Bullying

United in Kindness Event Series October 2022

Join a month of community events promoting our shared humanity in Tompkins County

DOWNLOAD: United in Kindness Event Series Poster

United in Kindness Event Series October 2022

9/19 through 10/10

Student Kindness and Creativity Contest

Sponsored by United Way of Tompkins County

Submit entries at: www.uwtc.org/unitedinkindness

Tompkins County K-12 students can enter their written word, visual art, or video submissions until 10/10. All entries will be featured at a Gallery Event @ United Way 313 N Aurora Street on 10/28 4-7 p.m.

10/1 @ 12-3 p.m.

We’ve Got Your Back

Mental Health Association Peer Outreach Center @ Center Ithaca

Live music, activities, finger foods, speakers and more! Learn how we can support one another by stepping in and calling out bullying behaviors.

10/1 @ 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Free Hugs @ Apple Harvest Festival

In and Around the Ithaca Commons

Free Hugs Ithaca and Be Kind Ithaca team up to give away t-shirts and iconic Be Kind hearts—and actual hugs—to dozens of lucky Apple Fest attendees.

10/5 @ 12 Noon–1 p.m.

Mothering Through Domestic Violence

Online via Zoom—Register at: https://tinyurl.com/October5event

Join the Coalition for Families and Lyn Staack from the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County for a community presentation. Understand the challenges faced by people who grew up in homes where there was domestic violence and how it may impact their adult relationships and parenting.

10/11 @ 7-9 p.m.

Screening of Wonder

@ Cinemapolis—Free Admission sponsored by Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca and The Sophie Fund

Watch an uplifting film for all ages about empathy and acceptance telling the story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade to attend mainstream elementary school for the first time.

10/15 @ 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

7th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest

Bernie Milton Pavilion, submissions from 10–11:30 am; Info on how to enter at: www.thesophiefund.org/cupcake-contest

Fun event to raise awareness about mental health organized by The Sophie Fund.

10/18 & 10/22 @ 11:30 a.m.–12 Noon

Stories in the Park

Dewitt Park, or Tompkins County Public Library if raining  

Children 6 and under and their families will be delighted by a selection of stories based on the themes of kindness, inclusivity, and diversity.

10/19 @ 12 Noon–1 p.m.

Digital Intelligence and Well-Being for Parents

Online via Zoom—Register at: https://tinyurl.com/KindnessSocialMediaSymposium

Join a symposium for parents about online safety for their children presented by social media expert Chris Vollum. Sponsored by Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca and The Sophie Fund.

10/21

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Match Event

Event open to Big Brothers, Big Sisters participants only Participants will carve pumpkins and decorate cookies while they share stories about people in their life who demonstrate and embody kindness. To learn more about how you can be a part of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, go to: www.bbbsithaca.org.

Symposium January 27, 2022

“What to Do About Cyberbullying”

DOWNLOAD: Symposium Bullying Prevention Resources

DOWNLOAD: Articles from The Sophie Fund on the January 2022 United in Kindness Symposium

“Addressing Cyberbullying and Unwise Social Media Use: The Role of Parents, Youth, and the Community,” by Sameer Hinduja, co-director, Cyberbullying Research Center. [VIDEO] [SLIDE DECK]

“Dignity for All Students Act (DASA),” by Amanda Verba, Chief Operations Officer, Ithaca City School District. [VIDEO]

“Strengths Based Intervention & Prevention Approaches,” a panel discussion with Celia Clement, retired Ithaca City School District social worker; Savannah Storm, conflict mediation specialist, Elmira City School District; and Jeff P. Godowski, Cornell University house assistant dean and owner of JP Godowski Consulting LLC. [VIDEO]

“School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Unsafe Social Media Use One Classroom at a Time,” by Sameer Hinduja, co-director, Cyberbullying Research Center. [VIDEO] [SLIDE DECK]

Cyberbullying Research Center

The Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

Materials for Parents

A packet of 17 parent handouts for keeping children safe online.

Materials for Educators

A packet of 22 school handouts for guiding healthy online behavior.

