Anti-Bullying Task Force
This web page is a resource for parents and students to help us prevent bullying. We will also update this page to let you know what the Waterford School District is doing to combat bullying.
If you would like to report an incident of bullying, send an email to RoberM01@wsdmi.org or call 248-682-7800 and ask for the Superintendent’s Office. If you want to contact your child’s school building directly to report an incident, select by school.
What is Bullying
The definition of bullying is complex. It can present itself in many forms. The Stop Bullying government web site has an excellent explanation and the types of bullying students can experience:
What are we doing in Waterford School District?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
A successful education demands that a student’s character be developed. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process of helping students develop the skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflict nonviolently, and make responsible decisions. SEL helps children cultivate essential life skills including awareness of one’s own emotions, fostering respect and care for others, establishing strong relationships, making ethical and responsible decisions, and handling adversity constructively.
Waterford School District recognizes that parents play a vital role in teaching SEL. The district's goal is to partner with parents not to replace the critical role they play in their child's development. Just as we partner in the academic success of students, many of the district's SEL initiatives include parent components that encourage school/home communication and collaboration.
The Waterford School District institutes a whole-child approach by including SEL on an ongoing basis. Doing so addresses the social, emotional and mental health issues, as well as create safe and supportive environments for all children. Specific examples of the strategies we use across the district include: Mentoring, LINK, Mindfulness, RULER, Leader in Me, Olweus, connecting students without a connection, PBiS, Zones of Regulation, and Restorative Practices. If these proactive interventions are not successful, we follow the Code of Conduct for discipline up to and including the Waterford Police Department and court system.
We are an OK2Say school district. The goal of OK2SAY is to stop harmful behavior before it occurs by encouraging anyone to report threatening behavior to caring adult authorities who can help. OK2SAY encourages Michigan residents to confidentially submit tips 24/7 using the OK2SAY mobile app, online, email, texting, or by calling trained program technicians.
Consequences for Bullying Behavior
If a student has been bullied, the parents of that child often want to know what the consequences were for the student who did the bullying. In public schools, we are bound by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and cannot disclose information to parents about children that are not their own. However, we can let parents know the procedures and hierarchy of consequences we follow in these circumstances.
Code of Conduct
Not all acts of bullying will present themselves as bullying right away. However, whatever the form, it should appear as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Parents can look up the type of violation in the Code of Conduct and see the potential consequences. Note that there is usually a range of consequences available to administrators. That range exists so administrators can weigh specifics of the incident, such as if the student is a repeat offender.
Suspension and Expulsion
Recent Michigan laws changed the way schools handle suspensions and expulsions. The legislation wants schools to move away from removing students from school. Before we can suspend a student, we must now meet as a team and review seven different required
considerations. They are:
- student’s age
- student’s disciplinary history
- seriousness of offense
- whether student has disability
- whether violation threatened health/safety
- whether to use restorative practices
- whether lesser intervention is appropriate
The legislation requires:
- consideration of seven factors in EVERY case of suspension or expulsion EXCEPT FIREARMS.
- Administrators must use the new factors as justification to not to suspend or expel a pupil, even for a "zero tolerance" offense, EXCEPT FIREARMS.
- There is a rebuttable presumption that any suspension over 10 days is unjustified "unless the [district]…can demonstrate that it considered each of the factors."
- Districts must consider using restorative practices as an alternative to suspension
Waterford Police Department
Depending on the severity of the incident, we may get the Waterford
Police Department involved. In addition to violating the Code of Conduct, a student’s behavior may also have broken the law. When that is the case, we will not hesitate to press charges and have the
When the arrest leads to a court case, we follow it through. We will make staff members available to attend court and testify about a student’s behavior.
More Information for Parents
Resources from Waterford Coalition for Youth
Link Crew and WEB
Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (RULER)
Leader in Me
Violence Prevention Works
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support
21 Tips for Connecting Learners to Their Community