Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on District property, school buildings, on school buses, and at school-sponsored events/or activities occurring on or off campus.
The District also prohibits “internet bullying” (also referred to as “cyberbullying”) including the use of instant messaging, emails, web sites, chat rooms, and text messaging when such use interferes with the operation of the school; or infringes upon the general safety and welfare of others.
Concerns about bullying in our schools can be addressed to one of our building-level Dignity For All Students Act (DASA) Coordinators:
Mary E. Dardess Elementary School 50 Woodbridge Ave. Chatham, NY 12037
Chatham Middle School
Chatham High School
You may also use our DASA Incident Reporting Form to report an incident involving bullying. This PDF form may be filled out and sent to one of our DASA coordinators or to the main office of your child's school.
What is bullying?
The term “bullying” is understood to be a hostile activity which harms or induces fear through the threat of further aggression and/or creates terror. It often involves a differential in real or perceived power between the victim and perpetrator. The term bullying describes a range of harmful behaviors such as harassment, hazing, intimidation or discrimination. Conflict and confrontation often do not rise to the level of bullying or harassment, but their positive transformation or resolution will be sought through the District’s Code of Conduct and/or character education programs.
Bullying can take three forms:
Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings)
Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, teasing, name calling, making threats)
Psychological (including, but not limited to spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation)
Bullying may also occur as various forms of harassment and or hazing of students by other students (including pledging and/or a student’s initiation into or affiliation with a school or student related organization or team).
The harassment behavior may be based on any characteristic, including, but not limited to a person’s actual or perceived:
gender (including gender identity and expression)
It is important to note that a single negative as enumerated above may also constitute “bullying” (if not more misconduct) based upon the particular circumstances such as the seriousness of the act and/or the intent of the actor.
If you experience/witness bullying
Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to bullying behavior, as well as any other person who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of bullying, shall report the bullying to any staff member or the building principal. The staff member/building principal to whom the report is made (or the staff member/building principal who witnesses bullying behavior) shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate action to include, as necessary, referral to the next level of supervisory authority and/or other official designated by the District to investigate allegations of bullying. Investigation of allegations of bullying shall follow the procedures utilized for complaints of harassment within the district. Allegations of bullying shall be promptly investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.
Retaliatory behavior directed against complaints, victims, witnesses, and/or any other individuals who participate in the investigation of allegations of bullying is prohibited. Follow-up inquiries and/or appropriate monitoring of the alleged bully and victim shall be made to ensure that bullying behavior has not resumed and that all those involved in the investigation of allegations of bullying have not suffered retaliation.