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Bullying Prevention

Thank you for visiting our Bullying prevention web page. Falls Schools takes reports of bullying very seriously. The District and Board of Education are committed to providing a safe, secure, respectful and nurturing learning environment for all students in school buildings, on school grounds, school buses and at school-sponsored activities. The District consistently and vigorously addresses bullying behavior so that there is no disruption to the learning environment and learning process.

The first step for all negative interactions is to investigate, interview those involved, including witnesses, and distinguish bullying from other unkind, mean, and harmful behaviors. Calling someone a name, being rude, or arguing or fighting with someone is not necessarily bullying. These behaviors are addressed but may have different consequences and interventions so distinction is critical (for details regarding consequences, please refer to the student code of conduct). The goal of school discipline is to assist all students in successfully participating in their educational and social environments and providing a safe learning environment. Discipline aims to promote positive behavioral change. School staff uses an array of interventions to support students. In all cases, the privacy of all students will be upheld in accordance with FERPA; this will include the consequences and district actions taken with your child and other students involved in an incident.

Bullying is defined as repeated actions or threats of action directed toward a person by one or more people who have or are perceived to have more power or status than their target in order to cause fear, distress or harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological or any combination of these three. It’s more important now than ever before for parents, educators and youth advocates to start the conversation early about bullying.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: People who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

According to, bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Every Conflict Isn’t Bullying

Best-selling author and bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman has partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to develop bullying prevention resources for parents and educators. In addition, he addresses the distinction between drama, or conflict–and bullying. Learn more here.

What Bullying is...

  • Repeated aggressive behavior
  • Intended to cause harm (physical or emotional)
  • An attempt by one or more individuals to gain power over another
  • Physical: Hitting, kicking, pushing, destroying property
  • Verbal/Written: Threatening, name-calling, teasing, taunting
  • Social/Emotional: Terrorizing, spreading rumors, intimidating, humiliating, blackmailing, isolating
  • Cyber-bullying: Using technology to bully others verbally, emotionally and/or socially.

What Bullying is Not...

  • Not liking someone
  • Accidentally bumping into someone
  • A single act of telling a joke about someone
  • Expression of unpleasant thoughts or feelings regarding others
  • Arguments or disagreements
  • Being excluded from a game or group on the playground (unless being done regularly and with intention to hurt the feelings of another)
  • Isolated acts of harassment, aggressive behavior, intimidation or meanness

Parent Resources