The Amherst Exempted Village School District is committed to providing a safe, positive, productive, and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. Aggressive and inappropriate behavior is prohibited and will not be tolerated. This prohibition applies to all activities in the District, including activities on school property, on a school bus, or off school property during any school-sponsored, school-approved or school-related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events where students are under the school’s control and supervision.
In support of this stance, the Amherst Exempted Village School District promotes preventative educational measures to create greater awareness of aggressive behavior, including bullying. The district provides appropriate training to staff members regarding bullying and other forms of harassment including the required training in the prevention of child abuse, violence, and substance abuse and the promotion of positive youth development. The district also provides students with age-appropriate instruction regarding bullying and inappropriate behavior including positive behavioral interventions and supports about how to prevent bullying, respond to bullying, and supporting students affected by bullying.
Bullying is any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward another student more than once, and the behavior both causes mental and physical harm to the other student and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power: Kids 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.
Understanding the difference between "meanness" and bullying can be difficult, especially when students are in the middle of peer conflict. All of the behaviors below can occur in situations that are not identified as bullying. But if these behaviors are being repeated by the same individual or group of individuals and intentionally used to control another individual or group of individuals, then there is a great possibility that bullying is taking place:
Physical - hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, pulling, physical restraint, taking or damaging personal belongings, blocking or impeding student movement or unwelcome physical contact
Verbal - taunting, malicious teasing, insulting, name calling, making threats or hate speech
Psychological - spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, coercion, social exclusion/shunning, extortion or intimidation
Cyber - sending unwanted or inappropriate pictures, e-mail, text messages, or memes through an electronic means including social media that are negative, mean, degrading or unwanted without a person's permission
Parents, teachers, administrators, and school counselors play a key role in preventing, identifying, and responding to peer conflict and bullying situations. Our job is to empower students to be their best advocate. Below are just a few of the many opportunities and resources that the Amherst School District has in place to support students, parents, and teachers in our stance against bullying.