Bully Prevention and Intervention

The Lawrence Public Schools' Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan was developed in consultation with teachers, administrators, school nurses, counselors, parents, police department representatives, students, and community representatives. The district is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from bullying and cyber bullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process. This Plan is the district's blueprint for enhancing capacity to prevent and respond to issues of bullying within the context of other healthy school initiatives. As part of the process, the planning group assessed the adequacy of current programs, reviewed current policies and procedures, reviewed data on bullying and behavioral incidents and assessed available resources including curricula, training programs, and behavioral health services.

 

Lawrence Public Schools

Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan 

The Lawrence Public Schools’ Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan was developed in consultation with teachers, administrators, school nurses, counselors, parents, police department representatives, students, and community representatives.  The district is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from bullying and cyber bullying.  This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process.  This Plan is the district’s blueprint for enhancing capacity to prevent and respond to issues of bullying within the context of other healthy school initiatives.  As part of the process, the planning group assessed the adequacy of current programs, reviewed current policies and procedures, reviewed data on bullying and behavioral incidents and assessed available resources including curricula, training programs, and behavioral health services.  These activities assisted the planning group in identifying resources, gaps in services, and areas of need in order to assist the district in revising and developing procedures and setting priorities to address bullying prevention and intervention. Prevention strategies include professional development, age-appropriate curricula and in-school support services.

Lawrence Public Schools recognizes that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics. This plan includes the specific steps that each district school shall take to support vulnerable students and to provide all students with the skills, knowledge and strategies needed to prevent or respond to bullying or harassment.

This plan also extends protections to students who are bullied by a member of the school staff.  School staff include, but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity and paraprofessionals.

This plan recognizes that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

This plan, and the related appendices, includes the specific steps that each district school shall take to support vulnerable students and to provide all students with the skills, knowledge and strategies needed to prevent and/or respond to bullying or harassment. 

I.  LEADERSHIP

There will be annual surveying of students, staff, and parents on school climate and school safety issues.  Middle and high school students will also participate in the biennial Youth Risk Behavior Survey to gather more specific data on issues of concern at these levels.  Principals will be responsible for conducting the needs assessments and data will be analyzed by the Office of Student Support Services.  

The following district leaders are responsible for the following tasks under the Plan:

  • Superintendent and Principals receive reports on bullying
  • Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services , and Principals collect and analyze building level and system-wide data on bullying to assess the present baseline data and to measure improved outcomes
  • Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services and the, and Assistant Superintendent for Community, Family, and Student Engagement create a process for recording and tracking bullying incident reports and for assessing information related to targets and aggressor(s)
  • Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and Principals plan for the ongoing professional development as is required by law
  • Principals and the Director of Community, Family, and Student Engagement plan supports that respond to the need of targets or aggressor(s)
  • Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services choose and oversee the implementation of the curricula that the district will use to addressing bullying
  • Superintendent, with input from the Director of Information Systems and Technology, will develop procedures and protocols that address internet safety
  • Superintendent and Principals will oversee the amending of student and staff handbooks and codes of conduct relative to bullying and cyber bullying issues
  • Principals and the Assistant Superintendent for Community, Family, and Student Engagement lead the parent and family engagement efforts and draft parental information materials
  • Superintendent or designee review and update the Plan at least biennially

II. TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

There will be annual staff training on the Plan, which will include: staff responsibilities, an overview of the reporting and investigation steps that will be taken upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation, and an overview of the bullying prevention curricula to be offered at all grades throughout the district.  Staff members hired after the start of the school year are required to participate in school-based training during the school year in which they were hired.

The goal of professional development is to establish a common understanding of tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication, and respect for differences.  Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying.  The content of district wide professional development will be informed by research and will include information on the following:

  • developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies to prevent bullying;
  • developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents;
  • information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witness to the bullying;
  • research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment;  information on the incidence and nature of cyber bullying; and
  • internet safety issues as they relate to cyber bullying.

Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to bullying or retaliation issues for students with disabilities. This will be considered when developing a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), especially focusing on the needs of students with autism or students whose disability affects social skills development.

Additional areas identified by the school district for professional development include:

  • promoting and modeling the use of respectful language;
  • fostering an understanding of and respect for diversity and difference;
  • building relationships and communicating with families;
  • managing classroom behaviors effectively;
  • using positive behavioral intervention strategies;
  • applying constructive disciplinary practices;
  • teaching students skills, including positive communication, anger management, and  empathy for others;
  • engaging students in school or classroom planning and decision-making; and
  • maintaining a safe and caring classroom for all students; and
  • engaging staff and those responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Plan to distinguish between acceptable managerial behaviors designed to correct misconduct and to instill accountability in the school setting and bullying behaviors

The district will provide all staff with an annual written notice of the Plan via handbooks and by publishing information about it on the district website. The written notice will include sections related to staff duties under the plan, which also covered bullying of students by school or district employees.

III.  ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND SERVICES

The district will review current staffing and programs that support the creation of positive school environments by focusing on early intervention and intensive services in order to develop recommendations and action steps to fill resource and service gaps. Referral protocols will be evaluated to assess their relevance to the Plan, and revised as needed to ensure that the needs of students and families are addressed through in-house services or referral to outside agencies.

When the IEP Team determines the student has a disability that affects social skills development or the student may participate in or is vulnerable to bullying, harassment, or teasing because of his/her disability, the Team will consider what should be included in the IEP to develop the student’s skills and proficiencies to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.

The District will identify available culturally and linguistically appropriate resources within the district and community to support students and families, as well as identifying staff and service providers to assist schools in developing safety plans for students, who have been targets of bullying or retaliation. This will be completed through the provision of social skills programs to prevent bullying and offering education and/or intervention services for students exhibiting bullying behaviors. The available resources will be updated annually and posted on the District website and at each school site.

IV.ACADEMIC AND NON-ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

Bullying prevention curricula will emphasize the following approaches:

  • using scripts and role plays to develop skills;
  • empowering students to take action by knowing what to do when they witness other students engage in acts of bullying and/or retaliation, including seeking adult assistance;
  • helping students understand the dynamics of bullying and cyber bullying, including the  underlying power imbalance;
  • emphasizing cyber safety, including safe and appropriate use of electronic communications; and
  • engaging students in a safe, supportive school environment that is respectful of diversity  and difference.

The following approaches are integral to establishing a safe and supportive school environment

  • setting clear expectations for students and establishing school and classroom routines;
  • creating safe school and classroom environments for all students and, including students with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students, and homeless students;
  • using positive behavioral supports;
  • encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with students;
  • modeling, teaching, and rewarding pro-social, healthy behaviors, including collaboration problem-solving, conflict resolution, teamwork, and positive behavioral supports that aid in social and emotional development;
  • using the internet safely; and
  • supporting students’ interest and participation in non-academic and extracurricular activities, particularly in their areas of strength.

V. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO BULLYING AND RETALIATION

Reporting Bullying or Retaliation

Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents, or others, and may be made orally or in writing.  Oral reports made by or to a staff member shall be recorded in writing.  All staff members are required to report immediately to the principal or his/her designee any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses.  Reports made by students, parents, or others who are not district employees, may be made anonymously.  The district will provide a variety of reporting resources to the school community including, but not limited to: an Incident Reporting Form, a voicemail box, a dedicated mailing address, and an email address.

Use of an Incident Reporting Form is not required as a condition of making a report.  The district will:  1) include a copy of the Incident Reporting Form in the beginning of the year packets for students and parents or guardians;  2) make it available in the school’s main office, the counseling office, the school nurse's office, and other locations determined by the principal or his/her designee; and 3) post it on the school’s website.  The Incident Reporting Form will be made available in the most prevalent native language(s) of students and parents or guardians.  

