Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying
School is No Place for Bullying, Intimidation or Harassment
All students and staff deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to learn and teach. Federal Way Public Schools, like districts around the state, has refocused on the issue of bullying, intimidation and harassment in our schools.
We Need Everyone’s Help to Effectively Deal with Bullying
Under district policy, harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated because of his or her perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap or other distinguishing characteristics.
Bullying also is shown to:
- Physically harm a student or damage the student’s property; or
- Substantially interfere with a student’s education; or
- Be so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
- Have the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
How Do I Report Bullying?
If you believe your child is being bullied:
- Contact the dean or principal in your child’s school or file an informal complaint form at the school level. The school is required to conduct an investigation and respond to you with the results.
- If the issue is not resolved at the school level, file a Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying Complaint Form 3207(1) with the district. The compliance officer will conduct an investigation to address your concerns and issue the findings and conclusions to you.
- Contact the police if you believe your child is the victim of malicious harassment and is in immediate danger.
Why Should I Get Involved? This Is Just Kids Being Kids – Isn’t It?
To the contrary, bullying hurts everyone. Adults need to intervene every time they witness bullying: Tolerating bullying sends the wrong message and creates a toxic environment that can spread beyond the school’s walls.
Students who are bullied are more likely to miss school and have a loss of self-esteem. They may have physical symptoms like headaches, depression and anxiety. They are less likely to take risks academically and may have suicidal or homicidal thoughts or attempts.
Those who do the bullying are in need of help, too. If the behavior isn’t addressed, they often continue to be abusive later in life and fail to develop healthy relationships. They are less likely to complete their education and more likely to be involved in criminal activities.
Even bystanders are impacted by bullying. They may feel helpless, vulnerable and afraid. They may feel guilty for not helping or have decreased empathy for people being bullied. In general, if bullying isn’t addressed, the school can develop a climate of fear that results in reduced academic achievement.
- Federal Way Public Schools Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy 3207 and Procedures 3207P
- Federal Way Public Schools Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying Complaint Form 3207(1)
- The Federal Way Public Schools’ Office of Equity for Scholar and Family Success
- Washington State Law RCW 28A.300.285
- Washington State Education Ombudsman’s Office Website & Resources
- OSPI School Safety webpage
- FWPS Bullying fact sheet: English, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian