Fri. Nov 15th, 2019

Bullying: How Lemont High School Tackles The Issue …

Bullying: How Lemont High School Tackles The Issue …

LEMONT, IL — As part of its coverage for National Bullying Prevention Month, Patch reached out to school districts across the Chicago suburbs to see how they handle bullying in their communities. Across the country, bullying is a problem that affects more than one in five students. And while some boil it down to the idea that “kids will be kids,” studies show that students who are bullied are at increased risk for anxiety, depression, poor self-image, mental health and behavior problems and poor school adjustment.

Lemont Patch reached out to District 210/Lemont High School to take a look at how the district handles and reports bullying. Patch asked the following questions:

  • What is the district’s policy with regard to bullying and cyberbullying? What is the discipline process for students who bully others?
  • How many reported incidents of bullying does the district have this year/last year (could also break this down by grade level)?
  • What constitutes a reportable bullying incident? How does the district define bullying? In other words, when does it rise to the level of being reportable?
  • What measures is the district taking to be proactive about bullying?
  • What is the district doing to help students who have been the victim of bullying?
  • Some schools use apps — Ok2Say, STOPIt, BullyTag, etc. — or some other system that allows students to anonymously report bullying. Does your district do this? What kind of volume are schools seeing? Has that increased/decreased?

District 210’s responses can be found below:

What is the district’s policy with regard to bullying and cyberbullying?

D210/LHS: Both bullying and cyberbullying are addressed in Board Policy 7:180 (Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment).


What is the discipline process for students who bully others?

D210/LHS: If an accusation of bullying is confirmed to be true by the Dean’s Office, the offending student is subject to consequences ranging from detention to expulsion, depending on the seriousness of the situation. Discipline is handled on a case-by-case basis.

An accusation of bullying is investigated in the same manner as any potential infraction of the Student Code of Conduct. Incidents reported to the school as bullying may not meet the criteria for bullying, but still violate the Student Code of Conduct. Lemont High School maintains records of all infractions of the Student Code of Conduct, including confirmed incidents of bullying for which students receive disciplinary consequences.

The school also employs an intervention with students who have been accused of bullying, providing them an opportunity to correct and/or cease actions that, if continued, would constitute bullying. An overwhelming majority of potential incidents of bullying are resolved prior to a student receiving disciplinary consequences thanks to this preventive measure.


How many reported incidents of bullying does the district have last year?

D210/LHS: Lemont High School provided disciplinary consequences for two cases of bullying during the 2018-19 school year.


What constitutes a reportable bullying incident? How does the district define bullying? In other words, when does it rise to the level of being reportable?

D210/LHS: Bullying, intimidation and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn, as well as a school’s ability to educate.

Bullying includes cyberbullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

While bullying can be the result of one action, it more often is a series of repeated actions resulting in one of the four outcomes listed above.

Students are encouraged to report bullying immediately. A report may be made orally or in writing to a member of the Student Services Department or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report such conduct. Reports can be made in person, via phone, or by downloading a form from the school’s website.


What measures is the district taking to be proactive about bullying?

D210/LHS: As required by law, bullying prevention is part of Lemont High School’s curriculum; it specifically is addressed in Health Education and Technology Concepts classes, and is touched upon in other courses as well.

The school’s “See Something, Say Something” initiative encourages students, parents/guardians and faculty/staff to make school administrators aware of bullying, cyberbullying, mental health issues and active threats, among other issues.

The school has hosted a variety of student programs that focus on a positive school climate.

The Dean’s Office sends multiple messages to students each year, making them aware of how to report potential bullying incidents.

Each year, freshmen are assisted by a group of student mentors called the “Link Crew”. Link Crew leaders speak to their younger classmates about a variety of topics about school culture, including what is and is not acceptable behavior.


What is the district doing to help students who have been the victim of bullying?

D210/LHS: A wide range of resources is available for students, depending on the situation. This can include access to the school’s social workers, deans and counselors and recommendations for parents/guardians to access outside resources to assist their students. School administrators seek to make sure students are comfortable on a daily basis.


Some schools use apps — Ok2Say, STOPIt, BullyTag, etc. — or some other system that allows students to anonymously report bullying. Does your district do this?

Lemont High School District 210 does not employ an app to allow for anonymous reports of bullying. However, there is a page dedicated to bullying on the school’s website; this page includes a link to a document that can be downloaded to anonymously report an incident that could fall under the category of bullying.


No Bully/Patch News Partner

The Menace Of Bullies: Patch Advocacy Reporting Project

As part of a national reporting project, Patch has been looking at society’s roles and responsibilities in bullying and a child’s unthinkable decision to end their own life in hopes we might offer solutions that save lives.

Do you have a story to tell? Are you concerned about how your local schools handle bullies and their victims?

Email us at bullies@patch.com and share your views in the comments.

Selected Stories From The Project

Published at Sat, 19 Oct 2019 12:34:00 +0000

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