The safety of our students and staff is one of our highest priorities. While some equate school safety with the prevention of, and response plans related to, school violence, it is much more comprehensive than a single issue. School safety encompasses:
Exploitation (internet predators and sex trafficking); Internet safety, cyberbullying, and online harassment; Fire, earthquake, and natural hazards; Pesticides, herbicides, cleaning chemicals; Risk management (maintenance, lab safety, trainings, procedures, inspections); Pandemic response; Pedestrian/Bike safety; Drug/alcohol/gang/suicide awareness, education, and prevention; First Aid, CPR, and AED training and preparedness; All-hazard response plans, including incident command system, search and rescue, and reunification; Adverse Childhood Experiences, Character, and Socioemotional Education and more.
Each Hockinson school has a safety designee who participates in the district safety committee, responds to building safety issues, and is responsible for schoolwide safety drills. Contact your student's school for more information.
Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying
Hockinson Schools are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all students and staff.
Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) are serious issues that can negatively impact students and entire school communities. Each school will follow up on every reported instance of unkind behaviors or behaviors that meet the definitions of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Below are some FAQs that will help parents and students:
- understand how schools define these situations,
- report instances of HIB, and
- understand how schools respond to HIB reports.
HIB Frequently Asked Questions
What is HIB?
There are multiple definitions of what constitutes harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Washington State defines HIB as any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act that:
Physically harms a student or damages the student's property;
Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education;
Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school
The concepts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying are similar, but distinct. Each carries unique characteristics and definitions. These definitions are available on the OSPI website under the “Definitions” tab.
When is an unkind comment or behavior considered bullying?
Many instances of interpersonal conflict are reported as bullying. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power - Students who bully use their power-such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people
Repetition - Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
How prevalent is bullying?
In a school community comprised of individuals with different backgrounds and beliefs, a number of behaviors may be hurtful and unwelcome. Schools have the difficult task of determining which behaviors fall under categories such as “unkind acts,” “inappropriate behaviors,” “disruptive behaviors,” or “inappropriate comments.” Schools must also figure out which behaviors rise to the level of HIB.
Regardless of where a behavior falls on this spectrum, schools take every single student report seriously and will complete an investigation of the situation.
How do I report an incident of unkind behavior or HIB?
Please reach out to your child’s school to report any concerns you have regarding unkind behavior or HIB. You can also report any instance of harassment, intimidation or bullying via SafeSchools Alert
By completing the district Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying (HIB) Incident Reporting Form.
Safe Schools Alert will automatically notify school administrators. The HIB Reporting Form can be attached to an email or printed and dropped off at your school’s main office.
What happens in an investigation?
Depending on the situation, investigations will vary in length and scope. However, they will normally involve a student statement and/or interview, review of any security video, and interviews of involved student(s) and witnesses.
How do we handle student misbehaviors and HIB in our schools?
Maintaining safe and respectful schools is a team effort. Staff are trained annually on how to identify and respond to a variety of health and social issues. Whenever possible, schools attempt to resolve interpersonal conflicts in a way that develops student advocacy, problem solving, and socioemotional skills. This could involve facilitated discussion, restorative practices, and/or student discipline - or a combination of all three.
While every situation is unique and may be handled differently, our goal remains the same: To preserve student dignity and to treat each student with respect and care.
Why are situations involving unkind behaviors and HIB difficult to address?
Reports of interpersonal conflict often seem straightforward, but they are complex. These situations involve intense emotions and different perceptions and storylines leaving schools to investigate and make sense of “Person 1 v. Person 2” recollections of events. The impact of student-to-student conflicts can also be far-reaching, in some cases involving social media and /or affecting the students’ families and life outside of school. Because schools are obligated to protect student privacy, families will not receive specific information about other students or the disciplined assigned. Moreover, the way a school addresses or resolves situations may not always match what families expect.
Despite these challenges, Hockinson Schools are 100% dedicated to preserving a safe and respectful environment for all students. Schools will continue to approach these issues proactively through ongoing staff training, socioemotional curriculum, and clear school-wide expectations. HSD staff will follow up on every reported incident of unkind behaviors and HIB.
Please review Hockinson School District Policy 3207 for further information.