Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
On May 3, 2010, Governor Patrick signed into law an Act Relative to Bullying in Schools. This law prohibits bullying and retaliation in all public and private schools, and requires schools and school districts to take certain steps to address bullying incidents. Parts of the law (M.G.L. c. 71, 37O) that are important for students and parents or guardians to know are described below.
These requirements are included in the district’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“the Plan”). The Plan includes the requirements of the new law, and information about the policies and procedures that the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School will follow to prevent bullying and retaliation, or to respond to it when it occurs.
Aggressor is a student or member of a school staff, including but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.
- Repeated — The repeated use by one or more aggressor of a written, verbal, or electronic expression, or physical act or gesture toward a victim
- Effect — Which has the effect on the victim of:
- Causing physical or emotional harm
- Causing damage to his or her property
- Placing him or her in reasonable fear of harm or property damage
- Creating a hostile environment at school
- Infringing on his or her rights at school
- Materially (in a significant way) and substantially disrupting the educational process or orderly operation of a school.
- Use of technology — Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication (including email, internet, instant messaging, fax, etc.) 35
- Assume identity of another — The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person, or the impersonation of another person as the author of posted comments, if these actions cause any of the effects listed above.
- Distribution — The electronic distribution or posting of materials if this causes any of the effects listed.
- Hostile environment is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the students’ education.
Target is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation is directed.Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses, or has reliable information about bullying.
Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses, or has reliable information about bullying is prohibited.
Prohibition Against Bullying
Bullying is prohibited:
- On school grounds
- At a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program, whether it takes place on or off school grounds.
- At a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by GNB Voc-Tech.
- Through the use of technology or an electronic device that is owned, leased or used by GNB Voc-Tech (for example, on a computer or over the Internet).
- At any program or location that is not school-related, or through the use of personal technology or electronic device, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at school, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Anyone, including a parent or guardian, student, or school staff member, can report bullying or retaliation. Reports can be made in writing or orally to the principal or another staff member, or reports may be made anonymously (email@example.com)
If school staff members witness or become aware of bullying or retaliation, they must report it immediately to one of the following security personnel:
Assistant Principal Warley Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org, ext. 277)
Assistant Principal Robert Pimental (email@example.com, ext. 381)
Shane Teixeira (firstname.lastname@example.org, ext. 272)
Brittany Fernandez (email@example.com, ext. 272)
If there is no answer, please dial (0). Mr. Williams has students in grades 11-12, and Mr. Pimental has students in grades 9-10.
Staff members include, but are not limited to educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity, or paraprofessionals.
If a member of the security staff determines that bullying or retaliation has occurred, he or she shall report it to the appropriate Assistant Principal. The Assistant Principal will notify the appropriate Coordinator/Department Head. Upon further investigation, the Principal will be notified. The Principal or designee shall:
- Notify the parents or guardians of the target, consistent with state and federal law
- Notify them of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation
- Notify the parents or guardians of an aggressor
- Take appropriate disciplinary action; and
- Notify the local law enforcement agency if the school principal(s) or designee believes that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.
Definition of Bullying:
Bullying is defined as the severe or repeated use of written, verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, by one or more students or member(s) of school personnel directed at a student that has the effect of:
- Causing physical or emotional harm to the other student or damage to his or her property;
- Placing the other student in reasonable fear of harm to him or herself or of damage to his or her property;
- Creating a hostile environment at school for the bullied student;
- Infringing on the rights of the other students at school; or
- Materially and substantially disrupting the educational process or the orderly operation of a school.
Reporting bullying or retaliation
Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents or guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Reports made by students, parents, or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members, may be made anonymously. GNBVT has a variety of reporting resources available to the school community that include: an Incident Reporting Form (Security Office), Security voicemail boxes, a mailing address, and a dedicated email address.
A description of the reporting procedures and resources, including the name and contact information of the Security Personnel, is incorporated in student and staff handbooks, and on the school website.
GNBVT expects students, parents, or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to Security or the Assistant Principal. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Students, parents, or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students will be provided practical, safe, private, and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss and incident of bullying.
Anyone reporting bullying or retaliation may use any of the following methods:
- Complete an Incident Reporting Form in the Security Office with Ms. Fernandez/Mr. Teixeira
- Call the Assistant Principal:
- Mr. Williams: 508-998-3321 x277 Eleventh and Twelfth grade students
- Mr. Pimental: 508-998-3321 x381 Ninth and Tenth grade students
- Leave a voice mail with Security Personnel at 508-998-3321 x272
- Mail information to:
Greater New Bedford Reg. Voc-Tech H.S.
1121 Ashley Boulevard
New Bedford, MA 02745
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting by Staff
A school staff member (including educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity, or paraprofessionals) is required to immediately report any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member has witnessed or become aware of to Security Personnel as follows:
Brittany Fernandez – email@example.com: 508-998-3321 x272
Mr. Williams – firstname.lastname@example.org: 508-998-3321 x277
Shane Teixeira – email@example.com: 508-998-3321 x272
Mr. Pimental – firstname.lastname@example.org: 508-998-3321 x381
(if there is no answer at any extension, please dial 0).