Below is the model bullying policy made available by the Wisconsin State Department of Education for school districts within Wisconsin to use when crafting their own bullying and cyberbullying policies. Each state’s policies vary when it comes to how they: define bullying, harassment, threats, intimidation, and violence; expect reporting and investigating to be carried out, specify response strategies, define penalties, and prescribe certain types of prevention programs and practices.
We recommend that you review and consider updating your own bullying policy on an annual basis with input from educators, administrators, counselors, mental health professionals, parents, and students themselves. That will optimize the likelihood that the policy you implement achieves its goals.
Last Updated: July 5, 2019
URL of Source: https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sspw/doc/modelbullyingpolicy.doc
The following is a model policy designed to provide guidance to school districts. School boards may add to, modify or delete any elements of the model policy in creating their district policy.
The requirement to establish policies to address bullying does not change the statutory requirements regarding pupil non-discrimination. Wisconsin state statute 118.46 policy on bullying can be found at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/118/46.
The ____________________ School District strives to provide a safe, secure, and respectful learning environment for all students in school buildings, on school grounds, and school buses and at school-sponsored activities. Bullying has a harmful social, physical, psychological, and academic impact on bullies, victims, and bystanders. The school district consistently and vigorously addresses bullying so that there is no disruption to the learning environment and learning process.
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, threatening behavior)
- 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 the internet – also known as cyber bullying)
Bullying behavior is prohibited in all schools, buildings, property, and educational environments, including any property or vehicle owned, leased, or used by the school district. This includes public transportation regularly used by students to go to and from school. Educational environments include, but are not limited to, every activity under school supervision.
Procedure for Reporting/Retaliation
All school staff members and school officials who observe or become aware of acts of bullying are required to report these acts to ________________________ (a school staff member or administrator designated by the Board of Education to be a recipient of such reports.) Any other person, including a student who is either a victim of the bullying or is aware of the bullying or any other concerned individual is encouraged to report the conduct to _________________________ (a school staff member or administrator designated by the Board of Education to be a recipient of such reports.)
Reports of bullying may be made verbally or in writing and may be made confidentially. All such reports, whether verbal or in writing, will be taken seriously and a clear account of the incident is to be documented. A written record of the report, including all pertinent details, will be made by the recipient of the report.
The school official receiving a report of bullying shall immediately notify the school district employee assigned to investigate the report. The following school district employees have been identified as the investigator: (a list that contains the names of district employees and schools who have the responsibility to receive the information and conduct the investigation.)
There shall be no retaliation against individuals making such reports. Individuals engaging in retaliatory behavior will be subject to disciplinary action.
Procedure for investigating reports of bullying
The person assigned by the district to conduct an investigation of the bullying report shall, within one school day, interview the person(s) who are the victim(s) of the bullying and collect whatever other information is necessary to determine the facts and the seriousness of the report.
Parents and/or guardians of each pupil involved in the bullying will be notified prior to the conclusion of the investigation. The district shall maintain the confidentiality of the report and any related pupil records to the extent required by law.
Sanctions and supports
If it is determined that students participated in bullying behavior or retaliated against anyone due to the reporting of bullying behavior, the school district administration and school board may take disciplinary action, including: suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to law enforcement officials for possible legal action as appropriate. Pupil services staff will provide support for the identified victim(s).
Disclosure and Public Reporting
The policy will be distributed annually to all students enrolled in the school district, their parents and/or guardians and employees. It will also be distributed to organizations in the community having cooperative agreements with the schools. The school district will also provide a copy of the policy to any person who requests it.
Records will be maintained on the number and types of reports made, and sanctions imposed for incidents found to be in violation of the bullying policy.
An annual summary report shall be prepared and presented to the school board, which includes trends in bullying behavior and recommendations on how to further reduce bullying behavior. The annual report will be available to the public.