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Welcome

Whether you are a student, a parent, or a staff person working at a Newton school, we are glad you are visiting the Newton Public Schools (NPS) Bullying Prevention and Intervention website. These pages contain the NPS policies and procedures in regard to preventing and responding to bullying behaviors. Additionally, as you explore these pages, you will find a wealth of information about bullying prevention, curriculum, and other resources.

The content of these pages is guided by the belief that all students of the school community deserve the opportunity to learn in an environment where they feel safe. Students, parents, and staff all have a role to play in building positive environments for youth, and in promoting acceptance and respect among all individuals.

Bullying is a form of youth violence. It is aggressive behavior, directed intentionally towards an individual or individuals and it involves an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying has a negative impact on other students at school who are bystanders or witnesses to bullying by creating a climate of fear and disrespect. Bullying of any kind, including cyberbullying – the electronic version of bullying – will not be tolerated in the Newton Public Schools.

The most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), distributed to Newton’s secondary school students in 2014, tells us that there are some positive trends realated to bullying: 

  • Rates of reported bullying in all venues decreased bewteen 2012 and 2014, continuing an overall pattern of decline since 2102. 
  • The percent of Newton 7th and 8th graders and high schools students who reported seeing someone else being bullied and being bullied themselves has declined significantly since 2004.  

In addition the YRBS tells the following about bullying in our schools and out of school: 

In School
• Thirty-seven percent (37%) of 7-8th grade students and 30% of high school students reported that they saw someone else bullied in school in the 30 days prior to the survey.
Out of School
• Student respondents were more likely to report being bullied when they were in school than when they were not in school.
• 17% of Newton middle school students and 11% of high school students reported that they had been bullied in school in the 30 days prior to the survey
• 4% of middle-schoolers and 5% of high schoolers reported being bullied on their way to or from school
• 8% of middle school students and 6% of high school students reported being bullied when they were neither in nor on their way to/from school.
Online
• 11% of middle and 7% high school students reported they had been bullied on the Internet in the 30 days prior to the survey.

Trends/Comments
• Respondents who had been bullied in school in the 30 days prior to the survey were asked how they responded the last time it happened (multiple responses were possible). Respondents in all grades generally reported that they were "most likely" to try to get the person/people doing it to stop, followed by talking to a friend about it, telling a school adult, and telling a parent/guardian. Seventh and eighth grade students were more than twice as likely to report using these strategies than high school students.

Link to 2014 YRBS Report Summary 

National Center for Bullying Prevention

Before filing an incident report, we strongly encourage you to also explore other pages on this website to learn more about bullying prevention and intervention.

New & Noteworthy

May 2014

 

The Fiscal Year 2014 budget, adopted in June by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick, included amendments to the Massachusetts anti-bullying law (M.G.L. chapter 71, section 37O). Those amendments extend protections to students who are bullied by a member of the school staff, who are defined to include but are not limited to an "educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional." The amendments are available online at School Bullying School Staff Clarification; School Bullying Staff Clarification; and Expansion of School Staff in School Bullying Law.

 

March, 2012

 

US Departments of Education and Health & Human Services announce the launch of a revitalized Stop Bullying website – www.stopbullying.gov – to encourage children, parents, educators, and communities to take action to stop and prevent bullying.