We are committed to ensuring our students enjoy safe and supportive learning environments throughout Galesburg Community Unit School District #205. Bullying will not be allowed during any school sponsored activity or event.
We encourage students, staff, and parents to contact building principals, outreach workers or counselors directly when cases of bullying are known. You will find their contact information below. Alternately, scroll to the bottom of the page to report an incident of bullying if needed. Your report will be forwarded to the building principal you indicate.
What is Bullying?
According to StopBullying.gov:
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids 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.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
How is Bullying handled?
Our policy on bullying is written into the Code of Conduct, on pages 11-15. This policy is approved by the Board of Education, and staff are mandated to review our anti-bullying policy regularly. The teaching of Internet Safety, including how to identify, report, and resist cyber bullying, is required to be taught to students at least annually. Students who feel subject to any of these behaviors are encouraged to report it to a teacher, administrator, or other trusted adult immediately.
How can we help students handle Bullying?
Dealing With Bullies
If your student feels bullied, help us reinforce these three steps to deal with bullying or cyber bullying:
Do not respond to the bully. Bullies enjoy controlling the behavior of others. The first step to beating a bully is showing them they can't control you or your responses. Ignore the bully whenever possible.
Avoid situations where you might be subjected to bully's controlling behavior when possible or appropriate. You are in control of your digital world. Use email, social media, & cell phone tools to block the bully's attempts. "Un-friend" and "un-follow" the bully so their social media messages are removed from view. The less you are exposed to the bully's messages, the more power you have over the bully. Your internet service providers and your cellular service providers can also help you block bullies if needed.
Contact your parents, teachers, school principal, or another trusted adult and tell them what is happening. Teachers and principals are trained to help in these situations, but remember that there are legal limitations to what they can do and tell you about. You can report the bully to your internet service provider or your cellular service provider so they can take action. Report abuses to social media networks so the bully's account can be examined for possible suspension. Sometimes it is appropriate to contact local law enforcement for help as well. You don't have to be silent - report the bullying behavior so something can be done to help you.
What resources & activities are in place to help students resist the effects of Bullying?
- All classrooms use Conscious Discipline to help students learn to manage their behavior and emotions
- Weekly teacher newsletters communicate and reinforce Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Conscious Discipline curriculum at home.
- Parents are invited and encouraged to check out books and videos about topics like bullying from the Bright Futures Parent Resource Library.
- Parents are invited to join staff during regular booster training videos to learn how to reinforce Conscious Discipline topics at home.
Elementary School Resources
- Most schools teach a KYHFOOTY policy: Keep Your Hands, Feet, & Other Objects To Yourself" from the first day of Kindergarten, which is reinforced frequently.
- All schools frequently provide positive reinforcement of desired & appropriate behaviors.
- Classroom teachers clearly post, teach, and reinforce classroom expectations, incentives, and consequences
- Schools use structures like Morning Meetings, House time, school-wide values, etc., promote community building and trusting, supportive relationships (structures may vary by school)
- Schools participate in Anti-Bullying Poster contests, Kindness and Caring assemblies and challenges, and other school wide activities to demonstrate their understanding of classroom lessons on Bullying Resistance & Response.
- Restorative practices are used to help both the victim and the bully repair and promote positive trusting relationships among students.
Middle Grades Resources
- All Grade 6 students take part in specific Anti-Bullying instruction through Health class. See sample unit newsletter.
- All middle grades schools have Advisory classes, which are small groups of students that meet with a teacher 20 minutes a day for various activities. Students and teachers work together during these times to develop service projects, build community, and sometimes just knock out some homework. Many anti-bullying activities occur during Advisory times, including social-emotional learning (S.E.L.) & team-building activities, bullying-resistance videos, etc. Advisory time helps our middle grades students develop and maintain positive relationships and supportive school culture throughout the year.
High School Resources
- Deans and administrators meet with students during Anti-Bullying units taught in high school Health/PE classes.
- High school students are instructed in appropriate methods to report and react to incidents of bullying.
- Administrators review the district’s anti-bullying policy regularly with teachers as required by law.
- In all health classes, both the Army and Hult Center for Healthy Living present on bullying and suicide prevention.
- Bullying is also covered when information about our code of conduct is reviewed in PE classes by the deans at the start of each school year and in all class meetings at the beginning of the year.
- The deans also present on/discuss bullying through advocacy small groups.
- GHS students participate in assemblies led by outside organizations, too. Most recently, all students participated with MWAH (Messages Which are Hopeful), and previously the engaged with Rachel's Challenge. More speakers for school-wise presentations are considered annually, as funding allows.
- The typical first line of defense in a bullying situation is a trusted adult. Our teachers typically take the bullying reports straight to administration or to the counseling department, depending. The counseling department works hard to meet with students as quickly as possible to discuss the incident, and offer both empathy and a listening ear. Interventions will vary based on the situation, and may include conflict resolution, anger management, decision making, problem solving, self-confidence and self-awareness , etc. Information is passed along to administration for disciplinary consequences as appropriate. Counseling and administration work together to keep parents and teacher(s) appropriately informed.
- A confidential bullying report form is available on the GHS Counselors' website, to help communicate a bullying situation to counseling staff.
- Individual & small group support meetings are held with outside organizations such as Streaks Dads and YMCA Solutions. They sit down with students and talk about choices and help facilitate issues between students.