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Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention

Bullying, a behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates someone physically or emotionally, is a serious issue that impacts thousands of students every day. As damaging as bullying may be, there is hope! With education and awareness, bullying can be prevented at school, in neighborhoods, and online.

Bullying Prevention Information

What is Bullying?

Bullying is an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of real or perceived power between individuals with the intent to cause harm. Students who are the targets of bullying behavior and those who exhibit bullying behavior toward others may suffer serious, lasting consequences. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must include:

  • Deliberate Act: To cause emotional or physical harm to another individual.
  • An Imbalance of Power:Those 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 vary in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition:Bullying behaviors that display more than one time or have the potential to happen more than once.

Types of Bullying

Verbal, Social/Psychological/Relational, and Physical are three types of bullying outlined by the federal government and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cyberbullying can involve all three types of bullying and takes place using electronic technology.  Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. This type of bullying is becoming more prevalent every day. Examples include:

  • Demeaning or hateful text messages or emails
  • Rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites
  • Embarrassing pictures, videos, website, or fake profiles posted online

Why is Cyberbullying different than other types of bullying?

Students who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, students who are cyberbullied have a more difficult time escaping the negative behavior.

  • Cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a student when he or she is alone and/or when in their own home.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
  • Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures are extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

What exactly is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place via electronic communications or digital devices such as cell phones, tablets, or computers. It is deliberate harassing, intimidating, shaming, or otherwise targeting another person via electronic devices. Cyberbullying is a serious act that has lasting consequences.

Cyberbullying commonly occurs on social media like text messaging through devices; instant messaging through devices; email provider services; social media message features; diary sites; interactive games; online profiles; Apps; and more. With easy access and the prevalence of such media and digital forums, personal content can be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. Racism, intolerance, and fear can also play a role.

Cyberbullying has special aspects. It can be persistent, permanent, and/or hard to notice. When it is persistent, it can be difficult for students who experience it to find relief. When cyberbullying is posted online, it becomes publicly available and may lead to a negative online reputation impacting college admissions, employment, and other areas of life. Cyberbullying is harder to recognize since educators and parents may not overhear or see it taking place. Similar to acts of bullying, students may be reluctant to report cyberbullying due to humiliation or embarrassment.

Is Cyberbullying a Crime?

Some types of online or electronic conduct are crimes. The underlying challenge to determining criminal acts is that cyberbullying can take many forms and can violate a number of disparate criminal statues dependent on the underlying content. As examples, but not an exhaustive list, statutory violations can include:

Unfortunately, cyberbullying is not limited to a specified form of conduct. Its only limit is that of the human imagination to cause harm and perpetrators are consistently adopting new technology and innovative techniques to accomplish their goals.

  • Identity Theft, Penal Code section 530.5; here the harasser assumes the identity of the victims and creates a social media page or communication that appears to come from the victim. This is also a violation of Penal Code section 529, false personation.
  • Unlawful recording, Penal Code section 632; here the harasser records the victim without their knowledge and posts the conversation.
  • Cyber exploitation generally. See A list of crimes can be found at

Social Media Bullying

According to cyberbullying statistics show most cases are taking place on popular social media sites.  Social Media Bullying can take many forms, such as sending mean messages to people or threats to a person's life, aggressive or rude texts, tweets, posts, or messages. It can also be stealing a person's account information to publicize private information by spreading it on social media websites.

Reporting Bullying

If you think a child is being bullied

  1. Report the bullying to any school employee either verbally or throughthe STOP!T App.
  2. Complaints of bullying will be investigated and resolved in accordance with the district's uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3.
  3. In order to better investigate an incident of bullying a parent or student may be asked to fill out this Bullying Incident form.
  4. When a student is reported to be engaging in bullying off-campus, we will investigate and document the activity and identify specific facts or circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance.
  5. When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals are encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages that they feel constitutes cyber-bullying and to report it to a teacher, school administrator so that the matter can be investigated.

Stop, Walk, & Talk

“Stop-Walk-Talk” teaches students what bullying is and what it is not. For example, teasing, calling someone names, gossiping, excluding students from an activity, continuous pushing or constant poking are examples of bullying while accidentally bumping into someone or politely declining an invitation to play is not.


All students were taught the “Stop” signal. Our stop signal requires them to look directly at the other student, make the hand signal for stop and use a firm voice to say, “STOP.” Students are encouraged to use the “Stop” signal if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied. Students were also taught how to respond if they are given the “Stop” signal. The student receiving the “Stop” signal should immediately stop what he or she is doing, take a deep breath, count to 3, and then go on with their day following our school rules. Students were reminded that they should stop what they are doing, regardless of whether they agree that they deserved the stop signal or not. By following these guidelines, students show respect for themselves toward one another.


What if a student gives another student the stop signal, but the problem behavior continues? Students were then taught to “Walk” away or ignore the behavior. When it is not possible to walk away, such as while riding the bus, students were taught to “ignore” the student by looking the other way and not responding to them further either verbally or nonverbally (through gestures).


Finally, if students have tried to solve the problem, by using the stop signal and walking away or ignoring it and the bullying continues, then they can “Talk” to an adult. All staff has been trained to respond to a student’s request to talk.

First, the staff member will ask the student about the problem. Then, they will ask the student if they used the “stop” signal and tried walking away. Students will be praised for trying these steps or reminded about using these steps first before talking to an adult.

