Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention


By Alyson Crafton, Director of Student Services and Karen DeOrian, Director of School Culture and Climate

IN A TIME where inequity, bigotry, and racism are at the forefront of societal conversations and experiences, it is important for Madera Unified to reflect on the work done around Anti-Bullying in our district, and formulate plans to address areas of need. There are many opinions and perceptions of bullying, and it is important to understand that California has adopted legislation around this in schools. According to California Education Code § 48900, “Bullying” means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a pupil or group of pupils as defined in Section 48900.2 (sexual harassment), 48900.3 (hate violence), or 48900.4 (harassment/threats/intimidation), directed toward one or more pupils.

Each public school district in our state is required to adopt a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying that applies to all acts related to school activity or school attendance occurring within a school. Our trustees responded by adopting board policy 5131.2 in 2012. This has been amended a few times, with our most recent revision in September 2018 which includes language for staff anti-bullying training, and intentionally calling out that any form of harassment regarding immigration experiences is considered an act of bullying. 

According to our BP 5131, “Our Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide a safe school environment that protects students from physical and emotional harm. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.

No individual or group shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, retaliate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any student or school personnel.”

In 2019, assembly bill 34 (Ramos) was passed, to be implemented in the Fall of 2020 requiring school districts to ensure that specified information on bullying and harassment prevention is readily accessible in a prominent location on the district’s existing internet website and is easily accessible to parents or guardians and pupils. 

Madera Unified began in July 2020 by training district and school site administrators during the leadership academy. In addition to reminding them of our district policy, added measures were shared and we asked our leaders to ensure all site staff were informed. Beginning in Fall 2020, all staff were required to complete bullying training, as part of the annual training requirements. Our human resource department added this training to our online Public Works training portal. Next, the district and all sites are required to upload a Student Complaint from on their website; this can be found on each school’s website, and the district website under Student/Parent Resources, Bullying Prevention Resources, and then is labeled Student Complaint Form

If a student wants to report an incident of bullying, they can anonymously report using our district “Stop It” application or submitting an electronic complaint form found on their school’s website. The STOPit app is an anonymous reporting application where all students can report: bullying, threats to the school, weapons, and drug use. This platform will provide any member of the larger community with the voice you need to communicate in areas involving a safety concern. This application reports to both school administration and school police officers about any concerns reported around safety. Students have access on their Chromebooks, or can download the app on their own device in order to anonymously report incidents of bullying.

 If parents want to report bullying, they should start at their school site, and can follow up with an electronic form if desired, which can be found on their school website under Student/Parent, Parent Resources, Bullying Prevention Resources. Parents who are dissatisfied with the outcomes of their report can follow up with an electronic form on our district website. Our directors of student services and/or school culture and climate will reach out to support the student, family and school site in finding an amenable solution.

In addition to our reporting form, our bullying prevention resources link takes you to a resource managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services called STOP Bullying. https://www.stopbullying.gov. This site has a variety of 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. Check out the resources tab for more information.


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