' When people purchase this book, it will be like having their own lawyer sitting right next to them' - Steve Hutton, Professional Development Specialist, USA
Every hour of every day, students experience bullying and harassment at school by their peers. The immediate and long-term impact on the victims' learning capabilities, emotional health, and self-esteem is staggering. School Bullying: Tools for Avoiding Harm and Liability tackles this critical problem with an easy-to-use framework that guides educators in using constructive thinking, listening, and speaking to take effective action.
The McGrath SUCCEED (R) System outlined in this excellent text offers school leaders tools to create lasting, legally based, and ethically sound approaches to dealing with, and preventing, bullying in schools. It provides step-by-step procedures and practical tools for investigating bullying situations and communicating effectively with students, parents, teachers, staff, and the community.
Preface About the Author Part I: FACT, MYTH AND IMPACT 1. What Bullying Is and What it Is Not Spotting the Bully How Bullies Act Intent to Harm An Imbalance of Power The Perpetrator Enjoys Bullying Repeated, Systematic Behavior Bullying Hurts Three Types of Bullying Piercing the Myths About Bullies and Bullying Myth #1: Our School Doesn't Have Bullies Myth #2: Other Safety Issues are a Bigger Concern for Kids Myth #3: Schools Should Not Encourage Complaints Myth #4: Teachers See Everything and Respond When Bullying Takes Place Myth #5: It's the Outcasts Who Bully Others Myth #6: Bullies Appear Tough, but They Are All Actually Anxious and Insecure Myth #7: The "Class Bully" Is Easy to Identify Myth #8: It Is Impossible to Catch the Early Warning Signs Myth #9: There Is No Correlation Between Bullying and Cases of Extreme Violence Myth #10: Bullying Is Not a Legal Issue, It's a Character Issue Summary 2. Through the Eyes of the Victim The Impact of Bullying on Victims Impacted for Life The Effects of Chronic Trauma Post-Traumatic Stress Blaming the Victim Signs and Symptoms That May Indicate a Child Is Being Bullied Six Powerful Practices for Detecting Bullying and Harassment in Schools Safe, Responsive Adults Are the Key Being a Safe Adult Being a Responsive Adult Getting Everyone Involved The Nature and Scope of Anti-Bullying Interventions But Is It Legally Fit? Legal Avenues for Effecting Change Summary 3. Social Scheming and TechnoBullying Mean Girls What Does Relational Bullying Look Like? What's the Harm? The Marvels of Modern Technology Three-Way Calling Attacks Instant Messaging Blogging No Privacy on the Internet Online Impersonation What Can Schools Do? Why Kids Don't Report The Code Changing the Adult Response The Complex Role of the Bystander Group Dynamics The Role of the Defender Shifting the Dynamic: Training Bystanders "I'm Afraid to Walk in That Corridor" Is Your Discipline Code Adequate? What Does Retaliation Look Like? Handling Graffiti Summary Part II: THE LEGAL CONTEXT OF BULLYING 4. Bullying Through a Legal Lens In Loco Parentis Three Bodies of Law What Is a Civil Action? What Is Criminal Law? What Is Administrative Law? What Is Liability? What Is Governmental Immunity? What Is Negligence? Where Does Negligence Fit Under the Law? What Is a Duty of Care? What Is the Standard of Care in Civil Actions for Negligence? Under What Conditions May an Individual Be Found Individually Liable? What Qualifies As "Notice"? How Does a School Receive Notice? What Are Deliberate Indifference and Reckless Disregard? What Is Discrimination? What Is the Difference Between Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination? What About Students' First Amendment Rights? The First Amendment and Retaliation: A Case in Point Responsibility for the Behavior of Third Parties Who Is Considered a Third Party? Public School Students in Employment Settings Enactment of State Law Summary 5. When Bullying Is Legally Actionable The Criterion: Point by Point Point 1: Is a Protected Classification Involved or Is There Intent to Harm? Point 2: Is the Behavior Unwelcome or Unwanted? Point 3: Is the Behavior Severe or Persistent or Pervasive? Point 4: Does the Behavior Substantially Interfere With the Student's Education? Point 5: Does the Behavior Meet Both Subjective and Objective Tests Related to Its Level of Interference With Student Education? Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: An Exception to the Five-Point Criterion In Review Follow Your Policy Bullying Policy Highlights A Cautionary Note: The Importance of Being Strategic Your Duty to Provide a Save Environment: The Courts Are Speaking Established Guidelines for Protecting Students Four Responsibilities Under the Duty to Provide a Safe Learning Environment Covering All the Bases Summary PART III: LEGALLY SOUND AND PRINCIPLED-BASED ACTION 6. Daily Practices to Conquer Bullying And the Complaints Keep Coming... Power Tools That Build a Positive School Culture A Legally Sound Response Bullying: Three Levels of Response Level I Response: Training the Front Line Level I Response: Documentation Level II Response Level III Response The McGrath SUCCEED System The McGrath FICA Standard: The Basic Tool How to Evaluate Facts and Make Decisions The McGrath FICA Standard The FACTS: What Happened? IMPACT: The Harm of What Happened When Facts and Impact Do Not Correlate CONTEXT: The Other Factors Surrounding the Situation Context: The Supreme Court Speaks Miss Jones Interviews Becky ACTION: Taking the Logical Next Step Spiraling Forward Back to Mr. Pogue McGrath FICA in Review Implementing the FICA Chat Infrastructure Summary 7. Powered By Principles The "Be" and the "Do" of Conquering Bullying Why Trust, Respect, Understanding, and Growth? Facts With Trust Impact With Respect Context With Understanding Action With Growth Four Lenses: Structure, Quality, Tone, and Balance Structure Counts Quality: Be Specific and Factual Tone: The Relationship Factor Balance: Working the FICA Formula With Integrity It's All About Relationship The McGrath SUCCEED Levels of Mastery A Transformational Approach The Heart of the Matter What It Takes To Be a Partner Turning the Mirror Inward The McGrath SUCCEED System as a Guide for Self-Reflection The Internal "Imposter" The Personal Awareness Paradox The Questing Person Being a Partner: Shared Vision The Sociopath Next Door: A Notable Exception No Matter How Mean the Streets You Can SUCCEED Lead With Your Heart Summary 8. A Legally Sound "To Do" List The Content of Bullying Through the Legal Lens Initial Intake of Complaints: Preliminary Steps The Role of the Complaint Manager Processing Incident Reports From Third Parties If the Complainant Cannot Read and/or Write English Proficiently Complaint Intake With Very Young Students Informing the Parents Should You Audiotape the Child's Answers? Completing the Conversation With the Complainant Don't Be Afraid of Documentation Deciding Who Investigates Handing Off a Complaint to an Investigator First Things First: Eight Preliminary Considerations 1. Take Action on the Complaint Within 24 Hours 2. If Sexual Harassment is Suspected, Use Two Investigators 3. Create a Confidential File 4. Conduct Interviews in a Private Room 5. Review All Pertinent Records 6. Review and Follow All Aplicable Policies, Rules, and Regulations 7. Talk to the Teachers With Whom the Parties Attend Classes 8. Do Not Limit the Investigation to Interviews of the Complainant and Alleged Perpetrator Informal Versus Formal Resolution A Working Definition of "Informal" "Talking It Out" Anonymity Informal Does Not Mean Unwritten What Is an Inquiry? An Example of a Level II Matter When Is Informal Resolution Clearly Inappropriate? Innocent Until Proven Guilty But I Know the Kid Is Guilty Summary 9. Creating and Following a Game Plan: Level III Investigation Know the "Players" The Complaint Manager's Role The Response Team's Role Traits of an Investigator The Title IX Coordinator The Role of Counsel Include All Players in the Game Plan The Five Phases of an Investigation Phase One: Gather the Facts Phase Two: Check for Records of Concern Phase Three: Evaluate the Testimony and Evidence Phase Four: Write the Report Phase Five: Follow-Up Actions By School Officials Corroborative Evidence Hearsay Evidence Creating a McGrath Case and Report Organizer to Guide the Investigation From Start to Finish Organize the Case File The McGrath Case Report Organizer Synopsis Facts Impact Context Action Summary 10. Conclusion Part IV: RESOURCES Resource A: Forms McGrath Incident Report Complaint of Alleged Bullying or Illegal Harassment McGrath Investigation Checklist McGrath Template III Resource B: Laws and Policies Law Case Digest: A Sampler Model Bullying Policy Sample State Anti-Bullying Legislation Resource C: Suggested 360-Degree Anti-Bullying Training Plan Resource D: Glossary Resource E: Useful Web Sites Bibliography Index