Social Emotional Learning at Kent
Kent Social Vision
At Kent Middle School, students learn to be good citizens by respecting everyone on campus and giving back to the community. They have the courage to take positive social and academic risks. Kent provides opportunities to grow through academics, athletics, and social/club activities. We are a family. Our campus is the heart of the Kentfield community. Students, teachers and parents feel proud to be part of Kent Middle School.
Here are examples of what we strive for…
- include others in the classroom and at recess.
- are confident to stand up for what they know is right.
- have the courage to hang out with someone new.
- trust the expertise of faculty as professional educators.
- hold their children accountable for their actions.
- act as good role models.
- communicate and collaborate with parents.
- follow a school-wide protocol for student behavior/consequences.
- are dynamic and engaged with students both in and out of the classroom.
Principal and Assistant Principal who:
- are trusted by the community and empowered to lead.
Purpose of This Policy
In any school community, there will be occasions when students do not get along. Sometimes students attempt to hurt, exclude or take power from another student. Sometimes these behaviors are motivated by anger, jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, or lack of skill in dealing with conflict. This policy is designed to guide our community in how to respond to violence, conflict and bullying, so that we move past these behaviors and create the culture that we strive to have at our school.
The Kent Culture Committee
- The Kent Culture Committee is a standing committee to ensure the implementation of this policy, to oversee the social and emotional development of our students and to help our school live by the values of respect and giving back to others.
- The Committee appoints one person to be the team leader.
- The Committee leader shall convene meetings regularly throughout the school year.
- The Solution Team® response to bullying was created by No Bully as a non-punitive way of addressing bullying dynamics that have arisen within a classroom or group of students. Under the Solution Team response, an adult facilitator pulls together a team of students to solve the bullying of one of their peers. Solution Team offers a simple six step procedure that includes an initial meeting and two follow-up meetings.
- Solution Team is an opportunity for students to learn and apply empathy on behalf of their peers. It helps stop bullying dynamics in most cases.
- The Principal ensures that sufficient faculty members are trained as facilitators in this approach.
- A Facilitator initiates a Solution Team response when requested by a staff member by meeting with the student that is being bullied (“the target”).
- The Facilitator explains the Solution Team response to the target and asks the target whether they would like this to be used on their behalf.
- The Facilitator informs the parents of the target if their child has asked for the help of the Solution Team response.
The Solution Team Response to Bullying
- A Solution Team facilitator meets with the target and asks if he/she want help.
- The facilitator selects the members of the Solution Team.
- The facilitator convenes the first meeting of the Solution Team.
- The facilitator checks in with the target.
- One week later the facilitator convenes the second meeting of the Solution Team.
- A second week later the facilitator convenes the final meeting of the Solution Team, this time with the target present.
Teachers and Staff
- Kent’s staff models the school’s values of respect and giving back to others.
- Teachers raise awareness of harassment and bullying regularly throughout the year (and especially during the week.)
- Teachers and staff intervene swiftly to stop physical and verbal aggression, harassment and bullying.
- Teachers and staff make a log entry in PowerSchool whenever they are aware of incidents of harassment or bullying.
- Teachers and staff will attempt to resolve an incident of bullying and if they need assistance will refer the incident either to the school counselors, to a Solution Team facilitator or the administration. If a school rule has been broken, they will notify administration.
- Athletic Directors and parent coaches have the same responsibility as teachers and staff to intervene and to report acts of harassment and bullying.
- Administration ensures that a response is made to incidents of bullying of which they have been notified.
Our school is a community. All students need to get along and be friendly, whether or not they are actually friends. We all show empathy and respect for the feelings and needs of others. Here are things that students can do to keep our school bully-free.
- Respect all students. Never harass or bully anyone or be a bully-follower.
- Think how other students might perceive your actions or words. It is not okay to say “just kidding” after you have bullied another student.
- Communicate as respectfully by cell phone or online to others as you would "face to face." If you wouldn’t say it F2F, don’t say it online or post behind their back.
- If you see harassment or bullying, be an ally to the student that is being bullied. Ask the bullies to stop or immediately find an adult if you cannot stop the bullying yourself.
- If you are harassed or bullied by other students, speak out! Do not give your power away and become a target. Remember that you have the right to respect and ask these students to stop.
- If the harassment or bullying continues, seek help. Our school encourages you to tell the school counselor or any other adult on campus that you trust.
- Our school takes a problem-solving approach to bullying. Sometimes we pull together a Solution Team of students in your grade and ask them to solve the bullying. Many Solution Teams have successfully stopped the bullying after one or two meetings without punishing anybody.
- Never take revenge or ask someone to retaliate against a student that has reported bullying.
How parents can help us support our culture of empathy and respect
- In this section, references to parents include guardians, volunteers and coaches.
- We ask that parents support our school’s values of respect and giving back to others.
- Encourage your children to show empathy and respect for the dignity and worth of every student, parent and adult that works at the school.
- Establish a respectful environment at home. Parents who use physical power and inconsistent consequences create children that rely on power to get their own way.
- Don’t allow your children to intimidate or bully each other.
- Have conversations with your children about diversity. Reinforce the message that everyone is different and that diversity brings the school many gifts.
- Monitor how you talk about others in front of your child. If you put down or exclude others, you are teaching your children to do the same.
- Teach your children what happens when friendships go wrong. Tell them that feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy and confusion are normal. Explain that whatever they might be feeling, bullying, retaliation and revenge are never acceptable responses.
