What is Bullying?
Bullying, as defined in the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
- causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property;
- places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property;
- creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
- infringes on the rights of the target at school; or
- materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Safe Learning Environment
The Chelmsford Public Schools maintain a comfortable atmosphere where students feel supported in their educational pursuits and where new beginnings are encouraged. We are committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from bullying. This commitment is an integral part of the Chelmsford Public Schools comprehensive efforts to promote learning, eliminate all forms of violent, harmful and disruptive behavior, and enable students to achieve their personal and academic potential.
When your child has been a victim of bullying, it’s natural to want to know exactly what will happen to the child who bullied him or her. You may feel that the educator or administrator is avoiding your questions or protecting the bully. In fact, they are simply following the law. Educators in the United States must obey the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This act strongly affects schools and disciplinary procedures against minor students. One effect of this act is to make school records, including discipline, a private matter. That means a school is prohibited from sharing any information in a student’s record – including disciplinary information – to a third party. The result of this is that you cannot expect a school official to tell you how they have disciplined a student, even if your child was directly victimized by that student.