Bullying, Harassment, Abuse, and Harmful Behavior

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One of CAJ’s core values is that of community. As members of a community, we take care of each other. We want every student to feel safe and protected at CAJ, so we put structures in place to make sure our community is a secure place for everyone. We will not tolerate bullying, harassment, or disrespectful behavior between students, and we will not allow any adults in our community to treat students in a way that is threatening, abusive or disrespectful.

If students feel they have been a victim of bullying, harassment, or abuse (see definitions); if they suspect another student may be a victim of bullying, harassment, or abuse (see definitions) or if they or another person are dealing with self-harmful behavior or suicidal thoughts, they should report this to an adult member of the CAJ community immediately. This could be a teacher, counselor, principal, or other staff member. The staff member will immediately report this to CAJ’s Child Safety Team and they will do their best to take care of the matter appropriately, taking care to protect the privacy of everyone involved.

In cases where a student has been in some way harmed by another student, our desire is for reconciliation and for relationships to be restored, although realistic consequences will follow. These could include suspension or expulsion. Because we value the privacy of all students, it is possible that one student may not be aware of the consequences another student receives, but any student is welcomed to talk about their concerns with his or her principal.

Parents, particularly those of elementary students, are encouraged to support their own child in reporting bullying, harassment, abuse, or harmful behavior to their child’s principal, if appropriate.

Behaviors Requiring Reporting

Behaviors requiring special definition include:
1. Bullying
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

Types of Bullying

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures
  • Cyber Bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night. Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Cyber bullying includes:
    • Mean text messages or emails
    • Rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites
    • Embarrassing pictures, videos, websites
    • Fake profiles

Information is sourced from Stopbullying.gov

2. Harassment

Acts of harassment usually center around unwanted, offensive and intrusive behavior usually with a sexual, racial or physical component. Definitions of harassment and bullying vary and there is much overlap. The essential differences between harassment and bullying are as follows:

Harassment Bullying
Has a strong physical component, eg contact and touch in all its forms, intrusion into personal space and possessions, damage to possessions including a person's work, etc. Can be psychological or physical
Tends to be motivated by an outward personal characteristic of the target, such as gender, race, disability etc. Tends to be motivated by a hidden personal characteristic of the target, such as competence, popularity or integrity.
A course of conduct constituting harassment can consist of just two incidents. Bullying tends to be an accumulation of many small incidents, each of which, when taken in isolation and out of context, seems trivial.
The person who is being harassed knows almost straight away they are being harassed. The person being bullied may not realise it for weeks or months, until there's a moment of enlightenment.
Everyone can recognise harassment. Few people recognise bullying.
Harassment may involve racist, sexist or other discriminatory vocabulary and actions directed at the target. Bullying tends to consist of unwarranted criticisms and false allegations. Inappropriate language may be used when there are no witnesses.
Harassment can be for peer approval, bravado, macho image etc. Tends to be secret behind closed doors with no witnesses.
Social media can be used for harassment Social media can be used for bullying
The harasser may be content for their target to know they are being harassed. The bully does not want their target to know they are being bullied.
Harassment is done for the sake of dominating the target. Bullying is done for the sake of making the bully look more competent than the target.
It is immediately obvious when there has been an act of harassment. Bullying can be very subtle, so it will not be immediately obvious that there has been an act of bullying.

Both bullying and harassment involve treating others with disrespect and will not be tolerated at CAJ.
Information is sourced from: Bullyingonline.org

3. Abuse (Also defined under “Discipline” section in the secondary principles of the CAJ Code of Conduct.)

Actions that may be considered abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical Abuse: hitting, spanking, shaking, slapping, any behavior that assaults a child; pushing or restraining a child outside the goals of protecting them or others from danger or providing medical care.
  • Verbal Abuse: degrading, ridiculing, yelling at a child or using other forms of hostile language.
  • Sexual Abuse: inappropriate touching, exposing oneself, sexually inappropriate conversations.
  • Mental Abuse: shaming, humiliation, cruelty.
  • Neglect: inappropriate isolation or withholding food, water or shelter.

4. Self-harm or Suicidal Ideation

  • Self-harm is the deliberate infliction of damage to one’s own body and includes cutting, burning, and other forms of injury.
  • Suicidal ideation involves thoughts about how to kill oneself, which can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration and does not include the final act of killing oneself.
  • More information on symptoms about suicidal thoughts can be found at: Medical News Today