Finally, the staff member will discuss the problem behavior with the student who is engaging in problem or disrespectful behavior. They will remind students what they are to do when they are given the stop signal by another student or students (i.e., immediately stop what they are doing, take a deep breath and count to 3, and continue with their day following our school rules).

In addition, staff will enforce the appropriate consequence for breaking one of our school rules. Parents will receive notification from the school if their student continues to engage in disrespectful or unsafe behaviors.

One important exception to the “Stop-Walk-Talk” sequence is when a student is in immediate danger such as fighting or for cyberbullying. In this case, students were told to immediately tell an adult.

Anti-Bullying Policy

The Turlock Unified School District strives to provide students with optimal conditions for learning by maintaining a school environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is physically or emotionally harmed.  

In order to ensure respect and prevent harm, it is a violation of the Conduct Code for a student to be harassed, intimidated, or bullied by others in the school community, on the way to or from school, at school sponsored events, or when such actions create a substantial disruption to the educational process. The school community includes all students, school employees, school board members, contractors, unpaid volunteers, families, patrons, and other visitors. 

Student(s) shall not be harassed basis of actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, parental, pregnancy, family or marital status, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. 

Any staff who observes overhears, or otherwise witnesses harassment, intimidation, or bullying or to whom such actions have been reported must take prompt and appropriate action to stop the harassment and to prevent its reoccurrence which depending on the frequency, intensity and/or severity may require an immediate report to the school site administration. 

Power of Zero Solution Team

If my child is the target, how will I know what progress has been made during the Solution Team meetings?

The Solution Coach in charge of the meetings will contact the parent/guardian prior to forming a Solution Team® and after each Solution Team® meeting.

Why are we using Solution Teams?

Research conducted in 2007 by the American Psychological Association showed that punishment was largely ineffectual to stop student violence or bullying, and that schools that subscribe to a zero-tolerance policy tend to experience higher levels of  student aggression and lower levels of academic performance.

An independent study on No Bully schools published in 2014 found they were able to reduce the intensity and frequency of bullying in over 93% of cases.

What does a Solution Team (Level 3) look like?

A Solution Coach® will meet with the target and assess the situation. With the target’s consent, the coach will form a Solution Team® and contact the parent/guardian of the target.

A team of seven or eight students will meet to create solutions to end the bullying of the target. The team includes the bully, bully-followers, and positive leaders from the target’s peer group.

  • First Meeting: Tell the team the name of the target, what behaviors are causing distress, and have students create solutions they can do to end the bullying
  • Second Meeting: Ask team what actions they did to end the bullying and address the target’s reaction to their actions.
  • Third Meeting: Target is invited to attends the meeting, tells team what the team did that was helpful and how the target feels now.
  • Three Month Follow Up: Solution Coach® will check in with target to ensure bullying has ended.

If my child is the target, how will I know what progress has been made during the Solution Team meetings?

The Solution Coach in charge of the meetings will contact the parent/guardian prior to forming a Solution Team and after each Solution Team meeting.

Why are we using Solution Teams?

Research conducted in 2007 by the American Psychological Association showed that punishment was largely ineffectual to stop student violence or bullying, and that schools that subscribe to a zero-tolerance policy tend to experience higher levels of student aggression and lower levels of academic performance.

What is “bullying?”

Bullying occurs when a student, or group of students, repeatedly target a less powerful student using one or more of the four categories of behavior:

  • Physical bullying: when a student uses physical force to hurt another student by hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, taking a student’s belongs or stealing their money
  • Verbal bullying: when a student uses words or gestures to humiliate another student by threatening, taunting, intimidating, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, slurs, graffiti, put-downs, and ridicule
  • Relational bullying: when a student isolates another student from their peer group through leaving them out, gossiping, spreading rumors and scapegoating
  • Cyberbullying: when a student uses a cell-phone, texts, e-mails, websites, and social media to bully another student in any of the ways described above.

What’s the difference between conflict and bullying?

Conflict typically occurs when two or more students of equal power disagree. Conflict becomes bullying when one of the students intimidates or dominates the other student through bullying behaviors to resolve the conflict.

What’s the difference between bullying and harassment?

Bullying becomes harassment when a student is targeted because of a protected characteristic:

  • race: nationality, ethnicity
  • disability: actual or perceived
  • gender: identity, expression, sexual orientation
  • immigration status
  • religion
  • association with a person/group with one or more of these characteristics

What is a Solution Team?

A Solution Team is a No Bully System that is non-punitive. The system is for schools to address both bullying prevention and bullying response

How does a Solution Team work?

  • Level 1: Prevention and Interruption – everyone in the school community prevents and interrupts student harassment and bullying
  • Level 2: Check in and Refer to a Solution Coach® – when a teacher or staff member discovers ongoing bullying or harassment, they check in with the target and refer the student to a school Solution Coach®
  • Level 3: Hold a Solution Team® and Follow Up – the Solution Coach® (with the target’s consent) convenes a Solution Team® of students to bring the bullying to an end. If any student is stuck in the role of bully or target, the Solution Coach® follows up to facilitate change
  • Level 4: Implement an Empathy-Building Action Plan – if a pattern of harassment or prejudice is apparent across the entire class or grade, the Solution Coach® implements a plan to create a culture of acceptance

No Bully Video