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Bullying behavior in schools can cause harm to students’ social and emotional well-being and be a significant barrier to learning. Bullying can be defined as a “physical, verbal or psychological attack or intimidation that is intended to cause fear, distress, or harm the victim” (Farrington and Ttofi, 2010). There is a perceived psychological or physical imbalance of power and often times, incidents between the same students occur repeatedly. Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen traveling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the internet.

Some effective school practices to prevent bullying include:

  • reduce conditions that contribute to bullying at school (e.g., unsupervised areas);
  • pursue schoolwide approaches that establish a positive school culture and climate;
  • build on the foundation of schoolwide approaches in implementing classroom programs;
  • intervene to turn bullies around by directly addressing motivational and developmental concerns related to individuals who bully and those who support bullying; and
  • respond to any problems experienced by those who are bullied and those who witness bullying.
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These practices can be implemented through a Comprehensive System of Learning Supports that promotes the necessary conditions for learning and addresses any barriers to learning.

Source- Center for Mental Health in Schools, UCLA​

The following is a link to the OCR complaint form:

You may email OCR’s Discrimination Complaint FormPDF Document or your own signed letter to ocr@ed.gov. If you write your own letter, please include the information identified above. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group. Before filling out the complaint form, it might be useful to read the information on how the Office of Civil Rights handles bullying complaints. You may also contact OCR at 1‐800‐421‐3481.​​​​​

 Bullying Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7

Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 requires that all public schools, non-sectarian nonpublic schools, and charter schools are to create and implement policies concerning bullying prevention. Policies should have been filed with ISBE by September 30, 2019. These policies must also be reviewed and re-evaluated every two (2) years and be updated to reflect any necessary and appropriate revisions. Acceptable documentation to satisfy the re-evaluated policy submission include one of the following, as applicable:

  1. An updated version of the policy with the amendment/modification date included in the reference portion of the policy;
  2. If no revisions are deemed necessary, a copy of board minutes clearly indicating that the policy was re-evaluated, and no changes were deemed to be necessary or a signed statement from the board president indicating that the policy was re-evaluated, and no changes were deemed to be necessary.

Policies should be sent via email to bullyingpolicy@isbe.net no later than December 31, 2020. For a breakdown of the statute and a detailed list of what the policy should encompass, you can reference Bullying Prevention Policy Requirements and Guidance​.​​​

 Bullying Resources

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