At the beginning of each school year, the school or district will provide the school community, including administrators, staff, students, and parents or guardians, with written notice of its policies for reporting acts of bullying and retaliation.  A description of the reporting procedures and resources, including the name and contact information of the principal or his/her designee, will be incorporated in student and staff handbooks, on the school or district website, and in information about the Plan that is made available to parents or guardians.

 Reporting by Staff

A staff member will report immediately to the principal or his/her designee when he/she witnesses or becomes aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation.  The requirement to report bullying or retaliation does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline.

 Reporting by Students, Parents or Others

The school or district expects students, parents, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or his/her designee.  Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report.  Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report.  Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member or with the principal.

 Responding to a Report of Bullying or Retaliation  

Safety:  Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents.  Responses to promote safety may include, but not be limited to: creating a personal safety plan; pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, or on the bus; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target.  The principal or his/her designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary.

The principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will implement appropriate strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation: a student who has reported bullying or retaliation; a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation; a student who provides information during an investigation; or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation. 

 Obligations to Notify Others

Notice to parents:  Upon determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will promptly notify the parents of the target and the aggressor of the incident and the procedures for responding to it.  There may be circumstances in which the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee contacts parents or guardians prior to any investigation.  Notice will be consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00.   

Notice to Another School or District:  If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, non-public school, approved private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal or his/her designee, when first informed of the incident, will promptly notify by telephone the principal or his/her designee of the other school(s) of the incident, so that each school may take appropriate action.  All communications will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations and 603 CMR 49.00.

Notice to Law Enforcement:  At any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, if the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal or Superintendent will notify the local law enforcement agency.  Notice will be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and locally established agreements with the local law enforcement agency.  Also, if an incident occurs on school grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21, who is no longer enrolled in school, the principal or his/her designee shall contact the local law enforcement agency,  if he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.

In making this determination, the principal will, consistent with the Plan and applicable district policies and procedures, consult with the superintendent, school resource officer, if any, and other individuals he or she deems appropriate.   

Investigation 

The principal or his/her designee will investigate promptly all reports of bullying or retaliation and, in doing so, will consider all available information known, including the nature of the allegation(s) and the ages of the students involved.  In the event that the reported bullying incident involves the principal, assistant principal, or other school-based administrator, the investigation will be handled by the Superintendent or his/her designee, including the steps necessary to implement the plan and to address the safety of the alleged target.

During the investigation the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will, among other things, interview students, staff, witnesses, parents or guardians, and others as necessary. The principal or his/her designee (or whoever is conducting the investigation) will remind the alleged aggressor, target, and witnesses that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. 

Interviews may be conducted by the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee, other staff members as determined by the principal or his/her designee, and in consultation with the school counselor, as appropriate.  To the extent practical, given his/her obligation to investigate and address the matter, the principal or his/her designee will maintain confidentiality during the investigative process and maintain a written record of the investigation.  

Procedures for investigating reports of bullying and retaliation will be consistent with district procedures for investigations of other harassment or discrimination issues.  If necessary, the principal or his/her designee will consult with the Superintendent about the investigation and the need for possible legal advice.  

 Determinations

The principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will make a determination based upon all of  the facts and circumstances discovered during the investigation. If, after investigation, bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will take reasonable steps to prevent recurrence and to ensure that the student target is not restricted in participating in school activities or in benefiting from their educational program.  The principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will: 1) determine what remedial action is required, if any, and 2) determine what responsive actions and/or disciplinary action is necessary.

Depending upon the circumstances, the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee may choose to consult with the students’ teacher(s) and/or school counselor, and the student target’s or aggressor’s parents or guardians, to identify any underlying social or emotional issue(s) that may have contributed to the bullying behavior and to assess the level of need for additional social skills development.

The principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee will promptly notify the parents of the student target and the student aggressor about the results of the investigation and, if bullying or retaliation is found, what action is being taken to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation.  All notices to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations.  Because of the legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal, Superintendent, or his/her designee cannot report specific information to the student target’s parent or guardian about the disciplinary action taken unless it involves a “stay away” order or other directive that the student target must be aware of in order to report violations.

 Responses to Bullying  

Teaching Appropriate Behavior through Skills-building: Upon the principal or his/her designee determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the law requires that the district use a range of responses that balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. 

Skill-building approaches that the principal or his/her designee may consider include: 

  • offering individualized skill-building sessions based on the district’s anti-bullying curricula;
  • providing relevant educational activities for individual students or groups of students, in consultation with counselors and other appropriate school personnel;
  • implementing a range of academic and non-academic positive behavioral supports to help students understand pro-social ways to achieve their goals;
  • meeting with parents and guardians to engage parental support and to reinforce the antibullying curricula and social skills building activities at home;
  • creating behavioral plans to include a focus on developing specific social skills; and       making a referral for evaluation or services.

Taking Disciplinary Action: If the principal or his/her designee decides that disciplinary action is appropriate, the disciplinary action will be determined on the basis of facts found by the principal or his/her designee, including the nature of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved, and the need to balance accountability with the teaching of appropriate behavior.  Discipline will be consistent with the Plan and with the district’s code of conduct. 

Disciplinary procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal Individuals  with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which must be considered in conjunction with state laws regarding student discipline. These procedures are outlined in the district’s code of conduct.  

If the principal or his/her designee determines that a student knowingly made a false allegation of bullying or retaliation, that student may be subject to disciplinary action.

Promoting Safety for the Target and Others:  The principal or his/her designee will consider what adjustments, if any, are needed in the school environment to enhance the target's sense of safety and that of others as well.  One strategy that the principal or his/her designee may use is to increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur.   

Within a reasonable period of time following the determination and the ordering of remedial and/or disciplinary action, the principal or his/her designee will contact the target to determine whether there has been a recurrence of the prohibited conduct and whether additional supportive measures are needed.  If so, the principal or his/her designee will work with appropriate school staff to implement them immediately.

 VI.  COLLABORATION WITH FAMILIES

The Lawrence Public Schools will offer education programs for parents that are focused on the parental components of the anti-bullying curricula and any social competency curricula used by the district.  The programs will be offered in collaboration with the PTO, Presidents’ Council, School Leadership Teams/Councils, and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

Each year the school district will inform parents about the anti-bullying curricula that are being used.  This notice will include information about the dynamics of bullying, including cyber bullying and online safety.  The school district will send parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Plan and the district’s Internet safety policy.  All notices and information made available to parents in hard copy and electronic formats and will be available common native languages of families served in the district.  The district will post the Plan and related information on its website.

 VII.  PROHIBITION AGAINST BULLYING AND RETALIATION

 Acts of bullying, which include cyber bullying, are prohibited:

  1. on school grounds and property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school related activities, functions or programs whether on or off school grounds, at a bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by a school district or school; or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by a school district or school, and
  2. at a location, activity, function, or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is owned, leased or used by theschool district or school, if the acts create a hostile environment at school for the target or witnesses, infringes on their rights at school, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, and/or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is also prohibited.

As stated in M.G.L. c. 71, s370, nothing in this Plan requires the district or school(s) to staff any non-school related activities, functions, or programs. 

 

Definitions

“Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more students or a member of the school staff of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

  • causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property
  • places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property
  • creates a hostile environment at school for the target
  • infringes on the rights of the target at school
  • materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school

“Cyber bullying” is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.  Cyber bullying shall also include:

  • The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person
  • The knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses above, of the definition of bullying
  • The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the clauses above, of the definition of bullying

Aggressor is a student or a member of the school staff who engages in bullying, cyber bullying, or retaliation.

Hostile Environment is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student’s education.

Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation on bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

School Staff includes, but not limited to educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals.

Target is a student against whom bullying, cyber bullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.

Physical Aggression

Pushing

Kicking

Punching

Shoving

Hitting

Stealing

Spitting/objects

Tripping

Hiding property

Slapping

Hiding/property

Pinching

Inflicting bodily harm

Threatening with a weapon

Throwing objects

Knocking possessions down off desk

Committing demeaning or humiliating physical acts that are not physically harmful (e.g. depanting)

Social/Relational Aggression

Gossiping

Embarrassing

Ignoring

Laughing at

Giving the silent treatment

Spreading rumors

Excluding from the group

Maliciously excluding

Publicly embarrassing

Taking over a space (hallway, seats)

Setting up to look foolish

Malicious rumor mongering

Social rejection

Manipulating social order to achieve rejection

Setting up to take the blame

Threatening with total isolation by peer group

Making rude comments followed by justification or insincere apology

Humiliating on a school-wide level (e.g., choosing homecoming candidate as a joke)

Verbal/Nonverbal Aggression

Mocking

Name calling

Writing notes

Rolling eyes

Insulting

Slander

Taunting

Ethnic slurs

Slamming books

Writing graffiti

Making putdowns

Swearing at someone

Teasing about appearance

Teasing about clothing or possessions

Making disrespectful

and sarcastic comments

Threatening violence or bodily harm

Threatening aggression against property or possessions

 

 

Intimidation

Defacing property or clothing

Stealing/taking possessions (lunch, clothing, books)

Posturing (staring, gesturing, strutting)

Taking over a space (hallway, lunch table, seats)

Extortion

Blocking exits

Publicly challenging someone to do something

Invading one’s physical space by an individual or crowd

Threatening coercion against family or friends

Threatening bodily harm

Threatening with a weapon

Hazing

Verbal abuse

Forced behaviors

Public humiliation

Taunting

Making fun of

Enforced servitude

Deprivation

Forced sexual acts

Isolating or ignoring

Restraining

Sexual assault

Extreme physical activity

Requiring one to do embarrassing or degrading acts

Over consumption of food or drink

Dangerous or illegal activity

Torturous physical abuse or assault

                                                                         Dating Violence

Rape

Threatening violence

Put-downs or criticism

Pinning against a wall

Emotional or mental abuse; ‘mind games”

Physical coercion (e.g.; twisting arm)

Threatening other relationships

Refusing to have safe sex

Punching walls or breaking items

Pressuring for sexual activity

Restraining, blocking movement or exists

Actual violence, e.g.; hitting, slapping 

 

Plan Public Comment Period: December 3 – 17, 2010 

Plan Approved by School Committee: December 20, 2010

Amended Plan Approved by School Committee: April 30, 2012

Amended Plan Approved by School Committee:  August 11, 2014

Plan Updated: May 7, 2021

Bully Prevention and Intervention Plan (Spanish)


Appendix A: Lawrence Public Schools Policy on Bullying in Schools 

Policy of the School Committee  
Section J: STUDENTS                                 JICFB 
Subject: BULLYING IN SCHOOLS 

A safe learning environment is one in which every student develops emotionally, academically, and physically in a caring and supportive atmosphere free of intimidation and abuse. Bullying of any type has no place in a school setting; therefore, the Lawrence Public Schools will work to ensure a learning and working environment free of bullying for all students, staff, and families. The Lawrence School Committee and the Lawrence Public Schools shall not tolerate bullying in any form by students, staff members, family members, or community members in any of its facilities or at any school-related or sponsored events. 

Definitions: 


1)    “Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more students or a member of  the school staff of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; (ii) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of this section, bullying shall include cyberbullying. 
 
2)    “Cyber-bullying” is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. 

Bullying shall be prohibited: (i) on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school district or school, at a school bus stop, or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school district or school and (ii) at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school district or school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Nothing contained herein shall require schools to staff any non-school related activities, functions, or programs. 

Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying shall be prohibited. 

