Sixty-six percent of youth are teased at least once a month, and nearly one-third of youth are bullied at least once a month.
Six out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day.
For children in grades 6 – 10, nearly one in six — or 3.2 million — are victims of bullying each year and 3.7 million are bullies.
For every gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender student who reported being harassed, four straight students said they were harassed for being perceived as gay or lesbian.
An estimated 160,000 children miss school every day out of fear of attack or intimidation by other students.
One out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying.
20% to 58% or more of students (varies from school to school) have reported being bullied (some students receive an average of 213 verbal put-downs per week.)
80% of students have engaged in bullying behaviors in the past 30 days.
52% of students report seeing bullying at least once a week
Every 8 seconds a child on the playground is bullied.
Every 20 seconds a child is bullied.
Bullying effects 5 million students.
*(Note: Between 2001 and 2003 there was 46% to 59% increase on the above items.)
• 88.9% of LGBT students heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay) frequently or often at school, and 86.5% reported that they felt distressed to some degree by this language.
• 72.4% of LGBT students heard other homophobic remarks (e.g., “dyke” or “faggot”) frequently or often at school.
• 84.6% of LGBT students were verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation and 63.7% because of their gender expression.
GLSEN 2009 National School Climate Survey
2010 The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Seth Walsh – 13 years old
From Tehachapi, CA, hanged himself in September 2010. His family said he was harassed by bullies for being gay. He died after being in a coma for nine days.
"He was different. He knew he was different," Seth's mother, Judy Walsh said according to TehachapiNews.com. "He was a very loving boy, very kind. He had a beautiful smile. He liked fashion, his friends, talking on the phone. He was artistic and very bright." http://www.cbsnews.com
Houston Chronicle - Sept. 29, 2010
Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, was a gifted violinist, a good-natured soul who didn't have many close college friends and who mostly kept to himself. On Sept. 22, authorities say Clementi committed suicide by jumping into the Hudson River from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly streamed video of him on the Internet kissing another man, all for the world to see. www.cbsnews.com Sept. 30, 2010
Dangerous Choices Students May Make In An Attempt to Cope With Bullying
The intentional harm of one’s own body without conscious suicidal intent.
April 26, 2007None of us will forget this image of Virginia Tech University. VT was the site of the deadliest rampage in U.S. history when a gunman killed 32 people and himself.
1.Someone was Bullied!
2.No one listened!
(Combine physical safety, educational practices, programs that support social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.)
(Maintain trust between students and staff so threats will be reported and can be investigated.)
(Build positive relationships between students and staff so students feel cared for.)
(Offer research-based violence prevention programs at universal (school-based), targeted (for at-risk students), and intensive (most chronically and intensely at-risk students) levels.
National Consortium of School Violence Prevention Researchers & Practitioners
To initiate change,
you can intervene on 3 levels:
1- “Pre” Intervention Level
2- “During” Intervention Level
3- “Post” Intervention Level
“Pre” Intervention Level
“During” Intervention Level
Addressing the Bully
Addressing the Target
Addressing the Bystander
Create one liners that work for YOU!
“Post” Intervention Level
*Always follow up and
report any concerns!
A school employee who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or school employee has been subjected to any act of bullying or harassing behavior shall (must) report the incident to the appropriate school official.
A student or volunteer who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or school employee has been subjected to any act of bullying or harassing behavior should report the incident to the appropriate school official.
Schools shall develop and implement methods and strategies for promoting school environments that are free of bullying and harassing behavior.
Through the School Violence Prevention Act, the North Carolina General Assembly now requires school systems to take a number of proactive steps to prevent bullying and harassment in the schools.
School systems may be held liable for failure to take adequate steps to deal with bullying and harassment.
All students in North Carolina schools should be able to learn in an environment that is free from bullying and harassment.
“A time will come for courageous acts unseen. We will be called to gird our courage and offer leadership. It is not malicious acts that will do us in, but the appalling silence and indifference of good people. Verily I say unto you that all that is needed for evil to run rampant, is for good women and men to do nothing.”
-----Martin Luther King, Jr.