Bullying & Cyberbullying

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that can happen anywhere.  It is not a phase children have to go through; it is not “just messing around”.  Bullying can cause serious and lasting harm. During the 82nd Legislature, Texas lawmakers passed HB 1942, which addresses and defines bullying in public schools.

Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written  or verbal expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct against another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or -related activity, or in a district operated vehicle, and the behavior:

  • Results in harm to the student or the student’s property
  • Places a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property, or
  • Is so severe, persistent, and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.

This conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school.

What is Cyberbullying?

Instead of happening face-to-face, cyberbullying happens through the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.  Cyberbullying peaks around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school.

Examples of cyberbullying include:

  • Sending hurtful, rude, or mean text messages to others
  • Spreading rumors or lies about others by e-mail or on social networks
  • Creating websites, videos or social media profiles that embarrass, humiliate, or make fun of others

Bullying online is very different from face-to-face bullying because messages and images can be:

Who is at Risk for Being Bullied?

There is no one single cause of bullying.  Rather, individual, family, peer, school, and community factors can place someone at risk for being bullied or for bullying others.  Even if a child has one or more of the risk factors, it does not mean that they will bully or will become bullied.

How do I get Help?

There are things you can do to stop the bullying. Visit pages that apply directly to you:

If you are a parent or guardian, talk to the school administration or the adult who supervises your child’s community activities.

Make the Pledge!

Help end bullying by signing the documents below:

In case of emergency, dial 911.

http://suicidehotlines.com/

Toll Free: 1.800.SUICIDE1.800.784.2433

1.800.273.TALK1.800.273.8255

http://www.safeplace.org/

512.267.SAFE  or 512.927.9616

SafePlace Local: 1515A Grove Boulevard, Austin, TX

512.267.7233