Bullying is a serious national problem and one that Hot Springs County School District #1 takes seriously. We pledge to do our absolute best to partner with parents and community to prevent this harmful behavior. Often times it is unclear about what to do to prevent bullying in our student body. This page serves as a resource to students, parents, and our community.
History of Bullying
In the past bullying was characterized by a student forcing another student to “Hand over your milk money, or you’ll get hurt.” While that is still a form of bullying it is no longer the only form of bullying.
Bullying by Definition
“A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”
This definition includes three important components:
- Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
In what ways can my child be bullied?
- Physical: Physical bullying involves harmful actions against another person’s body. Examples include: biting, kicking, pushing, pinching, hitting, tripping, pulling hair, any form of violence or intimidation. Physical bullying also involves the interference with another person’s property. Examples include: damaging or stealing.
- Verbal: Verbal bullying involves speaking to a person or about a person in an unkind or hurtful way. Examples include: sarcasm, teasing, put-downs, name-calling, phone calls, spreading rumors or hurtful gossip.
- Emotional: Emotional bullying involves behaviors that upset, exclude, or embarrass a person. Examples include: nasty notes, saying mean things using technology (e.g. cyber bullying using emails, instant messaging), chat rooms, tormenting threatening, humiliation or social embarrassment.
- Sexual: Sexual bullying singles out a person because of gender and demonstrates unwarranted or unwelcome sexual behavior. Examples include: sexual comments, abusive comments, unwanted physical contact.
- Racial: Racial bullying involves rejection or isolation of a person because of ethnicity. Examples include: gestures, racial slurs or taunts, name calling, making fun of customs/skin color/accent/food choices.
- Make sure that you or your student or both contact the building principal in a timely manner. If bullying occurs all year long and it is reported in May, it is difficult to assign consequences.
- Encourage your student to have open communication with you, so that if they are too intimidated to make a report, you will help them using one of the available methods above.
- Remember that bullying is a pattern and documentation must be present to find a solution
- Review the School Responsibilities button on this page, so you will know what to expect in the way of action from the school
- Work with your building principal. Bullying of our children is a frustrating matter. The more documentation and teamwork applied, the sooner the student will have desired results.
- Ask the individual to stop the behavior.
- Tell an adult, preferably your parent, your teacher, your principal, or the school counselor, preferably within 48 hours or less.
- Make sure to provide all the details of the situation.
I am too afraid to report because the situation may get worse
It is important to remember that in order to get bullying stopped it must be reported. Retaliation is not permitted and carries severe consequences for someone who has been disciplined for bullying.
Here are some ways you can report bullying:
- Tell school personnel, preferably the principal, but if not an adult you trust
- Ask to fill out a bullying form in the office, or with the counselor or download it from this site, and fill out with your parents. It should be returned to the principal via email, or hand delivery.
- You can send a text to the text tipline and the principal will receive the message in their email. The number is 307-840-9145. This is available to parents as well.
- Parents can set up an appointment with the principal, by calling the school office.
Any district staff member that receives a report or witnesses bullying needs to be sure that it is documented on the district form, and send that form to the building principal.
Upon receiving a report of bullying from a student, staff member, or parent, with perform the following duties:
- Ensure that the proper documentation has taken place such as the bullying form
- Investigate the incident and document further findings
- Discuss with the involved students individually
- Interview any witnesses
- Interview involved students together (only if appropriate)
- Review the definition of bullying and assign consequences according to the handbook if bullying is found to have taken place
- Discuss with students that retaliation is not tolerated
- Set up counseling with one or all students as needed
- The building principal will review the bullying policy and the duty of staff to report on a regular basis with all staff
- The building principal will pass on written reports of bullying to the next building level principal, to ensure that problems that exist for years between particular students are always documented
Important things to remember:
- Principals will use the definition of bullying to determine whether an incident qualifies as bullying
- Timeliness is critical when reporting bullying. If one incident happens in August and is not reported until January, it is difficult to establish a bullying pattern and assign consequences
- Save any physical evidence of bullying including any forms of communication where bullying is taking place
If you have any questions, please contact the administrator of the building in which your child attends.