Book & Film Recommendations from Sameer Hinduja

Book & Film Recommendations from Celia Clement

Contact Information

Sameer Hinduja hinduja@cyberbullying.org

Amanda Verba amanda.verba@icsd.k12.ny.us

Celia Clement celiaclement@gmail.com

Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force

bnugent@tompkins-co.org

thesophiefund2016@gmail.com

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New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

DASA seeks to provide New York’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

The New York State Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act): A Resource and Promising Practices Guide for School Administrators and Faculty

Requirements for Schools (Tool for training school employees), New York State Education Department and New York State Center for School Safety

Implementation of the Dignity for All Students Act October 2017, New York State Education Department

New York State Center for School Safety

The center offers professional development and technical assistance to schools and districts for maintaining safe and healthy learning environments.

DASA in Tompkins County

Dignity Act: What You Need to Know

Ithaca City School District DASA

Ithaca City School District DASA Brochure

Ithaca DASA Reporting Form

Dryden Central School District DASA

Dryden DASA Reporting Form

Groton Central School District DASA

Groton DASA Reporting Form

Lansing Central School District DASA

Lansing DASA Bullying Reporting Form

Newfield Central School District DASA

Newfield DASA Complaint Form

Trumansburg Central School District DASA

Trumansburg DASA Reporting Form

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Restorative Justice in Education

“The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where Do We Go from Here?” National Education Policy Center

“Restorative Justice in Education: What We Know So Far,” Middle School Journal

Restorative Justice Partnership

“A Restorative Approach for Equitable Education,” Learning Policy Institute

“Restorative Practices Guide and Toolkit,” Chicago Public Schools

“Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools,” Edutopia

“What Teachers Need to Know About Restorative Justice,” WeAreTeachers

Jeff P. Godowski, Educator, Consultant, & Trainer

Restorative Practices Community Open Space, Tompkins County Public Library

DOWNLOAD: 2022 United in Kindness Symposium Bullying Prevention Resources

1st Place—Elementary School

“Kindness Is Cool”

Ms. K.’s Cool Cat Crew, Turning Point Elementary School, TST BOCES

Ms. K’s mission is to build a classroom community where all kids can grow and learn together in a safe and caring environment. The students created a colorful collage spelling out the word “KIND” for their entry into the Kindness content. To make the collage, the students poured over magazines and clipped out images that represented kindness in different ways. One of the judges commented that creating a collage as a class project is a wonderful way to immerse students in the thought process of what represents kindness. The judge noted that the collage’s variety of images reminds us that being kind includes everyone in society.

1st Place—Middle School

“Be Kind”

Susanne Guimbretiere, DeWitt Middle School

Susanne says that in creating the brightly colored globe she sought to show how people all over the world—different races, abilities, and backgrounds—are working together to spread kindness. One judge commented that Susanne’s globe is a bold statement that leaves no doubt in the viewer’s mind as to the intent and the importance of kindness. Another judge said she loved Susanne’s saturation of colors.

2nd Place—Middle School

“Fulfilling Kindness”

Samantha Swart, DeWitt Middle School

Samantha’s drawing is full of examples of kindness, such as offering support, helping someone up, or even just a friendly wave. She explains that the steps in her drawing represent obstacles to overcome. And the hearts represent kindness being shared. Samantha believes that by sharing kindness we can all overcome our obstacles and reach our goals. One of the judges was extremely impressed by the specificity the artist gives to the experience of kindness—presenting kindness through activity and moving it beyond the conceptual. Another judge commented, “I really like how there are so many levels of different people doing different things that help humanity!”

BULLYING PREVENTION

Nearly one in five American high school students experiences bullying while at school. A higher percentage of girls are bullied than boys. One in three lesbian, gay, or bisexual students is bullied. Victims of bullying may suffer serious and long-lasting physical, psychological, and academic effects. Those who bully also need help: they are more likely to drop out of school, abuse alcohol and drugs, and engage in criminal activity.

bullyingguidecoverphoto

In March 2019, representatives from more than two dozen local government agencies, community organizations, and local schools formed the Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force to explore the prevalence of youth bullying and strategies to combat it.

“The Bullying Prevention Task Force has brought together parents, students, service providers, school personnel, and community members to better understand the resources and strategies needed to take on the serious issue of bullying,” said Bridgette Nugent, Tompkins County Youth Services Department deputy director and Task Force co-coordinator. “The Task Force is energized to take real action to address a very real problem in our community.”

