What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
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.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
There are three types of bullying:
- Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
- Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
- Making mean or rude hand gestures
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet.
There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:
- The 2010–2011 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.
- The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
Research on cyberbullying is growing. However, because kids’ technology use changes rapidly, it is difficult to design surveys that accurately capture trends.
Washington County School District is pleased to introduce a communication tool called Anonymous Alerts®.
What is the Anonymous Alerts app?
The Anonymous Alerts anti-bullying and safety app reporting system helps combat bullying and other negative activity in schools by empowering students to speak up. Social and peer pressure are some of the hardest obstacles for students to overcome.
The system allows for 1-way or 2-way anonymous encrypted communications between submitters (students, parents or community members) and district administration and/or school staff. Users of the system have the option to remain anonymous or to reveal their identity when submitting a report.
How does it work?
To use this revolutionary new app, students, parents or other school personnel can simply visit the
Washington County School District website and click on the “Anonymous Alerts” button or text link to submit a report expressing their concern. Anonymous Alerts® mobile applications can be downloaded directly from the Apple, Google Play or the Chrome stores.
Washington County School District supplies students a simple username and password activation code, making the app remarkably easy to use and students select which school and contact the message should go to. In addition, informational posters explaining how to use the app will be displayed throughout schools and offices in the district.
To send reports from the Web/Internet go to https://www.anonymousalerts.com/washingtoncsd/
To send a report from your phone:
- Download the Anonymous Alerts® app for free from the Apple Store, Google Play store, or the Chrome store
- Start the App, enter login: washingtoncsd and password: washingtoncsd
- Send important reports to school officials
- Add a screenshot, photo or video about the incident