Recently I was reading comments in a Facebook post that was responding to a preschooler’s action of putting a boy in a headlock to counteract his comments about marriage (it was humorous), one commenter bragged about how her pre-school daughter handled a “bully” and stated in her comment that the girl had to take matters into her own hands because the school was “not doing anything”. Parents often tell me I am not doing anything about bullying at Cotton Boll, this could not be further from the truth. In a spirit of transparency and dialogue I would like to explain our policy and procedure for conflicts and bullying specifically.
A School Handbook is sent to parents/guardians who read and sign a form of receipt, and knowledge of the handbooks content, which includes an explanation of school rules and behavioral expectations.
Teachers go over and affirm the school rules with every student on a continual basis.
Each classroom/grade level has a behavioral plan, i.e.: behavior cards, social contracts, etc.
Dr. Marsden and I visit each classroom and explain expectations and talk about bullying specifically. Our message centers on, “See Something, Say Something.” We also define what bullying is and how to respond for students to be successful and grow as a person.
There is a PUSD Bullying Complaint form that can be picked up in the front office and turned into me or the front office. This can be filled out by the parent/guardian or the child.
When Conflict/Bullying Happens
Many conflicts/bullying are handled by the classroom teacher per their behavior systems. Teachers are always the first point of contact. But when the students are referred to administration or a parent calls the following happens:
I investigate. I talk to all parties involved including witnesses, adults and other students. From this point I determine if it is a mutual conflict or bullying. This investigation can take up to a week, but usually a day.
I take action. This starts with a conversation where a warning is given, and the expectation is made very clear that conflict/bullying will not be tolerated. Many times, this involves a conversation with the aggressor and the offended. It is always my goal to come to reconciliation and understanding, recognizing that we are all Bulldogs and need to get along.
After the initial conversation for clarity of expectations, the policy and procedure behavior plans will be initiated, this considers what the teacher has done already. When it comes to me or Dr. Marsden consequences may begin at suspensions.
detentions: after school, lunch
on school suspensions
off campus suspensions
placement at another school
All parents/guardians need to know that school employees are not allowed by federal law to discuss any information regarding another student. This means when you have lodged a complaint against another child, I cannot report to you what consequence the child received. It will be different for different students depending where they are on the discipline matrix, found in the Student Handbook and classroom behavior systems. A lot of factors go into consequences, we factor in special services the child receives, i.e., Resource, Cognitive and Behavioral Diagnosis’, etc. But you can always be sure we always are doing something.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law establishing an array of confidentiality rights for students and families. This law is required to be upheld by all school employees. ... In fact, one of the conditions for receiving federal funds requires procedures and adherence to FERPA.
I hope this helps with the understanding of mutual conflict, bullying and other anti-social behaviors exhibited in public places. It is the intense desire of all teachers and staff at Cotton Boll to ensure all students are safe not only physically but emotionally as well. If you do not feel this is happening for your child, please call the front office and make an appointment with me to sit and discuss the situation.