Basics of Youth Bullying

Definition: “Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.” Types include physical, verbal, and relational. Cyberbullying involves e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, gaming systems, tweeting, or social media.

 Potential Psychological Effects: Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, self- harming behavior (especially for girls), alcohol and drug use and dependence, aggression, involvement in violence or crime (especially for boys), emotional distress, hostility, and delinquency.

Potential Physical Effects: Immediate physical injury, sleep disorders, stomach aches, headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness, bedwetting, chronic pain, somatization (a syndrome of distressful, physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical cause), stress-related impact on the immune system and hormones, and impact on brain activity and functioning.

Potential Academic Effects: Impact on grades and standardized test scores starting as early as kindergarten and continuing through high school.

Bullying and Suicide: Persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior. Most young people who die by suicide have multiple risk factors.

Source: stopbullying.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Facts About Bullying

United States

  • 19.0% of high school students were bullied at school in 2016-17.
  • 14.9% of high school students experienced electronic bullying.
  • An eight-year trend in bullying held steady but the 2017 percentage of 19.0% represented a slight decrease in relation to surveys in 2015 (20.2%), 2013 (19.6%), 2011 (20.1%), and 2009 (19.9%).
  • A six-year trend in electronic bullying held steady but the 2017 percentage of 14.9% represented a slight decrease from 2015 (15.5%). The percentage was 14.8% in 2013 and 16.2% in 2011.
  • More female students (22.3%) were bullied compared to male students (15.6%).
  • More female students (19.7%) were electronically bullied compared to male students (9.9%).
  • More white students (21.5%) and Hispanic students (16.3%) were bullied compared to black students (13.2%).
  • More white students (17.3%) were electronically bullied compared to Hispanic students (12.3%) and black students (10.9%).
  • More lesbian, gay, or bisexual students (33.0%) were bullied at school than heterosexual students (17.1%) or students not sure of their sexual identity (24.3%).

 New York State

  • 21.7% of New York high school students were bullied at school (higher than national average of 19.0%) in 2016-17.
  • More female students (24.6%) were bullied compared to male students (18.7%).
  • Nearly twice as many gay, lesbian, or bisexual students (34.6%) were bullied compared to heterosexual students (19.4%).
  • 17.6% of New York high school students experienced electronic bullying (higher than national average of 14.9%).
  • More female students (21.2%) were bullied electronically compared to male students (14.0%).
  • More than twice as many gay, lesbian, or bisexual students (31.9%) were bullied electronically compared to heterosexual students (15.2%).

Tompkins County

  • Tompkins County school districts reported 109 incidents of discrimination, harassment, and bullying (excluding cyberbullying), and 20 incidents of cyberbullying, in the 2017-2018 school year under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).
  • The 2018 Communities that Care Youth Survey of schools in Tompkins County and Seneca County found that more than a third of high school students reported feeling depressed on most days.

Source: CDC, School Safety and Educational Climate Reporting

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying. In some cases, when bullying is based on race or ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion, bullying overlaps with harassment and schools are legally obligated to address it.

In New York State, DASA prohibits bullying, harassment, and discrimination against students in school. Schools are required to:

  • Develop a school strategy to prevent bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
  • Provide students, staff, and persons in parental relation with information about DASA, including the identity of the DASA Coordinator.
  • Enable students and persons in parental relation to make a report.
  • Complete a thorough investigation promptly after a report.
  • Take prompt action to end harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination.
  • Prohibit retaliation against anyone making a report or assisting with an investigation.
  • Notify local law enforcement when behavior is believed to constitute criminal conduct.
  • Ensure that all school personnel receive a copy of the district policies, including the reporting process, at least annually.
  • Provide reports on incidents to superintendent and New York State Education Department.

