BULLYING PREVENTION and INTERVENTION
Hillcrest operates three residential treatment and one non-residential therapeutic special education programs in Berkshire County for severely emotionally disturbed and behaviorally disordered youth.
Our mission at Hillcrest Educational Centers is to facilitate the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth of our students through the development of new skills that will enable them to succeed in their home community.
Hillcrest Educational Centers strives to prevent and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. Hillcrest is different from other public and/or private schools in that its students are typically admitted because they have exhibited severely aggressive behaviors, often including bullying. Hillcrest’s treatment/intervention approach is based on the premise challenging behaviors are the result of chronic abuse/neglect and/or developmental disabilities. At Hillcrest, we strive to help our students gain an understanding into their treatment issues and provide them with the skills they need to cope with their everyday stressors in a non-violent, constructive manner.
Hillcrest understands that there are a number of factors that make our students vulnerable to bullying. We will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for all of our students, and provide them with the skills, knowledge, and strategies
We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation, in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement. Campus Administration is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Plan.
The program expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences
Statement of Intent
Hillcrest Educational Centers is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our programs. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING and LISTENING program. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell someone, in the knowledge that action will be taken.
What is Bullying?
- Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
- Bullying can be: Emotional; being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding others belonging or making threatening gestures).
- Physical; pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any other use of violence.
- Racist; racial taunts or comments, graffiti, gestures.
- Homophobic; because of, or focusing on the issue of someone’s sexuality.
- Verbal; name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors or teasing.
- Cyber; all areas of internet, such as email & internet chat room misuse, misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera & video facilities.
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
- All staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All staff should know what the school policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All students and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying and know what they should do if bullying arises.
- As a school we take bullying seriously. Students and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying in any form will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms of Bullying
A child may indicate by signs or behavior that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child:
- Is frightened of walking to or from school.
- Doesn’t want to go to school.
- Begs to be driven to school.
- Changes their usual routine.
- Is unwilling to go to school (school phobic).
- Begins to truant.
- Becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence.
- Starts stammering.
- Attempts or threatens suicide.
- Threatens to or actually runs away from home.
- Cries themselves to sleep at night.
- Has persistent or repeated nightmares.
- Complains of feeling ill in the mornings.
- Begins to do poorly in school work.
- Comes home with clothes torn or belongings damaged.
- Possessions “go missing?”
- Asks for extra money or starts stealing money (to pay bully).
- Has dinner or other monies continually “lost?”
- Has unexplained cuts or bruises.
- Comes home hungry (money or lunch has been stolen).
- Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
- Begins to bully other children or siblings.
- Stops eating or begins to over-eat.
- Is frightened to say what is wrong.
- Gives improbable excuses for any of the above.
- Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone.
- Is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received.
These signs and behavior could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered as a possibility and therefore investigated.
Hillcrest Educational Centers is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Hazing of any kind is unacceptable at our programs. If hazing does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING and LISTENING program. This means that anyone who knows that hazing is happening is expected to tell someone, in the knowledge that action will be taken.
What is hazing?
“Hazing” refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. In years past, hazing practices were typically considered harmless pranks or comical antics associated with young men in college fraternities.
Hazing is done to a person or group of people in order to gain entrance or acceptance into a club, organization, team, workplace or formal group.