The school district shall provide age-appropriate instruction on bullying prevention in each grade that is incorporated into the curriculum of the school district or school. The curriculum shall be evidence-based. 

The school district shall develop, adhere to and update a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention in consultation with teachers, school staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents and guardians. The consultation shall include, but not be limited to, notice and a public comment period. The plan shall be updated at least biennially.  

Each plan shall include, but not be limited to: (i) descriptions of and statements prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation; (ii) clear procedures for students, staff, parents, guardians and others to report bullying or retaliation; (iii) a provision that reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously; provided, however, that no disciplinary action shall be taken against a student solely on the basis of an anonymous report; (iv) clear procedures for promptly responding to and investigating reports of bullying or retaliation; (v) the range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against an aggressor for bullying or retaliation; provided, however, that the disciplinary actions shall balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior; (vi) clear procedures for restoring a sense of safety for a target and assessing that target’s needs for protection; (vii) strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying or witnesses or has reliable information about an act of bullying; (viii) procedures consistent with state and federal law for promptly notifying the parents or guardians of a target and an aggressor; provided, further, that the parents or guardians of a target shall also be notified of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation; and provided, further, that the procedures shall provide for immediate notification pursuant to regulations promulgated under this subsection by the principal or person who holds a comparable role  to the local law enforcement agency when criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor; (ix) a provision that a student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action; and (x) a strategy for providing counseling or referral to appropriate services for aggressors or targets and for appropriate family members of said students. The plan shall afford all students the same protection regardless of their status under the law. 

The school district plan shall include a provision for ongoing professional development to build the skills of all school staff members, including, but not limited to: educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, paraprofessionals, clerks, cafeteria workers, custodians, athletic coaches, and advisors to extracurricular activities to identify, prevent, and respond to bullying. The content of such professional development shall include, but not be limited to: (i) developmentally appropriate strategies to prevent bullying incidents; (ii) developmentally appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents; (iii) information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witnesses to the bullying; (iv) research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment; (v) information on the incidence and nature of cyber-bullying; and (vi) internet safety issues as they relate to cyber-bullying.  

The plan shall include provisions for informing parents and guardians about the bullying prevention curriculum of the school district or school and shall include, but not be limited to: (i) how parents and guardians can reinforce the curriculum at home and support the school district or school plan; (ii) the dynamics of bullying; and (iii) online safety and cyber-bullying. 

The school district shall provide to students and parents or guardians, in age-appropriate terms and in the languages which are most prevalent among the students, parents or guardians, annual written notice of the relevant student-related sections of the plan.  

The school district shall provide to all school staff annual written notice of the plan. The faculty and staff at each school shall be trained annually on the plan applicable to the school. Relevant sections of the plan relating to the duties of faculty and staff shall be included in a school district or school employee handbook. The plan shall be posted on the Lawrence Public Schools website and any web pages for individual schools in the district.  

Each school principal or administrator shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of the plan at his/her school. In the case of a report of bullying involving the principal, assistant principal, or another school administrator, the Superintendent or his/her designee will be responsible for investigating the report and other steps necessary to implement the plan, including addressing the safety of the alleged target. A member of a school staff, including, but not limited to: an educator, administrator, counselor, school nurse, paraprofessional, clerk, cafeteria worker, custodian, athletic coach, or advisor to an extracurricular activity shall immediately report any instance of bullying or retaliation the  staff member has witnessed or become aware of to the principal or administrator identified in the plan as responsible for receiving such reports or both.  Upon receipt of such a report, the school principal or a designee shall promptly conduct an investigation. If the school principal or a designee determines that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the school principal or designee shall (i) notify the local law enforcement agency if the school principal or designee believes that criminal charges may be pursued against a perpetrator; (ii) take appropriate disciplinary action; (iii) notify the parents or guardians of an aggressor; and (iv) notify the parents or guardians of the target, and to the extent consistent with state and federal law, notify them of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation.  

