The Elk Grove Unified School District has a no tolerance policy against bullying in all forms. Student safety is a top priority for Elk Grove Unified and the district does not allow any behaviors that infringe on the safety or emotional or physical well-being of any student. Elk Grove Unified has developed strategies for bullying prevention and intervention to help keep students safe and ensure a healthy learning environment. The district has an extensive board policy on bullying that covers a variety of areas, including cyberbullying, bullying prevention, intervention, complaints and investigation, discipline and enforcement mechanisms.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind and Healthy Learning
Elk Grove Unified takes a comprehensive approach to overall health recognizing that healthy bodies and healthy minds contribute to increased academic performance, improved attendance and positive behavior for healthy learning. In recognizing the link between student health and learning, the district promotes healthy eating and physical activity, as well as opportunities for students to further develop their social, emotional and psychological well-being. To assist in developing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and, as necessary, revising school nutrition, physical activity and social, emotional and psychological well-being policies the Wellness Advisory Committee (WAC) was formed.
In November 2012, Elk Grove Unified School District middle and high school students decided to take a stand to challenge and eliminate cyberbullying. Today’s students live in a digital world. The “#UnfollowBullying Campaign” was a student driven movement recognizing that students are in fact the ones who can and will lead the charge in their online communities to ensure that all are treated with respect and kindness.
Bully Prevention in PBIS
School-wide PBIS begins with the premise that all students should have access to supports to prevent the development and occurrence of problem behavior, including bullying behavior. To avoid stigmatizing any student, school-wide PBIS emphasizes what a student does and where it occurs. Instead of negatively labeling a student as a bully, victim, perpetrator, or aggressor, the emphasis is on labeling what the student does, for example, name-calling, teasing, intimidation, verbal aggression, and cyber- harassment. Bullying behavior is always described in the context or setting in which it occurs, for example, cyberspace, hallway, dance, field trip, bus, or other “setting.”
Digital Citizenship: Cyberbullying
In 2012, the Elk Grove Unified School District Digital Citizenship Task Force aligned our digital citizenship curriculum and programs to meet the updated legal mandates. The new updates require educating students about “appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.” In an effort to clarify what these requirements would look like in K-12 curriculum and programs, the task force identified four main themes for the teaching of digital citizenship. As students step up and out onto the internet, the district wants to ensure that they understand the need to think before they post – to treat others with respect, to build and maintain a positive digital footprint, to protect their online privacy and the privacy of others, and to respect intellectual property boundaries.
Bullying Prevention Program – Youth Development Office
All students have a right to a safe and healthy school environment. Our schools work hard to promote mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance, and the Youth Development Office supports our schools in this effort. The Sacramento County Bullying Prevention Project (BPP) provides grant funding to EGUSD through the Youth Development Office of Student Support and Health Services.
The Elk Grove Unified School District also has other anti-bullying education programs throughout its schools at all grades levels.
- At elementary school sites, Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) are involved in anti-bullying activities on campuses, and Kaiser Permanente’s “Peace Sign” program is presented at elementary schools for both students and parents. Elementary schools also address the issue of bullying through their character education curriculum.
- Middle school students attend “Teen Truth” assemblies and create anti-bullying clubs on campus to prevent bullying. Parent University presents sessions to middle school parents about how to notice if their child is being bullied and the signs to look for if their child is a bully.
- High school student associations sponsor “Unity Days” to break down walls on campus and reduce bullying behaviors, and assemblies are held where speakers present about the harmful effects of bullying. Parents of high school students receive information about bullying through School Loop and school websites, pamphlets, PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) meetings, principal’s forums, “Back to School Nights” and “Take a Parent to School” days.
Parents are a key component in the fight against bullying and cyberbullying. Please take a look at the links below for more information on how to recognize the signs of bullying and the steps you can take to help prevent this from happening to your child.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Stop Bullying Website
Parent Further Search Institute for Families
Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) National Bullying Prevention Center
Common Sense Media