Bullying & Harassment

  • Rude vs Mean vs Bullying: Know the Difference

    • Rude: Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else. Incidents of rudeness are usually spontaneous, unplanned inconsideration based on thoughtlessness, poor manners or narcissism, but not meant to hurt someone else.
    • Mean: Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice). The main distinction between "rude" and "mean" has to do with intention. While rudenss is often unintentional, mean behavior very much aims to hurt or depreciate someone.
    • Bullying: Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. Experts agree that bullying entails three key elements: an intent to harm, a power imbalance and related acts or threats of aggressive behavior.

    Adapted from an article by Signe Whitson.

    Washington State law prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) in our schools. The law and Policy and Procedure 3207 define harassment, intimidation or bullying as:

    • any intentionally written message or image—including those that are electronically transmitted—verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental, physical or sensory handicap, or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act physically harms a student or damages the student’s property;
    • has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
    • is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment;
    • or has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

    Schools are required to take action if students report they are being bullied, and any district staff member can take the report. Individuals who believe there has been a violation of policy are encouraged to contact their building administration or HIB/Student Civil Rights Officer, Dr. Adam Swinyard.

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