Bullying & Harassment
What is bullying?
Conflict is a disagreement that happens when people want different things. The people involved have equal power to solve the problem. This is NOT bullying.
Bullying is unfair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose. The person being bullied does not have power to solve the problem.
My child is being bullied
Students are encouraged to use the 3 Rs of bullying: Recognize that bullying is happening, Refuse the bullying by telling the person to stop or walking away, and Report the bullying to an adult.
If your child is being bullied, ask if he or she has refused the bullying (told the person to stop, walked away, etc.) and reported what is happening to an adult at school. Students can verbally report bullying or fill out the Madrona Bullying Report Form (click to open a blank form).
If your child has already refused and reported the bullying, please contact the school counselor, assistant principal, or principal to provide us with more information on what is happening. All staff members can be reached by calling Madrona's main phone number, (206)631-4100.
Please note: Due to confidentiality, we are not able to share the identity of other children involved in bullying incidents or the actions or consequences imposed on any child other than your own.
My child is bullying others
If you suspect your child is bullying others, the bullying behavior should be addressed just like any other misbehavior.
- Talk to your child to learn more - What's happening to cause this behavior? Do they feel unsafe? Are they retaliating against someone else who bullied them? Did a disagreement with a friend go too far?
- Model appropriate ways to handle conflicts, frustration, and anger or other strong emotions.
- Find opportunities for your child to develop empathy, for example, by volunteering to help others in the community.
- Help your child practice standing in someone else's shoes by encouraging them to think about how others might be feeling.
- Teach your child that if someone asks them to stop doing something, it means they need to STOP. Even if they think what they are doing is funny, or if they did not mean to be hurtful, if their behavior is hurting another person, it is not allowed at school.
- Remind your child that they do not have the right to hurt others, and there could be serious consequences if they continue to do so.
Bullying is happening more and more often on cell phones and computers. Here are some steps you can take to keep your children safe online:
- Keep computers and mobile devices in high-traffic areas of your home so they are easy to monitor.
- Make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and other mobile technology.
- Establish limits for which websites your children may visit and for how long.
- Talk with your children about how to stay safe online, and remind them that they should never tell anyone their real name, phone number, address, or where they go to school.
- Surf the internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
- Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, emailing, online gaming, and using webcams. Remember, children under the age of 13 should not be using Facebook or similar social networking sites.
If your child is being bullied or harassed on a cell phone, tablet, or computer, here are steps to take:
- Tell your child not to respond to rude emails, messages or comments.
- Save any evidence of bullying, such as email and text messages, and take screenshots of comments and images. Also take not of the date and time when the harassment occurs.
- Contact your internet service provider or cell phone provider and ask them to remove any web pages created to hurt your child.
- If harassment is via email, social networking sites, instant messaging, or chat rooms, instruct your child to block bullies, or delete your child's current account and open a new one.
- If harassment is via text or phone messages, change the phone number and instruct your child to only share the new number with trustworthy people. Also, check out phone features that may allow the harassing phone number to be blocked.
- Make a report using the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children's Cyber Tip-Line and if you feel something illegal has occurred, inform law enforcement.
Highline Public Schools is committed to a safe and civil educational environment, free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. For more information, please click on the links below.