If an incident of bullying or retaliation involves students from more than one school  or school district, the school district or school first informed of the bullying or retaliation shall, consistent with state and federal law, promptly notify the appropriate administrator of the other school district or school so that both may take appropriate action. If an incident of bullying or retaliation occurs on school grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21, who is no longer enrolled in a local school district, the school district or school informed of the bullying or retaliation shall contact law enforcement. 

Whenever the evaluation of the Individualized Education Program team indicates that the child has a disability that affects social skills development or that the child is vulnerable to bullying, harassment or teasing because of the child’s disability, the Individualized Education Program shall address the skills and proficiencies needed to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.  

MGL: Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010  
         Chapter 71, Section 37 O as amended by Sections 72-74 of Chapter 38 of the Acts of 2013 
 
Original Adoption:  9/9/2010 
1st Reading:   8/26/2010 
2nd Reading:  9/9/2010 
Adopted:    9/9/2010 
Adopted as Amended:  4/30/2012 
Adopted as Amended: 8/11/2014 
Proposed reconsideration:  9/2015

Appendix A: LPS Policy on Bullying in Schools (Spanish)


Appendix B: List of Prevention Curricula 

Prevention Curricula

Empty Space = Does not have it
X = Does have it
Program PK K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 High School
Bully Busters   X X X X X X X X X  
Bully Free Classroom X X X X X X X X X X  
Bully Prevention Handbook X X X X X X X X X X X
Digital Literacy and Citizenship   X X X X X X        
Don’t Laugh at Me       X X X X X X X  
Life Skills               X X X X
Michigan Model               X X X X
Please Stand Up!               X X X X
Safe & Caring Schools X X X X X X X X X X  
Steps to Respect       X X X X X      
Stop Bullying Now X X X X X X X        
CyberSmart               X X X X
NetSmartz             X X X X X

For Staff, we will be using the “ABC’s of Bullying” as the primary training curriculum. 

For Parents, we will use components from the various prevention curricula to provide them with training that addresses the various developmental levels of their children

Appendix B: List of Prevention Curricula (Spanish)


Appendix C: Designated Contacts for Reporting Incidents of Bullying 

Designated Contacts for Reporting of the Bullying Incidents 
It is the primary responsibility of the each school’s Principal and Assistant Principal to ensure that incidents of bullying or retaliation are addressed as they are reported. Below is a list of the designated contacts at each school: 

