Anti-Bullying and Conflict Policy and Procedures
Social Vision Statement
We are a community of belonging where students, staff, and families are dedicated to inclusion and respect for all.
San Domenico strives to provide a school free of bullying. Because bullying behavior away from school may have a significant impact on our students and the school environment, this policy applies to all interactions between San Domenico students, whether or not occurring during school, at school functions or events, or on campus. This policy describes our school’s procedures to prevent and stop bullying and and prohibits retaliation against any person who reports these behaviors. Note, however, that the school retains the right to make final decisions regarding appropriate procedures and consequences and may deviate from the practices and guidelines outlined below as it deems appropriate.
Bullying occurs when a student, or group of students, repeatedly try to hurt, humiliate, or exclude a less powerful student in any of these ways:
- Physical Bullying is when a student uses physical force to hurt another student (e.g., hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, taking a student’s belongings or stealing their money).
- Verbal Bullying is when a student uses words, images, or gestures to intimidate or humiliate another student (e.g., shouting, taunting, name-calling, teasing, put downs, insults, threats, and blackmail).
- Relational Bullying is when a student excludes or isolates another student (e.g., leaving them out, turning other students against them, or spreading gossip or rumors).
- Cyberbullying is when a student uses their cell phone, text messages, emails, instant messaging, chats, and websites (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram) to bully another student in any of the ways described above.
Harassment is similar to bullying, but it is either sexual in nature or conduct that targets a student because of their actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability, or because they are associating with a student or group of students with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Harassment will be addressed as described in the school’s Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination Involving Students above.
Bullying is different from conflict. Conflict is an inevitable part of life and occurs when a student perceives another student as getting in the way of what he or she wants or values. Conflict only become bullying when a student engages in threats, intimidation, or other bullying behaviors and gets power over the other student.
Conflict Response and Procedure
When students find themselves in conflict, but are not bullying, we use a system of:
- Reflection - The students takes a turn to say what happened and to name the emotions that they feel and how they could handle this situation in a constructive manner.
- Reprimand - If appropriate, a consequence will be given.
- Reparation - The students brainstorm together what might solve the problem for both of them. This is known as looking for a “win-win” solution.
Bullying Response and Procedure
Our school does not tolerate bullying for any reason. Further, it is a serious breach of the school rules for a student to take revenge on or ask someone to threaten or hurt a student who has reported bullying..
Student Anti-Bullying Pledge
Our school is a community where everyone commits to being respectful, responsible, and safe. Bullying causes pain and stress to students and is never justified as “just teasing” or “just playing.” When a student stands by doing nothing, laughs, or posts comments online when others bully, they are participating in the bullying.
Students at San Domenico School have joined together to make our school bully-free. All students pledge to:
- Value differences and treat each other with respect online and face-to-face.
- Stand up against bullying when we or others around us are the target of bullying.
- Immediately seek help from a trusted adult on campus if we witness bullying.
- Never take revenge or ask someone to hurt a student who has reported bullying.
Teacher, Staff, and Parent Response to Student Bullying
Our school takes a problem-solving approach to bullying. We have staff members trained as Solution Coaches® to bring together a Solution Team® of students and ask them to end bullying situations. Most Solution Teams successfully solve bullying after one or two meetings.
For teachers, staff, and parents, our school follows a four-level system for preventing and responding to bullying.
- Level One: Prevent and interrupt.
- All teachers, staff, students, and parents support a campus-wide system to raise student consciousness about bullying and to prevent these behaviors.
- If any teacher, staff member, or volunteer witnesses or learns that a student is being bullied or harassed, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene and stop the behavior when safe to do so.
- Level Two: Check in with target of bullying and make a referral.
- If a staff member suspects or knows that a student is the target of repeated bullying, they shall check in with the student as soon as reasonably possible.
- If the student appears to be the target of repeated bullying (i.e., the student has been bullied more than once and will likely continue without adult intervention) they shall notify the relevant staff member, as listed below, by email within 24 hours, or immediately if student safety is at risk:
- Teachers and staff should refer to the Associate Director or Counselor.
