Bullying Information & Prevention
Bullying is a growing issue for schools all across the nation. Lake Travis ISD campus and district administrators encourage parents to work with us to provide a safe learning environment that encourages community involvement and engagement. Lake Travis ISD is committed to working together with parents to promote the health and well being of our students.
Definition of Bullying
“Bullying” means a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expressions, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity or on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity that: (i) has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property; (ii) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student; (iii) materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school. Texas Education Code §37.0832.
Areas Where Bullying Occurs
Bullying often occurs outside of school, and some forms of bullying may be exclusively off-campus. The prevention and response information on this site may apply to all types of bullying, including:
Cyberbullying. Defined as bullying that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including through the use of a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, an Internet website, or any other Internet-based communication tool. Cyberbullying includes conduct that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying (1) interferes with a student’s educational opportunities; or (2) substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.
Bullying does not include normal childhood behavior such as sibling rivalry or one-on-one fighting of siblings or peers with competing claims. Nor does it include acts of impulsive aggression. In other words, spontaneous aggression or indiscriminate striking out, with no intended target would not be considered bullying. Bullying does not include criminal activities that may have begun as a conflict and escalated.
Possible warning signs that a child is being bullied:
- Comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings;
- Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches;
- Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time;
- Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers (such as clubs);
- Takes a long, “illogical” route when walking to or from school;
- Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school;
- Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home;
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical ailments;
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams;
- Experiences a loss of appetite; or
- Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem.
Roles & Responsibilities
Witnesses: Bystander or By-stander?
Bullying situations not only affect the student who is bullied or the students who are doing the bullying. Every student who is involved in or witnesses a bullying incident is affected. Bullying is a group issue. Every student who is involved in or witnesses a bullying incident is affected. Injustice over-looked or ignored becomes a contagion that infects even those who thought they could turn away.
Encouraging All Students to Speak Up
Bullying is challenged when witnesses stand up and speak out against the cruel acts of bullying. Establishing new norms, enforcing playground rules, and increasing supervision are policy decisions that can help reduce the incidents of bullying. Since much of the bullying goes on "under the radar of adults," a potent force are students themselves showing bullies that they will not be looked up to, nor will their cruel behavior be condoned or tolerated. Students need not be passive bystanders. They can become active witnesses, by standing up for their peers and reporting acts of bullying to parents and teachers.
For the most immediate action, students and parents can report bullying to the counselor or administrator on campus. Reports can be made either in person or anonymously. All reports of bullying will be investigated.