Not in My School! is a comprehensive framework developed by the Manatee County Safe Schools program which seeks to address the issue of bullying within our schools. At the end of the 2004-’05 school year, our district formed a middle school committee to study the problem of bullying and to help provide our schools with a common set of strategies to effectively address it. By the beginning of the 2005-‘06 year, an elementary committee was also formed to look at the specific dynamics of bullying in the k-5 setting. The work of both groups resulted in a district definition of bullying, the establishment of proven prevention and intervention guidelines, and all the materials schools may need to carry out this mission. The passage of the Jeffrey Johnston Stand-up for all Students Act in 2008 provided our district with the impetus to adopt a far-reaching policy, which seeks to protect all Manatee County students and employees from bullying and harrassment.
Definition of Bullying and Harassment
Bullying is the mistreatment of an individual or group characterized by a willful intent to cause harm and a perceived advantage in power. These acts can be socially, emotionally, or physically damaging in nature and include, but are not limited to, teasing, name calling, rumor spreading, exclusion, intimidation, threats, damaging personal property, stealing, public or private humiliation, stalking, pushing, shoving, or other physical attacks, and sexual, religious, or racial/ethnic harassment.
Harassment involves any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing act or gesture which places an individual in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, has the effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school or activity.
Bullying or harassment of any individual is prohibited:
1. During any education program or activity conducted by a district school;
2. During any school-related or school-sponsored program/ activity or on a school district bus;
3. Through the use of computers or other electronic devices which is initiated or accessed by any school district data system; or within the scope of the school district, meaning regardless of ownership, any computer, computer system, or computer network that is physically located on school property or at a school-related or school-sponsored program or activity; or
4. Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function, or program 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 substantially interferes with or limits the victim’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school or substantially disrupts the education process or orderly operation of a school.
To lessen the effects of bullying in our schools, the Not in My School! framework seeks to apply a holistic approach which involves every member of the school community. Administration, faculty, staff, bus drivers, parents, and especially the students all play a critical role in creating an atmosphere free from worry and conducive to academic success. These roles are played out in several programmatic and procedural recommendations that together will provide schools with a comprehensive game plan. While piece-mail approaches may achieve moderate results, schools which incorporate the framework in its entirety will experience the most success in reducing bullying.
The recommendations outlined in the Not in My School! framework are a collection of best practices from several of the most recognized programs in use throughout the country. Comprehensive approaches such as the Olweus bully prevention program have shown to produce a 50% reduction in bullying behaviors when implemented with full fidelity. Additionally, the policies of dozens of school districts as well as recommendations from top bully prevention organizations were evaluated for inclusion in this framework. The result has been a multi-tiered prevention model and intervention guidelines for all school staff.
School bullying contacts for 2021-2022 - Contact these individuals at your school to report bullying
Remember each district school has customized posters and brochures available to them. Check out the anonymous reporting posters which have been placed in each school.
View the "Not in My School!" framework for prevention & intervention
View the complete SDMC policy on bullying and harassment
Check out the expert information in the Bullying Awareness Guide
Get the full scoop on the impacts bullying in a single infographic from the USC Rossier School of Education
This Guide to Cyberbullying Laws provides an excellent array of legal information.
Check out these resources from security.org for students and parents on how to deal with cyberbullying
Cyberbullying and college bullying resources from Affordable Colleges Online - Although geared towards college students, this resource offers outstanding information and assistance when confronted with cyberbullying.
Cybersafety resources from Safe Florida - Lean how to protect yourself and others from various types of cyber crimes and attacks.
A comprehensive guide to combating bullying with resources for parents, teachers, and school leaders - brought to you by STEPS.