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Bullying Information


 

Newton USD 373 is dedicated to ensuring our schools remain a positive learning environment for all students. We love having the opportunity to watch your child learn and grow daily.

One goal of the Newton Anti-Bullying Task Force is to educate and engage not only students but also our community on ways to prevent bullying situations. Please refer to the graphic in the sidebar explaining different types of actions from the actions of someone who is being kind to what the State of Kansas laws define as a bully.

We want everyone in our community to be aware of the differences between conflict, a child being rude or mean, and a bullying situation. It is of utmost importance to us that we continue to foster environments which allow each child to reach his or her full potential. As a parent, if you suspect that your child is being the victim of bullying, please reach out to your child’s school.

It takes a village to raise a child, and we are deeply thankful to the Newton Rotary Club which hosts the annual Birdies for Bullying Golf Tournament each year. Through this event, we are able to fund promotional materials as well as provide resources to students and staff in every building of our district. We are grateful for their commitment to improving our community!

Join us as we continue to make Newton Public Schools a safe place where all of our students can thrive.

—Newton Anti-Bullying Task Force

Task Force Members:

Student Resource Officers: Jon Adkins and Brian Salmans

USD 373 Social Workers: Heather Fischer, Sara Friesen Guhr, G.B. Jost, Sara Kopper, Eddie Lawrence, Michelle Regier, Janel Rogers, Coleen Werner and Renee Ybarra

USD 373 Counselors: Ralita Cheeks, Jana Crittenden and Kelsey Vinopal

USD 373 Educators: Allison Kreider, Katelin McEachern and Megan Nagel

USD 373 Administrators: Jason Chalashtari, Jason Fawcett, Dr. Deb Hamm, Jen Smith and Sheila Wendling

Bullying means:  Any intentional gesture or any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act or threat either by any student, staff member, or parent towards a student or by any student, staff member or parent towards a staff member that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment that a reasonable person, under the circumstances, knows or should know will have the effect of:

  • Harming a student or staff member, whether physically or mentally;
  • Damaging a student’s or staff member’s property:
  • Placing a student or staff member in reasonable fear of harm; or
  • Placing a student or staff member in reasonable fear of damage to the student’s or staff member’s property.

Bullying also includes cyberbullying.  "Cyberbullying" means bullying by use of any electronic communication device through means including, but not limited to, e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, blogs, mobile phones, pagers, online games, and websites.

Additionally, bullying means any form of intimidation or harassment prohibited by the board of education of the school district in policies concerning bullying adopted pursuant to K.S.A. 72-6147 or subsection (e) of K.S.A. 72-1138, and amendments thereto.  USD 373 will not tolerate these actions by students, staff, or parents.

For the purposes of this plan and its authorizing policies, “parent” includes a biological, adoptive, or step-parent; guardian; custodian; or other person with authority to act on behalf of a student.

Similarly, a “staff member” means any person employed by the district.

Any act of bullying by either an individual student or group of students towards a student or staff member of the district is prohibited on or while utilizing school property, in a school vehicle, or at school-sponsored activities, programs, and events.  This policy applies to students who directly engage in an act of bullying, to students who, by their behavior, support another student’s act of bullying, and to all staff members and parents who engage in similar behaviors.

Training concerning identifying, reporting, investigating, and preventing bullying behaviors as outlined in district policies and this plan shall be provided to students and staff members using district resources available for such purpose and shall be provided through school assemblies, staff development, or other appropriate forums at least annually.

The board or the district administration on behalf of the board may seek student, staff, parent, and/or community input on the adoption, revision, and/or implementation of the board’s bullying policies or plan as directed or approved by the board.

No teacher, administrator, or school district employee shall engage in, permit, or tolerate bullying.

Retaliation against a victim, good faith reporter, or a witness to bullying is prohibited. A student or staff member who engages in an act of bullying, reprisal, retaliation or false reporting of bullying, shall be subject to discipline in accordance with school district policy and procedures.  The district administration and/or board may take into account the following factors when determining an appropriate disciplinary action for such prohibited conduct:  the ages of the parties involved; the developmental and maturity levels, special education needs of the parties involved, and the severity of the behavior.

For the purposes of this Plan, and its authorizing policies, district administration includes building and district level administrators.

Discipline guidelines for student bullying may be found in student and employee handbooks.  Offenses over time or single offenses which are severe in nature may result in discipline up to and including suspension and/or expulsion or termination from employment.  Parents participating in prohibited bullying conduct aimed at district students and/or staff members may jeopardize their access to district facilities; district property; school sponsored activities, programs, and events; and/or district students and/or staff members through the district’s communication systems.  As appropriate, reports to local law enforcement will be filed to report criminal bullying behaviors.  (See Policies EBC, GAAC, GAACA, GAAE, JDDC, JGEC, JGECA and KN)

Revised: 9/2008, 1/2010, 5/2014, 4/25/2016, 8/6/2018 (K.S.A. No. change only)

 

A free and anonymous service is available to provide counsel and resources to those who have questions or concerns about bullying situations. The 24-hotline can be reached at 1-800-332-6378 or 1-800-children. You can also contact the hotline via text or e-mail at 1800children@kcsl.org.

The Bullying Prevention Hotline should not be confused with the Kansas School Safety Hotline (Kansas School Safety Hotline: 1-877-626-8203). The School Safety Hotline should still be used to report potential violent acts at schools. Students who feel unsafe at school could call either hotline; the professionals at the Bullying Prevention Hotline will forward any calls where they feel there is the potential for violence, or that a student may harm him or herself or others to the School Safety Hotline.


RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH ANTI-BULLYING AWARENESS WEEK
NEWTON USD 373

WHEREAS, The State of Kansas recognizes its responsibility to ensure physically safe and emotionally secure environments for all Kansas students and school staff; and

WHEREAS, Bullying creates a climate of fear among students, inhibiting their ability to learn and contributing to other anti-social behavior; and

WHEREAS, It is important that we acknowledge and heighten awareness about the serious issues and the negative effects of bullying; and

WHEREAS, The Kansas Legislature has required local boards of education to adopt and implement plans to address bullying on and while utilizing school property, including a provision for the training and education of staff members and students; and

WHEREAS, Bullying is a communitywide issue and students, families, and educators all have a role in addressing bullying situations and changing school culture; and

WHEREAS, October has been designated National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month and Kansas State Board of Education and Kansas State Legislature designated the first full week in October as Anti-Bullying Awareness Week in Kansas; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the first full week of October of each year beginning with October 2013 be designated Anti-Bullying Awareness Week in Newton USD 373 as a symbol of our commitment to ensuring safe and nurturing school environments.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the foregoing resolution shall remain in full force and effect until such time as the USD 373 Board of Education determines otherwise.

Defining Terms & Behaviors

Click on the graphic below to see larger image.

Bullying Graphic