WCS Rules on Bullying and Statistics


Bullying was in the local headlines this past week, after an eighth grader was hit in the head during lunch. Bullying has become a topic of national conversation in recent years as more cases of bullying are being recognized and parents, teachers and other educators have addressed the need to educate and stop bullying.

Here are some fast facts about bullying:

Last week, video of a Heritage Middle School  student punching another student in the head was published online and instigated a lot of conversations within the community regarding discipline and what the school could and should do.

The WCS policies concerning bullying are stated as such:

“Bullying and bullying-related behaviors (e.g. cyber-bullying, intimidation, hazing, harassment, etc.)
are unacceptable behaviors, are strictly prohibited, and will not be tolerated. Behavior that is
found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension
or expulsion.

Principals shall be responsible for publicizing this policy, including notice to students and
employees that this policy applies to behavior at all school-sponsored activities. All WCS
employees shall be responsible for implementation of this policy.

Each school shall implement a bullying awareness program.”

The school policy defines bullying and hazing as:

Bullying: Bullying is defined by Tennessee law as any act that substantially interferes with a
student’s educational benefits, opportunities or performance, and has the effect of:
1) Physically harming a student or damaging a student’s property;
2) Knowingly placing the student or students in reasonable fear of physical harm to the
student or damage to the student’s property;
3) Causing emotional distress to a student or students; or
4) Creating a hostile educational environment.

Hazing: Hazing is defined by Tennessee law as any act that recklessly or intentionally endangers
the mental health, physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation, or as a
condition of attaining membership in, or affiliation with, any school-sponsored activity or grade
level attainment.”

Examples of bullying:

“1) Overt, repeated acts or gestures made with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, or
2) Physical or psychological intimidation;
3) Stated or implied threats;
4) Use of any language, written or unwritten, hand gestures or other forms of expression
aimed at defining a student in a sexual manner or impugning the character of a student
based on allegations of sexual promiscuity;
5) Assault of a student, whether physical, verbal, psychological, or emotional;
6) Attacks on personal property; and
7) Communication of any of the above, or an intent to undertake any of the above, whether
made in person or by electronic device.”

The effects of bullying can affect not only a student’s ability to perform at school but lead to depression and physical ailments:

  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)
  • Students who engage in bullying behavior are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)
  • Students who are both targets of bullying and engage in bullying behavior are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems than students who only bully or are only bullied. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)
  • Students who experience bullying are twice as likely as non-bullied peers to experience negative health effects such as headaches and stomachaches. (Gini and Pozzoli, 2013)

Parents, guardians, teachers and even siblings can help prevent bullying by talking about it. Here are some great tips from stopbullying.gov:

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