Bricolage Academy's Bullying Prevention Policy
Respect for the dignity of others is a cornerstone of the Bricolage Community. Bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, robs people of their dignity, and detracts from the safe environment necessary to promote student learning. Bullying will not be tolerated by the faculty, staff, and administration of Bricolage Academy.
Students who bully another person shall be held accountable for their actions whether it occurs on or off school grounds, at a school sponsored or approved function, activity, or event, going to or from school or a school activity in a school vehicle or school bus, or at designated bus stops. Additionally cyber bullying is a crime and will not be tolerated (R.S. 17:416.13, C and D).
Bricolage Academy has incorporated elements of the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program. As defined by OLWEUS, “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 against him or herself. The definition of bullying has three major components: First, it is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Second, bullying typically involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Finally, it involves an imbalance of power or strength.”
There are nine specific forms of bullying:
- Being verbally bullied
- Being socially excluded or isolated
- Being physically bullied
- Being bullied through lies and false rumors
- Having money or other things taken or damaged
- Being threatened or forced to do things
- Racial bullying
- Sexual bullying
- Cyber-bullying (via phone, internet, text, social media, etc.)
Examples of bullying may include, but are not limited to a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:
- Sarcastic “remarks/compliments” about another student’s personal appearance,
- Pointed questions intended to embarrass or humiliate,
- Mocking, taunting, or belittling,
- Non-verbal threats and/or intimidation such as “fronting” or “cheating” a person,
- Demeaning humor relating to a student’s race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or personal characteristics/mannerisms,
- Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money or other involuntary donations or loans,
- Blocking access to school property or facilities,
- Deliberate physical contact or injury to person or property,
- Stealing or hiding school belongings,
- Threats of harm to student(s) possessions or others and/or,
- Cyber bullying: Louisiana law includes electronic communication in its definition of bullying, stating, “Electronic communication includes but is not limited to a communication or image transmitted by email, instant message, text message, blog, or social networking website through the use of a telephone, mobile phone, pager, computer, or other electronic device” (La.R.S. 17:416.13).
Bullying is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:
- Is aggressive, unwanted, and negative;
- Involves a pattern repeated over time;
- Is directed at one or more pupils;
- Substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits or programs of one or more pupils; and
- Adversely affects the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities because the conduct, as reasonably perceived by the pupil, is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to have this effect.
Restorative Measures and Consequences
Restorative measures shall be designed to correct the problem behavior, prevent another occurrence of bullying, and protect the victim of the act. Restorative measures will be applied first in response to any suspected bullying.
Examples of Personal Restorative Measures include, but are not limited to:
- Temporary removal from the classroom or activity,
- Individual counseling to assist the misbehaving student to find a better way to solve a problem or meet a goal,
- Corrective instruction,
- Parent conferences,
- Participation in a peer support group,
- Restitution to the injured party,
- Implementation of a behavioral management plan, with benchmarks that are closely monitored, and/or,
- Referral to external therapy.
Examples of Environmental Restorative Measures include, but are not limited to:
- School and community surveys to determine the condition that may contribute to a bullying atmosphere,
- Adoption of systemic bullying prevention programs,
- Modifications of student schedules,
- Adjustments in hallway traffic,
- Targeted use of monitors (e.g. hallways, cafeteria, buses, locker rooms, restrooms),
- Professional development programs for staff, and
- Whole-class instruction on anti-bullying strategies.
Corrective actions for a student who commits an act of bullying shall be unique to the individual incident and will vary in severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student’s history of problem behaviors or pattern of bullying reports. Each formal complaint of bullying may be dealt with individually with a unique set of consequences. Restorative measures may also be applied in addition to the disciplinary consequences.
Examples of Disciplinary Consequences are:
- Significant loss of privileges or time away from peers,
- Out-of-school suspension,
- Suspension from transportation or other school-related activities
- Recommendation for an expulsion hearing, and/or,
Complaints of Bullying, Investigation of Complaints, and Corrective Action Procedures:
Bricolage Academy requires the Principal or the Principal’s designee, to be responsible for receiving complaints alleging violation of this anti-bullying policy. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy. Members of the school community (students, parents, volunteers, and visitors) are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy. Complaints may be made via school-wide “bullying boxes” or completing form online. Complaints may be made anonymously or signed. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated and documented in accordance with the school’s bullying prevention policy. Parents of the alleged victim and alleged bully will be promptly notified and kept apprised of the investigation.
Expectations of Adult Conduct
Administrators, faculty, staff, families, and volunteers at Bricolage Academy are expected to provide positive examples for student behavior. Demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate or engage in bullying is expected.
- The Bricolage Academy Bullying Prevention policy is posted on the website.
- Students will annually be provided with age-appropriate information on the recognition and prevention of bullying. Students will annually be provided the procedures by which they may file an informal or formal complaint.
- School staff will annually be provided copies of this policy and procedures for recognition, prevention, and reporting of bullying.
- Families will annually be provided copies of this policy and procedures for recognition, prevention, and reporting of bullying.
- Anti-retaliatory provisions will be fully implemented, to wit: An act of reprisal or retaliation will be considered bullying; a complaint will be initiated with all subsequent required actions (restorative measures and/or disciplinary consequences).
- Falsely accusing another of bullying may also be considered an act of bullying.
The school prohibits both active and passive support for acts of bullying. Students who actively or passively support acts of bullying may receive disciplinary sanctions. The staff shall encourage students to be upstanders by supporting other students and constructively attempting to stop these events, or reporting them to an adult.
- The Principal or the Principal’s designee, will conduct follow-up interviews with all confirmed victims of bullying to ensure that the intimidating and/or harassing behavior has ceased.