In the Lake County School District, we are committed to developing and sustaining a school culture of respect, empowerment, and compassion. This page is designed to inform parents and community members about our work on building positive school climate and on bullying prevention, and to provide you with resources for where to get help. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns you have!
The purpose of our work on positive school culture and bullying prevention, as per Administrative Policy JICDE, is our belief that:
- All students have the right an educational environment that is free from bullying and harassment.
- A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and to achieve.
Educator and Staff Responsibilities
- All district staff share responsibility for modeling appropriate behavior and creating an environment where mutual respect among students and staff are promoted and where students understand that bullying and harassment are inappropriate, harmful and are taken seriously.
- All district staff members will work to prevent bullying, harassment, and cyber-bullying and are obligated to report in a timely manner any such acts or complaints.
- Students are also expected to help maintain a safe school environment by not engaging in or contributing to bullying, harassment, or cyber-bullying, treating everyone with respect, and being sensitive as to how others might perceive their actions or words.
- Any student who observes an act of bullying, harassment, or cyber- bullying should report the incidents to school staff in a timely manner.
Warning signs: Student is withdrawn, not interested in school or other activities, or shows a change in behavior. School counselors and leaders can help!
In our schools, we intervene differently depending upon the behavior. It is important to understand the differences in these behaviors as our response to them differs accordingly .
Rude = Unintentionally saying or doing something that hurts someone else.
- occasional, spontaneous & unplanned inconsideration
- not meant to actually hurt someone.
- address by building social skills and awareness, may include action by any school staff member
- Parent tip: encourage a sincere apology and empathy
Mean = Intentionally saying or doing something to hurt someone
- occurs once or twice
- aims to hurt someone
- addressed by school staff , may include disciplinary and counseling intervention
- Parent Tip: advocate for your child with helpful adults (other parents, school staff, law enforcement)
Bullying = Any act that is intended to coerce, intimidate, or cause any physical, mental or emotional harm to any student. It is intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power.
- repeated acts or threats of aggressive behavior
- may be written, verbal physical or electronic
- aims to hurt someone; has an imbalance of power; may lack remorse
- Parent Tip: Contact law enforcement if event occurs outside of school or related events.
Bullying may be a physical, verbal, relational or electronic gesture:
- includes hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, tripping, hair pulling, slamming a child into a locker and a range of other behaviors that involve physical aggression.
- includes using words that target a person’s size, race, ethnicity, gender, appearance, or abilities.
- includes gossip and rumors
- includes social exclusion, shunning, hazing, and rumor spreading
- can be especially crushing to kids
- includes “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.”
- likelihood of repeated harm is especially high with cyberbullying because electronic messages can be accessed by multiple parties, resulting in repeated exposure and repeated harm.
Bullying is prohibited on school district property and at school district related events.
Adapted from “Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying: Defining the Differences” by Signe Whitson, Huffington Post. Posted: 11/26/2012 8:29 pm EST
Bullying Prevention in the Lake County School District
Our school -wide programming is rooted in the structure of Crew. In our schools, each student is known well by at least one adult within the school. Crew provides each student a one-to-one relationship with an adult advisor (crew leader) at the school, as well as a consistent and ongoing small-scale peer community. Crew leaders monitor and support student progress, serve as the student’s advocate in difficult academic and social situations, and act as the primary contact point between parents and the school. Crew meetings are frequently used for team building exercises and for group discussions on topical issues. Character education is taught in this setting, as it is a fundamental pillar of our schools. These exercises and discussions help establish crew identity and a positive school culture.
In addition, many of our grades hold community meetings, implement character education, and build upon the strength of our relationships to create a safe school. If concerns arise, the protocols below, along with Safe2Tell, ensure avenues for clear communication.
What do I do if I have questions about my child’s safety or if I think she/he is being bullied in the Lake County School District?
It is important that you inform us as quickly as possible about any concerns you have about student safety or bullying. Here are some ways to do this:
Option #1: contact your child’s school and tell one of the administrators / counselors listed below
Lake County High School 719-486-6950
*Principal: Ben Cairns firstname.lastname@example.org (Spanish speaker)
*District Safety and Athletic Director: Mike Vagher email@example.com
*Assistant Principal: Erin Dillon firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake County Intermediate School 719-486-6830
*Principal: Cheryl Talbot: email@example.com
*Dean of Students: Emily Blau firstname.lastname@example.org
West Park Elementary School 719-486-6890
*Principal: Kathleen Fitzsimmons email@example.com
*Dean of Students: Mark Stenzel firstname.lastname@example.org
*Counselor: Christy Trujillo email@example.com
The Center at Pitts Elementary 719-486-6920
*Director: Holly DeBell firstname.lastname@example.org
Superintendent of Schools 719-486-6800
*Wendy Wyman email@example.com
Option #2: report the behavior anonymously through Safe2Tell (information comes to the district anonymously)
1-877-542-7233 OR www.safe2tell.org
What can I expect to happen next?
- All allegations of bullying, harassment, or cyber-bullying shall be reported to the designated school administrator, either orally or in writing.*
- Upon receiving a complaint of bullying, harassment, or cyber-bullying from any student, we shall:
- Promptly and thoroughly investigate the alleged incident of bullying, harassment, or cyber-bullying;
- Take immediate steps, at the administrator’s discretion, to protect any involved students, educators, or staff pending completion of an investigation;
- Provide notiﬁcation to the parents or guardians of all involved students, provided that such notiﬁcation does not endanger the health, safety or well-being of any student;
- Maintain a written or electronic record of the complaint, any investigation, and any intervention or disciplinary actions taken;
- Take proper disciplinary action immediately following the conclusion of the investigation; and
- Issue a report in a timely manner regarding the complaint, investigation, and any disciplinary measures taken, to all involved students, parents, and educators, while maintaining the privacy and safety of any involved students.
*If behavior occurs outside of school or school activities please contact local law-enforcement