School Contacts for Bullying

School Address Phone Contact
Community Day Arlington 150 Arlington St., 01841 978-722-8311 Alex Rock or Amanda MacLellan, Co-Leaders
Arlington Middle School 150 Arlington St., 01841 978-975-5930 Robin Finn, Principal, or Courtney Breen Marble, Assistant Principal
Breen School 114 Osgood St., 01843 978-975-5932 Margarita Amy, Principal
Bruce School 135 Butler St., 01841 978-975-5935 Cheryl Merz, Principal, or Shaun Dunlevy, Assistant Principal
Frost Elementary School 33 Hamlet St., 01843 978-975-5941 Sarah McLaughlin, Principal, or Dillan Jack, Assistant Principal
Frost Middle School 33 Hamlet St., 01843 978-722-8810 John Patterson, Principal, or Stephen Cassely, Assistant Principal
Guilmette Elementary School 80 Bodwell St., 01841 978-686-8150 Kathleen Smith, Principal, or Eric Cyr, Assistant Principal
Guilmette Middle School 80 Bodwell St., 01841 978-722-8270 Jessica Cunningham, Principal, or Bridget Scollan, Assistant Principal
Hennessey School 122 Hancock St., 01841 978-975-5950 Cheryl Corrigan, Principal or Samantha Carroll, Assistant Principal
Lawlor School 41 Lexington St., 01841 978-975-5956 Jessica MacLeod, Principal
Lawrence Family Public Academy 526 Lowell St., 01841 978-722-8030 Lisa Conran, Principal
Leahy School 100 Erving Ave., 01841 978-975-5959 Ethel Cruz, Principal, or Mary Beth Veilleux or Michelle Michaud, Assistant Principals
UP Academy Leonard 60 Allen St., 01841 978-722-8159 Amanda Forbes, Principal
Oliver Partnership School 183 Haverhill St. 01840 978-722-8170 Shalimar Quiles, Principal
UP Academy Oliver 233 Haverhill St. 01840 (NCEC) 978-722-8670 Jessica Deimel, Principal
Parthum Elementary School 255 E. Haverhill St., 01841 978-691-7200 Maria Calobrisi, Principal, or Michael Marzelli, Assistant Principal
Parthum Middle School 255 E. Haverhill St., 01841 978-691-7224 Peter Lefebre, Principal, or Jaina Shea, Assistant Principal
Rollins School 451 Howard St., 01841 978-722-8190 Maura Bradley, Principal
SLE Elementary School 165 Crawford St., 01843 978-975-5970 Lori Butterfield, Principal, or Kara Metcalf, Assistant Principal
Spark Academy 165 Crawford St., 01843 978-975-5993 A. Kevin Qazilbash, Principal or Amy Heuton, Assistant Principal
Tarbox School 59 Alder St., 01841 978-975-5983 Ada Ramos, Principal, or Jennifer Marini, Assistant Principal
Wetherbee School 75 Newton St., 01843 978-557-2900 Colleen Lennon, Principal, or Kathleen Siwicki or Jocelyn Petrosino, Assistant Principals
School for Exceptional Studies 233 Haverhill St., 01840 (NCEC) 978-975-5980 Arlene Reidinger, Principal or Mary-Ann Rapoza, Assistant Principal
SES at Bruce Annex 483 Lowell St., 01841 978-722-8160 Dina Hickey, Assistant Principal
LHS Campus 70 No. Parish Rd., 01843 978-975-2750 Victor Caraballo-Anderson, Head of School. Timothy Finn, Head of School, or Christine Lumb, Assistant Principal
Abbott Lawrence Academy 70 No. Parish Rd., 01843 978-946-0711 Stacey Ciprich, Principal, or Raul Cruz, Assistant Principal
ENLACE 70 No. Parish Rd., 01843 978-946-0714 Allison Balter, Principal
LHS Lower School (Gr 9) 70 No. Parish Rd., 01843 978-946-0712 Melissa Spash, Principal, or Melissa Melendez, Assistant Principal
LHS Lower School (Gr 10) 70 No. Parish Rd., 01843 978-946-0735 Juan Rodriguez, Principal, or David Hochheiser, Assistant Principal
LHS Upper School (Grades 11-12) 70 No. Parish Rd., 01843 978-946-0760
978-946-0719
Edward Reynoso, Principal, or BarriAnn Alonzo or Nancy Salach or Angela Sarkis, Assistant Principals
High School Learning Center 233 Haverhill St., 01840 (NCEC) 978-975-5917 Robert Cayer, Principal
International High School 233 Haverhill St., 01840 (NCEC) 978-722-8600 Geraldo Acosta, Principal
RISE 417 Canal St., 01840 978-681-0548 Daniel Rasanen, School Director

For incidents of bullying or retaliation that may involve the school-based designated contacts, reports should be made to one of the following Central Office Administrators:

Director of Human Resources, (978) 975-5900 Ext. 25630 or 
Community, Family & Student Engagement Office at (978) 975-5900 Ext. 25724. 

Appendix C: Designated Contacts for Reporting Incidents of Bullying (Spanish)


Appendix D: Bullying Incident Report Form

Below is the form for reporting a bullying incident.

Appendix D: Bullying Incident Report Form (Spanish)


Appendix E: Bullying Incident Administrative Form

Below is the form for the administrative bullying investigation form.

Appendix E: Bullying Incident Administrative Form (Spanish)