What Students and Parents Can Do
How do students report if they are being bullied or witness it happening?
Students who have been bullied or harassed during school should report this immediately to their school principal, counselor or another adult staff member, as well as their parent or guardian. They can talk with them directly or use the incident reporting form.
What should a parent do if they suspect their child is being bullied?
If a parent learns that harassment or bullying related to school, contact the administrator of your child’s school to report the incident immediately. Parents can visit in person, call by phone, email the principal or submit an incident reporting form. The administrator will then follow-up with students involved to investigate the incident/s. Administrators will document the information for each situation, and if necessary, report to law enforcement. Administrators will also refer the bullying victim to counseling, if appropriate, and will follow-up on the well-being of any involved students in the school through direct and parent contacts. Students will receive disciplinary action in keeping with school policies for violations that occur at school or off-campus when those violations create an unsafe or disruptive effect at school. Schools must comply with student confidentiality laws during its investigation and response.
Who is the District Compliance Officer?Nichole Fitch, Executive Director of Student Services for the Snoqualmie Valley School District, also serves as the District Compliance Officer with regards to harassment, bullying and intimidation. She provides oversight, training, and prevention resources to all Snoqualmie Valley schools to ensure compliance with district policies and state laws regarding harassment and bullying. Ms. Fitch is also a resource for parents if they have concerns about how their school may have responded to an incident or concern they reported. She can be reached at: email@example.com, 425-831-8015, or 8001 Silva Ave. SE/PO Box 400, Snoqualmie, WA 98065.Tips for parents on identifying and stopping bullying and harassment:
Encourage your child to speak with you about bullying at school. Studies show that children often don’t tell their parents or other adults about bullying because they believe that the adults will not believe them. Children may also think that they should be able to solve their own problems. Some children may be afraid that telling an adult will result in worse treatment from the child doing the bullying. Below are tips, from the Steps to Respect program, on ways to identify if your child is being bullied.Signs that may indicate that your child is being bullied:
What can you do if your child is bullied?
- Fear of riding the school bus
- Cuts or bruises
- Damaged clothing or belongings
- Frequently “lost” lunch money
- Frequent requests to stay home from school
- Frequent unexplained minor illnesses
- Sleeplessness or nightmares
- Depression, or lack of enthusiasm for hobbies or friends
- Declining school performance
Internet Safety InformationLearn how to prevent Cyberbullying and Internet Crimes:
- Contact your child’s school if your child is being bullied, harassed or intimidated by another student.
- Assure your child that he/she is not to blame.
- Instruct your child not to fight back. Bullying lasts longer and becomes more severe when children fight back. Physical injuries are often the result.
- Advise your child to always report all bullying incidents to an adult at school or a parent.
- Role play friendship-developing social skills with your child, since friendships can help buffer a child from the harmful effects of bullying. For example, you can help him/her practice making conversation, joining a group activity, being respectful, and being assertive.
Mount Si High School, as well as other Snoqualmie Valley schools, have invited a special guest speaker from the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to address how to prevent Cyberbulling and Internet Crimes. Victim Advocate Stefanie Thomas presented a powerful student-focused message to all high school students (during four grade-level assemblies), then addressed parents with an eye-opening parent-focused presentation that evening.
While social media outlets continue to evolve, the advice is still relevant. Click on the links below to access these presentations.
Online behaviors in which students put themselves at risk of cyberbullying:
Source: Janis Wolak et al., Online “Predators” and their Victims: Myths, Realities and Implications for Prevention and Treatment, 63 American Psychologist 111 (2008).Tips for parents to ensure their child’s safety online:
- Posting personal information and photos online
- Interacting with unknown people
- Having unknown people on a “friends” list
- Using the internet to make rude and nasty comments to others
- Sending personal information to unknown people
- Downloading images from file-sharing programs
- Visiting X-rated sites intentionally
- Using the Internet to embarrass or harass people at whom they are mad
- Talking online with unknown people about sex
Advice for Students:Parents, talk with your child about these risky online behaviors and how they may make your child unsafe.
- Be actively involved in your children’s use of the internet and social networking.
- Keep the computer in a busy area of your home.
- Monitor what they access online.
- Consider using filters to block inappropriate Internet sites.
- Check your child’s text messages and social network accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) frequently and randomly. Remember, you are paying for the devices and internet access, and you may be liable for misuse.Maximize all privacy settings in each account.
- Talk about cyberbullying. Ask your child if they know someone who has been a victim. Ask if they have been victimized. Discuss the tips below and how they can protect themselves.
- Save and print inappropriate messages or photos your child shows you. This will serve as important evidence for any action you may take.
- Contact your child’s school if your child is being bullied, harassed or intimidated online by another student.
- Contact the police if your child receives violent threats or pornography over the Internet, or if your child receives obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages.
- Make sure your child understands the serious consequences of cyberstalking, per Washington State laws, and the dangerous implications to others if their own words or actions cause someone to harm themselves.
- Restricting access to social networking or chat rooms will not eradicate the problems – students are tech savvy and will find ways around your restrictions, and may participate in more dangerous online activity.
Additional Bullying and Harassment resources:
- Never give out personal information online or in social media (such as your name, age, address or phone number).
- Photos you post online can be misused and forwarded without your knowledge.
- Did you know Facebook legally owns the rights to your photos once you post them online? Did you know they can legally share your information with others without your knowledge? It’s in the fine print that you agreed to when you signed up.
- You do not have to fill in every space that an online profile asks for - it is optional.
- Anything you’ve put online about your self is public information, even when you think it is private. Maximize all privacy settings in all of your social media accounts.
- Never put anything online or into an e-mail that you would not want your classmates or your family to see.
- “Friends” you do not know are not your friends.
- Parents are the only ones who should ever have access to student passwords. Students should never give a password or other personal identification to a friend.
- Never respond to a threatening message. Save it and print it out, and show it to an adult.
- Tell a parent or adult you trust if you (or a friend) receive messages that are cruel, make you feel uncomfortable, or are designed to hurt you or someone else.
- Never open e-mail from an unknown sender or from someone who is known as a bully.
- Never post, text, or e-mail a remark about another person that you would not be willing to say to that person directly. Be as polite online as you should always be in person.
- Do not send an e-mail when you are angry. Wait 24 hours. Before clicking “send,” ask how you would feel to get that message.
- Never join in when someone is bullying another by forwarding information that could be embarrassing or hurtful. Instead, stand up for others and show such messages to an adult.
- King County Sexual Assault Resource Center: Call the 24-hour Resource Line 1-888-99VOICE (1-888-99-6423) or the business line at 425-226-5062. Information and resources are also available on their website at www.kcsarc.org.