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Bullying & Harassment

Information for Parents - What to do if your child is bullied, if your child is the bully, or your child sees someone being bullied.

Information for Schools - Programs and recommendations to assist in reducing bullying

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    (1-800-273-8255)

While every child must learn how to interact with others and deal with difficult situations they do not have to tolerate being bullied or harassed. Addressing bullying is important to all students involved. Students avoiding school because of bullying will suffer academically as well as socially.

Every student deserves to be treated with respect and have a safe and civil learning environment.  Furthermore, Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-1016 requires that every school district have a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment as well as procedures for investigating reports of bullying and harassment. Questions regarding bullying should be directed to the Office of Safe and Supportive Schools at 615-741-3248.

For more information, please read our civil rights and bullying frequently asked questions.

Definitions

Bullying
Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. The imbalance of power involves the use of physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity to control or harm others.
Harassment
Harassment is any unwelcome conduct based on a protected class under the federal civil rights laws that is severe, pervasive or persistent and creates a hostile environment that interferes with or limits a student's ability to participate in or benefit from services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school. Harassment meets one or more of the following criteria: is an act directed at one or more students that is received as harmful or embarrassing; is directed at one or more students; substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students; substantially affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress; is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic, or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any distinguishing characteristics; is repeated over time – is severe, persistent, and pervasive; causes mental duress, or psychological trauma to the victim
Cyberbullying
Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples may include mean text messages or emails, rumor sent by email or posted on social network sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.