School procedure for reporting bullying, harassment, and discrimination:

  1. Student, staff member, or parent/caregiver experiences, witnesses, or hears about bullying, harassment, discrimination, or hazing.
  2. Witness or target finds a staff person if immediate help is needed AND if a safety issue; alleged aggressor(s) are separated and intervention occurs to ensure safety.
  3. Bullying Reporting Form is completed by student, staff, or parent/caregiver and given to the appropriate Dignity Act Coordinator.
  4. Investigation occurs. Target is interviewed separately from aggressor and necessary supports are put in place to ensure safety. Witnesses and aggressor(s) are interviewed.
  5. Parent/caregiver is notified. Notification may occur earlier dependent upon severity and situation. If investigation deems that the event occurred, then every attempt is made to permanently stop the bullying, harassment, discrimination, or hazing by means of consequences, education, restorative practices, and/or remediation.

 Source: New York State Education Department and New York State Center for School Safety, and Ithaca City School District

Resources for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Schools

stopbullying.gov

A U.S. government website managed by the Department of Health and Human Services providing information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.

Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center

Pacer provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.

Resources from PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center

Cyberbullying Research Center

The Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

“The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today.”

Anti-Bullying Institute

The Anti-Bullying Institute offers wide-ranging, hands-on programs designed to empower children, parents, school and youth organization personnel to effectively deal with the issue of bullying.

Kid Power International

“We are the global nonprofit leader in ‘People Safety’ education—an international movement of leaders reaching millions of people of all ages, abilities, genders, identities, and walks of life with effective, culturally-competent interpersonal and social safety skills.”

CirclePoint

“CirclePoint is a revolutionary evidence-based program that enables all members of a school community—administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students—to play an active part in preventing and resolving bullying problems.”

Parents Place

“Parents Place’s Bullying Prevention Program was established to give schools and organizations effective tools to prevent and intervene in all forms of bullying. It trains parents, educators, school administrators, and community members in the best practices to heal and empower youth who have been bullied, to encourage bystanders to intervene in safe and effective ways, and to counsel those who have engaged in bullying.”

Bullying surveillance among youths: Uniform Definitions for Public Health and Recommended Data Elements Version 1.0,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2017,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries/Vol. 67 / No. 8 June 15, 2018, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Psychological Association

APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States.

“How parents, teachers and kids can take action to prevent bullying,” American Psychological Association

Bullying Prevention Organizations

Tyler Clementi Foundation

The Tyler Clementi Foundation works to prevent bullying of vulnerable individuals including in the LGBTQ community through inclusion and creation of safe spaces.

Stomp Out Bullying

Stomp Out Bullying calls itself the leading national bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization for kids and teens in the U.S.

Changing the Game Project

Changing the Game Project provides parents and coaches with the information and resources they need to make sports a healthy, positive, and rewarding experience for their children, and their whole family.

New York State Resources and Information

New York State Center for School Safety

The center offers professional development and technical assistance to schools and districts for maintaining safe and healthy learning environments.

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

DASA seeks to provide New York’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

The New York State Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act): A Resource and Promising Practices Guide for School Administrators and Faculty

Requirements for Schools (Tool for training school employees), New York State Education Department and New York State Center for School Safety

Implementation of the Dignity for All Students Act October 2017, New York State Education Department

Mental Health Education Literacy in Schools: Linking to a Continuum of Well-Being—Comprehensive Guide July 2018

New York State Education Department guide for educators, school district personnel, parents/guardians, students, and community organizations on mental health education provided in New York State schools.

New York State Education Law §804

“All schools shall ensure that their health education programs recognize the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health…”

Mental Health Education in New York Schools

A review of the legislative history, intent and vision for implementation by the Mental Health Association in New York State.

Tompkins County Resources and Information

Communities That Care Report for Grades 6 to 12 2018-19 TST Region Report

Findings of a survey of students in Tompkins County and Seneca County school districts.

“Be the One” Campaign

Tompkins County campaign with events, gatherings, written materials, silicone bracelets, and T-shirts to spread the belief that everyone needs a “safe, secure and nurturing relationship.”