- Music Program instructors should refer to the Director of the Music Conservatory.
- Athletic Program coaches should refer to the Athletic Director.
- If a parent knows or suspects that their child has been repeatedly bullied, they should encourage their child to seek help from any member of school staff. If their child is unwilling to do this, the parent should seek help on behalf of their student. A parent may also report repeated bullying directly to the student’s Advisor, Associate Director or the Counselor. We can only help your student if you refer the problem to us.
- Level Three: Convene a Solution Team or other appropriate response.
- The staff member who receives a bullying referral will consult with relevant teachers and staff and draw upon a variety of methods to bring the bullying to an end, including a Solution Team or progressive discipline with increased consequences if the behavior continues.
- A student who is the target of bullying may be referred to a school Solution Coach. Solution Coaches are teachers, counselors, and staff members who have been trained to bring together a Solution Team of students, including those acting as bullies, bystanders, and positive role models, and without using punishment to bring the bullying to an end. The Solution Coach records their progress using a Solution Team Log and shall report progress to the School Level Director.
- If progressive discipline is used, a staff member will meet with the target and the bully, and involve their parents and teachers when determining the consequences to change behavior and to provide a safe educational experience for all students.
- If a student and/or parent believes their child is being bullied, and refuse/decline the use of a Solution Team, see Addendum below.
- Level Four: Implement an empathy-building action plan.
- If a pattern of bullying is apparent across an entire class or grade, a Solution Coach and other relevant school staff will implement a plan to end the behavior, deepen respect for differences and restore a supportive peer culture.
Timeline for Resolving Incidents of Bullying
- Week One:
- Student, parent or staff notifies a teacher or staff member of bullying.
- Teacher or staff member intervenes when safe to do so, and shall notify the appropriate staff member for further action.
- The staff member notified shall attempt to resolve the situation and shall inform the School Level Director.
- The school may convene a Solution Team and/or engage students in progressive discipline.
- If a Solution Team is refused/declined at this juncture, the school will begin an investigation, speaking with all parties in question.
- Week Two:
- Second meeting of Solution Team, if this process has been initiated.
- Further progressive discipline when necessary.
- If a Solution Team was declined, a staff member will continue follow up with the parties in question to resolve the concerns.
- Week Three
- Third meeting of Solution Team, if this process has been initiated.
- Target invited to attend the Solution Team.
- Solution Coach notifies the School Level Director and parents of outcome.
- Implementation of empathy-building plan for entire class or grade if needed.
The School will make reasonable efforts to keep confidential a report of bullying and the results of the investigation. The School will not tolerate retaliatory behavior against any complainant or any participant in the complaint or resolution process.
If a student or parent / guardian disagrees with how the school has responded to their complaint of bullying, he or she may appeal to the appropriate School Level Director.
****Anti-Bullying Policy Addendum
If a student and/or family believe their child is being bullied, and refuse/decline the School’s preferred method of intervention through a Solution Team, the following procedures will be followed:
- The staff member who receives the bullying referral must notify the school level director.
- School staff will initiate an investigation into the complaint.
- As part of the investigation, parents must meet with a staff member and/or counselor and school level director and provide as much detail as possible as to the nature of the bullying behavior, including who was involved, how often and when/where the bullying behavior happened.
- Parents will encourage their child to meet with a school staff member to share their concerns and determine a course of action that feels safe to the student in question.
- A staff member and/or director will meet with the student identified as engaging in bullying behavior. If indicated, the school will begin disciplinary steps and they will discuss appropriate ways to help repair or resolve the concerns. The School will contact the parents of the student involved in the bullying behavior.
- The staff member and/or director will notify parents of the outcome of the investigation.
- The staff member and/or director will follow up with the student the following week to see if things have resolved. The teacher and/or director will continue to follow up one month later.
- If further incidents occur, parents will share this information with school staff as soon as possible.