- Have a conversation with your child about the proper use of technology in your house. Limit your child’s Internet access to computers in the shared areas. Discuss the responsibility to show respect when texting and posting online and the effect of posting threatening words, rumors and hurtful images. If your child wants to join a social networking site, ask that you have the password, and encourage them to restrict access only to friends.
- Please participate in the anti-bullying awareness programs provided by the school.
- Parents who serve as classroom volunteers, or coaches have the same responsibility as staff to monitor students, and to report acts of harassment and bullying to the classroom teacher.
What a parent can do if their child engages in bullying
- Don’t close yourself to the possibility that your child is using bullying behavior. When in doubt, check it out with the school. Empathy, kindness and respect are learned behaviors and it is up to parents to teach these.
- Explore what happened without shaming your child.
- Help your child understand their underlying feelings and what they might be gaining from the bully role (e.g. power, popularity, expression of frustration and anger).
- Empathize with your child’s feelings, while helping them find alternative ways to act.
- Partner with the school in establishing consequences that will promote positive behavior and are appropriate to what your child has done.
What a parent can do if their child is harassed or bullied
- Raise the subject of bullying indirectly and give your child space to answer. Thank them for trusting you, empathize with their experience and reassure them of their value.
- Don’t intervene behind your child’s back or you risk losing your child’s trust.
- Frame the problem as how your child can take their power back. Role-play what they might do or say in the future. Find activities outside school where they are valued and can succeed.
- Don’t confront the parents of the bullies. Generally such confrontations are volatile and can make your child’s situation worse. If you know or suspect that your child is being bullied, please contact your child’s teacher or school counselor immediately. We can help you only if you entrust us with the problem.
Fighting, Disruptive Behavior, Damage or Theft of Property
Students at Kent respect other people and property. They do not swear, push, shove, kick, fight, etc. (even if it is a game). They do not engage in violence or any behavior that disrupts the orderly classroom or school environment. Vandalism, damage or theft of property belonging to the district, staff, or students, including misuse of the school’s computers and Internet is strictly prohibited.
- Swearing on campus will result in a detention.
- Students who engage in physical fighting will be immediately suspended.
How Kent Middle School Responds to Hazing, Harassment, Slurs and Bullying
We are committed to a culture where we have empathy and respect for the feelings and needs of others. We see hazing, harassment, slurs and bullying as obstacles to realizing our school’s values for how we all get along. The following part of this policy describes our roles in responding to hazing, bullying, and harassment in supporting the culture of our school.
- Bullying occurs when a student, or group of students, attempts to take power over another student. Often bullying is repeated, where students fall into the roles of bully (the student that is bullying), bully-follower (a student that goes along with the bully), target (the child being bullied) and bystander (a student that sees the bullying but does nothing to stop it). The main ways in which bullying may happen are:
- Physical bullying, when a student uses physical force to hurt another student by hitting, punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, spitting, pinching, getting in their way, holding them down or “pantsing.” It is also bullying to interfere with another student’s belongings, to take or break their possessions, and to demand or steal money.
- Verbal bullying, when a student directs words at another student with the intention of putting them down or humiliating them. This includes threatening, taunting, intimidating, shouting, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, put-downs and ridiculing. It is also verbal bullying when a student uses hostile gestures towards another student, such as making faces, staring, giving the evil eye, and eye rolling.
- Relational bullying, when a student influences another student’s friendships and relationships through deliberately leaving them out, spreading gossip and rumors about them, whispering, giving them the silent treatment, ostracizing or scape-goating. This also includes writing words or creating cartoons, posters or drawings about another student designed to hurt or humiliate that student.
- Cyber bullying refers to the use of cell-phones, text messages, e-mails, instant messaging, chatrooms, web blogs and social networking sites to bully another student in any of the ways described above. Examples of cyber bullying are sending threatening or insulting messages by phone and e-mail, posting untrue information or embarrassing pictures about another student on message boards, blogs or social networking sites such as MySpace or FaceBook, using another student’s email address or IM name to send messages that make the student look bad, creating a web page devoted to putting down another student, forwarding a text-message or e-mail that was meant for your eyes only.
- Harassment occurs when a student is the recipient of threatening, disturbing or unwelcome behaviors because of a particular characteristic. Sexual Harassment occurs when a person is harassed because of their gender and includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome or perceived sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Kentfield School District Policy and state law prohibits sexual harassment of a student or by a student. We take this very seriously and there will be serious consequences for violators. Complaints should be made to either the school counselor or the principal’s designee.
- Hazing involves subjecting another student to a test involving harassment, abuse or humiliation as a way of initiating them into a club or group. Hazing, or any initiation activity that causes or threatens to cause bodily harm or emotional suffering is against the school rules.
- A “slur” is a form of harassment that uses speech; epithets, threats, verbal abuse, use of profanity or derogatory comments and a “slur” also includes; spreading rumors, jokes, notes, stories, drawings, pictures or gestures that make reference to real or perceived ethnicity, national origin, immigrant status, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, political affiliation, manner of speech, or any other physical or cultural characteristics.
When bullying is also a slur or harassment. Bullying is part of a continuum of aggression and may, at times, amount to a slur or harassment. Whether or not bullying also amounts to a slur or harassment, our school will not tolerate student bullying on our campus, at school-sponsored events, or directed towards students traveling to and from school.
The District takes very seriously incidents when students make remarks (“slurs") against other students, families, staff members or members of the community. Any student who directs a slur towards any other student at school or at a school-related activity and who is reported to the school for making the slur is subject to disciplinary action.