Dignity Act: What You Need to Know, TST BOCES

Dignity for All Students Act: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, Ithaca City School District

Bullying Reporting Form, Ithaca City School District

Guide to Bullying PreventionDOWNLOAD: Brief Guide to Youth Bullying Prevention PDF

National Bullying Prevention Month

 “Every member of the Tompkins County community, government agencies, community organizations, school administrators, teachers, athletic coaches, parents, and students can play a part in creating a bully-free environment in our schools, athletics fields, public spaces, and online.” — Tompkins County Legislature Proclamation, October 1, 2019

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DOWNLOAD: Bullying Prevention Month Social Media Graphic

Bullying Prevention Resources for Schools 2022 [DOWNLOAD]

School Activities to Promote Bullying Prevention [DOWNLOAD]

Task Force Vision & Mission Statements

The Task Force’s vision is a bullying-free Tompkins County, secured and maintained through: 1) strong awareness of bullying’s harmful physical, psychological, and academic effects on young people; 2) broad collaboration among government agencies, schools, families, and community partners; and 3) youth leadership in developing bullying prevention and response strategies.

The Task Force’s mission is to facilitate comprehensive cooperation across the community in developing and promoting appropriate bullying prevention and response strategies in Tompkins County.

Approved unanimously by Task Force members 8/6/19

Task Force Organizational Structure and Operational Procedures

The full Task Force membership is charged with considering all initiatives, with approval requiring a majority vote.

The full Task Force shall elect a Task Force Coordinator or Co-Coordinators.

The Coordinator or Co-Coordinators are responsible for making all administrative decisions, regarding composition of the Task Force, scheduling of meetings, internal communications, communicating Task Force decisions and announcements to the public, etc.

Subgroup Coordinators are responsible for coordinating the work of their subgroup and communicating their subgroup’s proposals and reports to the full Task Force.

Approved unanimously by Task Force members, with election of Bridgette Nugent of the Tompkins County Youth Services Department and Scott MacLeod of The Sophie Fund as Task Force co-coordinators, 8/6/19

Task Force Members

New members always welcome

(For information or to join the Task Force, email: thesophiefund2016@gmail.com)

Tompkins County Youth Services Department (Coordinator 2019-2022)

The Sophie Fund (Coordinator 2019–)

TST BOCES

Greater Ithaca Activities Center

Ithaca Central School District

Newfield Central School District

Mental Health Association in Tompkins County

Celia Clement, Independent

Caroline After School Program

Ithaca Youth Bureau

Trumansburg Central School District

Beth Hogan, Independent

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service

Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention CNY

Dryden Central School District

Advocacy Center of Tompkins County

Racker

Human Resources Coalition of Tompkins County

Cornell Cooperative Extension

National Alliance on Mental Illness Finger Lakes

United Way of Tompkins County

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York

Finger Lakes Independence Center

taskforce032719

Founding Members of the Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force (2019)

Media Coverage of Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force

“Community Forum on Bullying @ TCPL,” The Sophie Fund, June 4, 2019

“New task force to hold forum on bullying prevention June 15,” Ithaca Voice, June 5, 2019

“Task force brings community together to address bullying in local schools,” Ithaca Voice, June 18, 2019

“Finding solutions to bullying: Task force to hold forum at library,” Ithaca Journal, June 15, 2019

“Exploring Strategies to Stop Bullying,”  The Sophie Fund, June 19, 2019

“Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Day!” The Sophie Fund, October 2, 2019

“Tompkins dedicates day for bullying prevention,” Ithaca Voice, October 2, 2019

“Bullying Prevention Rally Held in Honor of Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Day,” Cornell Daily Sun, October 8, 2019

“Tompkins Marks County’s First ‘Bullying Prevention Day,’” The Sophie Fund, October 11, 2019

“Bullying: We Need Your Voice,” The Sophie Fund, November 16, 2019

“Our Community Is Working to Prevent Youth Bullying,” The Sophie Fund, November 23, 2019

“Kids Getting Bullied: What Adults Can Do,” The Sophie Fund, November 4, 2021

“What Parents Can Do About Cyberbullying,” The Sophie Fund, February 7, 2022

“How Schools Can Address Bullying,” The Sophie Fund, February 9, 2022

“Using Strengths Based Approaches to Bullying,” The Sophie Fund, February 11, 2022

“Why School Climate is a ‘Big Deal’,” The Sophie Fund, February 15, 2022

“Creating, Kind, Safe, and Inclusive School Cultures,” The Sophie Fund, February 17, 2022

Bullying Prevention Day in Tompkins County Proclamation

Martha Robertson, Legislature chair; Kate Shanks-Booth, director of the Tompkins County Youth Services Department; Bridgette Nugent, Task Force co-coordinator