Bullying Prevention: Q&A

Q. Where is bullying prohibited?

A. Bullying is prohibited:

  • At school and at all school facilities;
  • At school-sponsored or school-related functions, whether on or off school grounds;
  • On school buses or other vehicles owned, leased or used by the school district, and at school bus stops;
  • Through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, licensed or used by the school; and
  • At non-school related locations and through non-school technology or electronic devices, if the bullying materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Q. What do I do if I believe a student is being bullied?

A. If you believe a student is being bullied, you should report your concerns to your principal/his or her designee by the end of the school day. Under Marblehead Charter's plan, the administrator is required to investigate and make a determination based on a set of specified criteria. Administrators will follow-up with staff members about the outcome of the investigation.

Q. What if I witness an interaction that appears to be an instance of bullying or harassment?

A. Staff members have an obligation to intervene to interrupt any behavior that is bullying or harassing as a matter of student safety. In addition, a teacher might implement a consequence that is in keeping with the teacher's classroom management practices or school discipline code. If the behavior rises to the level of bullying, it must be reported (see above). Please note: While staff members sometimes help students resolve conflicts and communicate more effectively, staff members should not attempt to mediate or resolve a bullying situation.

Q. I know there are implications for students with IEP’s in the law. What are they?

A. It is important to note that Special Education teams are required to take this law into account. This includes a particular focus on the needs of students with autism spectrum disorders or students whose disability affects social skills development. The Student Services Director will ensure that IEP teams appropriately respond to the Marblehead Charter's obligations under the law. If you would like more information, click here to read the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MADESE)'s position statement on Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities in the IEP and in School Bullying Prevention and Intervention Efforts or click here to read guidance from the MADESE related to the bullying prevention law.

Q. What counseling resources are available to students?

A. Marblehead Charter has a variety of resources within the school and community. The Marblehead Charter School utilizes guidance counselors and school psychologists to assist in developing safety plans for students who have been targets of bullying or retaliation, providing social skills programs to prevent bullying, and offering education and/or intervention services for students exhibiting bullying behaviors. The Marblehead Charter School utilizes a variety of tools including, but not limited to, behavioral intervention plans, social skills groups, and individually focused curricula.

Q. Are referrals ever made to outside agencies?

A. Marblehead Charter has a referral protocol for referring students and families to access appropriate services.