Bullying Prevention Overview
The Carlisle Public Schools takes bullying seriously. We understand that students will make mistakes as they grow. We expect our students to learn from their mistakes. Teachers, administrators, and school psychologists will work collaboratively to guide our students in making good choices as they are faced with daily life situations.
Bullying takes place when a stronger or more emotionally or socially powerful individual intentionally and repeatedly hurts, threatens, or torments a more vulnerable individual. Carlisle Public Schools recognizes that certain students may be more vulnerable to bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
- is deliberate.
- happens repeatedly.
- represents a marked imbalance of power between bully and target.
Eradicating bullying from schools requires a thoughtful, comprehensive, and coordinated plan. This anti-bullying plan includes a combination of pro-social education for all Carlisle Public School students as well as disciplinary consequences for engaging in bullying behavior.
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) prevents or reduces bullying in elementary, middle, and junior high schools. OBPP is not a curriculum, but a program that deals with bullying at the schoolwide, classroom, individual, and community levels. Carlisle Public School students in grades K-8 engage in this social-emotional learning program, which is specially designed address peer-to-peer social aggression.
What follows are the methods to report alleged bullying and the school investigatory steps, procedures, and possible disciplinary outcomes related to bullying.
- STEP ONE: Inform Carlisle School Administration of Alleged Bullying
If any student, parent, community member, faculty, or staff suspect that a Carlisle Public School student is the victim of bullying, they may report the incident to administration in a variety of ways:
Report Alleged Bullying using our online form:
Please follow this link to complete the online alleged bullying incident form.
Report Alleged Bullying using a Paper Form:
Download and print out a copy of the printable PDF. You can also pick up a paper copy in the main office of our school. Be sure to deliver the completed form to the main office.
Please call Carlisle Public Schools, (978) 369-6550 for the main office. For students in grades K-4, please ask to speak with our elementary school principal. For students in grades 5-8, please ask to speak with our middle school principal.
Please email a teacher, counselor, administrator or other middle school faculty member. All staff and faculty email contacts are on this website.
All school employees are required to report alleged bullying to the principal or the principal's designee. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of our anti-bullying policy. Reports of alleged bullying may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
Upon receiving a report of alleged bullying, the Carlisle School administrator and/or the administrator's designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident using the following investigatory procedures.
- STEP TWO: Administration will Interview Target of Bullying
Interviewing the target will address the urgency of the targeted child's need to talk to someone as well as allows the Carlisle Public School administrator to assess if immediate danger or safety issues exist and must be dealt with right away.
Administration will seek to determine the basis of the complaint, gathering information from the complainant, including such matters as: what specifically happened, who committed the alleged acts, who was present or may have information about the events, when the events occurred and where the events occurred.
Please be aware that school faculty and administration will support target by:
- Affirming child's feelings, i.e. "You were right to report this. I'm glad you told me."
- Making it clear that the aggression was not his/her fault.
- Thinking carefully before giving advice, as often times the targets have already tried and failed to stop this aggression using the strategies the school has suggested, i.e. walking away, telling the aggressor to stop, etc.
- Reminding target to always report any future aggression.
- Brainstorming solutions after identifying what has and has not worked in the past.
- Recruiting peers to befriend isolated targets.
- Support vulnerable students and to provide all students with the skills, knowledge and strategies needed to prevent or respond to bullying or harassment.
Administration will notify the parents of the alleged bullying victim of the investigation.
- STEP THREE: Administration will Interview Witnesses and the Child Accused of Bullying
In order to make the determination of bullying, the administration will gather other evidence, which often involves interviews of the alleged aggressor and/or other witnesses. If appropriate, the investigator should remind the alleged aggressor and witnesses that retaliation against persons whom they believe might have reported the incidents or cooperated with the investigation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. The confidentiality of the complainant and the other witnesses will be maintained to the extent practicable given the school's obligation to investigate and address the matter. Administration will notify the parents of the alleged aggressor of the investigation.
- STEP FOUR: Determining Consequences, or Notification of No-Finding.
If school rules are broken, consequences must follow. In all cases, student offenses shall be treated on an individual basis, and the administration shall develop disciplinary measures appropriate for each offense. When possible, constructive tasks commensurate with the infraction shall be considered, and counseling shall be part of the disciplinary procedure when appropriate.
Factors for Determining Consequences:
- Age, development, and maturity levels of the student(s) involved
- Degree of harm
- Surrounding circumstances
- Nature and severity of the behavior(s)
- Incidences of past or continuing pattern(s) of behavior
- Relationship between the parties involved
- Context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred
The Carlisle Public School Administration will be responsible for determining whether the alleged act constitutes bullying. Please be aware that a determination of bullying is considered as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct, which includes school rules and consequences, is found in Chapter 5 of the Carlisle Student and Parent Handbook. In addition to disciplinary consequences, which may include detentions, suspension and/or community service, a student found responsible for an act of meanness, teasing, bullying, or harassment may be required to meet with a school personnel for a number of sessions deemed appropriate by the administration.
- STEP FIVE: Notification & Follow up
Administration will promptly provide written notice to the parents or guardians of the target and a perpetrator about whether or not the complaint was substantiated and, if substantiated, what action is being taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation.
Specific information about disciplinary action taken generally will not be released to the target's parents or guardians unless it involves a "stay away" or other directive that the target must be aware of in order to report violations. If appropriate, within a reasonable time period following closure of the complaint, the administrative staff or a designee will contact the target to determine whether there has been any recurrence of the prohibited conduct.