Put Experience On Your Side

When is student behavior considered bullying?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Bullying and Abuse |

It might be easy to brush off student behavior as playful or mischievous. However, their actions could be bullying based on California’s anti-bullying policies. Their conduct could become harmful if allowed to continue. Fortunately, the law has provisions defining what constitutes bullying, allowing schools and institutions to drill down on this type of misconduct.

Bullying happens when one or more students show harmful behavior, causing damage to others. They could do so through what they say and do directly or virtually using electronic devices. The law defines bullying based on the damages caused by the violation, including the following:

  • Endangerment or threats directed at the victim, resulting in fear and potential harm to the target or their property
  • Any misconduct or behavior causing a significant impact on the victim’s mental and physical health
  • Any form of misconduct that could considerably affect the victim, resulting in poor performance academically
  • Any actions or statements that could impede the victim from participating in or benefitting from the institution’s services, privileges, events or activities

Students could also bully others through online platforms and other electronic means, such as images, videos or audio recordings. Sometimes, violations could involve impersonation, detrimental website posts and the sharing of sensitive content. California requires each school district to have policies covering these variations of bullying, including intimidation, cyberbullying, discrimination and harassment.

Addressing bullying in schools

The law might provide guidelines, policies and requirements, but the schools are responsible for implementing them. Their obligations include rolling out student programs and providing anti-bullying training to staff. Schools must also comply with proper procedures when addressing bullying incidents, including the involved parties’ parents or legal guardians during discussions.

Anti-bullying campaigns and promotions could effectively discourage this type of behavior. However, the law solidifies protection for bullied students, especially for groups prone to becoming targets.