Rutherford County Schools

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Questions and Answers

Questions
1) What is the definition of bullying?
2) What is cyberbullying?
3) As a parent, how can I help prevent cyberbullying?
4) I think my child is being bullied at school. What should I do?
5) What is a School Resource Officer?

Answers

1) Q What is the definition of bullying?
A
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. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

2) Q What is cyberbullying?
A
Cyberbullying is bullying that 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.

Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

3)  Q As a parent, how can I help prevent cyberbullying?

A

1. Be aware of what your kids are doing online. Talk with them regularly cyberbullying and other online issues.
2. Establish rules about appropriate use of computers, cell phones, and other technology.
3. Understand school rules. Click HERE for policy information on the use of cell phones and HERE for policy information on bullying/intimidation.

 

4) Q I think my child is being bullied at school. What should I do?
A
First, ask to speak with your child's teacher to gather more information. Ask if they have noticed any of the behaviors your child has told you about. If the situation is not resolved, ask to speak with the school counselor and/or building principal to make them aware of your concerns. Ultimately, any student of the school district who wishes to file a discrimination/harassment or bullying/intimidation complaint against another student or employee of the district may file a written or oral (recorded, if possible) complaint. Please contact our staff attorney with the allegation. Be sure to include: a) the identity of the alleged victim and person accused; b) location, date, time and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident; c) description of what happened; d) identify of witnesses; and e) any other evidence available.
 
5) Q What is a School Resource Officer?
A
A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a certified police officer who is assigned full-time to a school. For this, SRO's receive many hours of ongoing specialized training. The concept is similar to the "cop on foot patrol" who knows the public he serves on a first name basis and is sensitive to their particular needs.

Like many adults, some students view police officers solely as enforcers of the law. By establishing a daily rapport with their school's SRO, students will not only gain positive role models, but also a better understanding of police officers' many other duties and responsibilities.

Likewise, SRO's will gain a better perspective of the youngsters in their schools. By carefully assessing the needs of individual students, SRO's will be more aware of the development of unhealthy or destructive behavioral patterns. Through early intervention it is possible, in many cases, to redirect negative behaviors before they cause a student to be referred to the Criminal Justice System.

The SRO Program was first implemented in Flint, Michigan, in 1951. Since the program's inception, it has successfully been put into practice in 35 states. Sheriff Truman Jones started the SRO Program in Rutherford County in 1993 with five officers in five schools. There are currently 44 officers working in 45 schools helping to assure students safety and education.