Bullying Prevention, Character Building, and School Climate
Student safety and well-being is a top priority for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. As a community of learners, we believe that all students deserve a safe, caring, respectful, and inclusive learning environment free from bullying, harassment or intimidation of any kind. Folsom Cordova Unified has developed and adopted policies, procedures, and strategies for bullying prevention and intervention to help keep students safe and ensure a supportive learning environment.
As a District, we believe that to effectively address and counteract bullying, we must work as a community and implement policies, procedures, practices, and strategies that support our collective belief that bullying does not belong in our schools. The FCUSD Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying in our community and has adopted the following board policies to provide safe school environments that protects students from physical and emotional harm.
These frequently asked questions about bullying come from the California Department of Education's publication titled Bullying at School. They provide information for educators, students, families, and community safety partners who wish to educate themselves and others about effective measures to prevent bullying and respond to it.
FCUSD Board Policies
Bullying is an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power between individuals with the intent to cause emotional or physical harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social/relational and involves repetition or potential repetition of a deliberate act.
Cyberbullying includes the electronic creation or transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person’s electronic account or assuming that person’s online identity in order to damage that person’s reputation.Positive Learning EnvironmentFolsom Cordova Unified School District believes in a whole-child approach to supporting student achievement. This integrated and comprehensive approach focuses on rigorous core instruction, differentiated learning, and individualized student needs through culturally and linguistically relevant instruction using school-wide and classroom research-based positive behavioral supports for achieving important social and learning outcomes.PBIS
School-wide PBIS begins with the premise that all students should have access to supports to prevent the development and occurrence of problem behavior, including bullying behavior. To avoid stigmatizing any student, school-wide PBIS emphasizes what a student should do and where. Establishing a school-wide expectation for common respect, teaching what that means, and ensuring that all students and faculty and staff members share in the responsibility of making schools respectful settings can make a difference.
From a school-wide PBIS perspective, successful prevention of bullying behavior is linked directly to teaching adults and students (a) what bullying looks like, (b) what to do before and when bullying behavior is observed, (c) how to teach others what to do, and (d) how to establish a positive and preventive environment that reduces the effectiveness of bullying behavior (Ross, Horner, & Stiller, 2009).Social Emotional LearningSocial Emotional Learning (SEL) Instruction -- Second Step Curriculum: The importance of educating students about bullying, empathy, emotion management, and problem-solving is crucial to create a safe culture that does not tolerate bullying and harassment. We have implemented the evidence-based Second Step curriculum for elementary and middle school students. For elementary students, Second Step weekly lessons are delivered through the following units: skills for learning, emotion management, problem solving, and friendship skills. For middle school, the weekly lessons are delivered through the following units: mindsets and goals; values and friendships; thoughts, emotions, and decisions; and serious peer conflicts. The SEL lessons address the challenges of bullying head-on by teaching students how to identify and understand feelings, respect similarities and differences, show care and compassion, and develop conversation skills.Restorative PracticesRestorative practices are a set of diverse ideas and approaches used to build healthy communities, increase social capital, repair harm and restore relationships. These practices – which range from whole school strategies to specific intervention techniques – seek to move from a retributive model of group accountability to a restorative model of accountability. In other words, RP places emphasis on addressing harm and building community and relationships, rather than simply administering punishment. FCUSD has offered a range of trainings for staff and leadership about the power of relationship-building, understanding, and community building as a way to limit conflict but also as a strategy for responding to conflict when it arises through a lens of repair, restoration, and education rather than through punishment and exclusion. This directly addresses our disciplinary disproportionality as well as reduces the chances of bullying by viewing all members of the school community as valuable and providing to the positive climate of our schools and community.Professional DevelopmentFamily and Community Engagement