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Manchester Middle School

Chesterfield County Public Schools

Bullying

At Manchester Middle School, we promote respectful behaviors. Bullying behaviors interfere with learning and the educational mission of school. Therefore, we equip students with the proper social skills to react assertively, rather than passively or aggressively, to bullying behaviors. Two programs that we use here at Manchester Middle School are PBIS-Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program and the Restorative Practices program. Staff and students are trained to promote consistent practices that lead to a positive and safe learning environment.

District county definition of bullying:

The CCPS Standards for Student Conduct defines bullying as “any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. Bullying includes cyberbullying, but does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument, or peer conflict.”

How should parents handle reports of bullying?

  • Get the facts from several sources, including adults. Listen calmly, without blaming, and don’t use the word “bullying.”
  • Look at the resources from parents on stopbullying.gov
  • Contact a teacher, an administrator, or school counselor. Work together to develop a plan to stop the bullying.
  • If your child is bullying, make sure your child knows that bullying behavior is not acceptable and is against school rules.

If your child witnesses bullying, encourage him/her to be an upstander, standing up against bullying, rather than just being a bystander. These steps include not joining in, setting a good example, helping the person get away calmly from a situation, and telling a trusted adult. If your child is dealing with disrespectful or bullying behaviors, follow these steps:

STOP, WALK, TALK is an effective assertive tool to deal with disrespectful or bullying behaviors. It can be adapted to combat various types of disrespect – gossip, pushing, name calling, drama…

Promote Respect is a year-long program of universal intervention within our Positive Behavior Intervention Support framework. Our approach is proactive and utilizes positive interventions to teach expectations of respect, provides opportunities for students to practice those skills and make it a part of their daily routine. This work aligns with Goal 2 of our Imagine Tomorrow strategic plan: All students, staff, parents, and community members will exemplify a culture of safety, personal responsibility, and supportive relationships.

A Promote Respect Task Force was established in 2012 to address bullying behavior concerns and implement 2014 state mandate requirements, including: 

  • Training staff in proactive ways to prevent and intervene in bullying situations; 
  • Educating students about preventing and reporting bullying behavior; and 
  • Establishing procedures to investigate incidents, maintaining data on outcomes and reviewing data to determine proactive action steps.

Research confirms that common language and consistency among schools within a division supported positive reporting practices. So the task force group

  • wrote a division definition of bullying behavior to increase school staff awareness. 
  • developed consistent messaging about what respect looks like and sounds like, starting with the description of respect of self, respect of property and respect between peers and generations.
  • conducted division-wide professional development, asking schools to: 
    • identify a school committee to promote and sustain a positive learning culture;
    • establish school-wide reporting procedures and systems; and
    • offer presentation templates to stakeholders including evidence based practices and common language to support staff, students and parents. (The presentations are to cover preventing and reporting disrespectful behavior and providing resources and activities at all levels to sustain Promote Respect throughout the school year.) 

Promote Respect is our school division’s means of educating parents, staff, and students about bullying prevention. It outlines procedures to report, investigate, and intervene when bullying behavior occurs. Promote Respect was developed using research-based practices and it fulfills the state mandate requiring each school board to implement policy and procedures to educate stakeholders about bullying in order to create a respectful school climate free of bullying.