Get Help With Bullying, Harassment or Discrimination
Hayward Unified School District is committed to providing a safe school environment
Our commitment is to provide a safe learning environment that protects students from physical and emotional harm. Click the links to see the full language of HUSD's Bullying Board Policy and Administrative Regulation that protects students. One part of the Bullying Policy states:
“No individual or group shall, through physical, written, verbal, visual, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any student or school personnel, or retaliate against them for filing a complaint or participating in the complaint resolution process.”
If you or someone you know is being harmed from bullying, harassment, discrimination or intimidation, please inform an administrator and get help as soon as possible!
What is bullying?
Bullying occurs when a student repeatedly attempts to hurt, humiliate, threaten, or exclude another less powerful student. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Please be aware of some possible warning signs that a person is being bullied.
Bullying behavior is aggressive. The aggressive behavior may be overt, or easily observable. Or the aggressive behavior may be covert, or passive-aggressive and not easily observable. Both aggressive and/or passive-aggressive behavior may be identified as bullying and must include:
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power to control or harm others. Some examples of this power could be physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is repeated and unwanted hurtful words or behavior that happens online. It includes sharing negative or harmful content about someone on purpose or it may include threatening or intimidating actions. This type of bullying happens over text messages, online chat, or social media or other digital platforms. Learn more below.
Is it bullying or is it conflict?
Sometimes an incident happens at school and the students or adults might quickly label the situation as bullying. However, there is an investigation and determination process that needs to be followed by an administrator for a situation to be identified as bullying. Sometimes a situation is actually a conflict between two students that have equal power, a misunderstanding between friends or rudeness/meanness when a person is not acting like their best self. Whether the situation involves bullying or conflict or something else, the students involved have the right to receive support and communication from school staff to arrive at an appropriate resolution.
Click here to learn more about bullying, conflict, rudeness and meanness.
What does staff do to prevent bullying?
Collaborate and build positive relationships and school environments
Design inclusive curriculum and teach anti-bias/bullying prevention lessons
Intervene in the moment if they witness acts of bullying or harassment to stop the harassment
Report acts of bullying or harassment to the principal if they witness it
Investigate reports of bullying and communicate with the student and parent/family about an effective resolution (Principal or Administrator responsibility)
How do I make a bullying report?
- Notify a teacher or school leader (for example, a principal, campus safety officer, counselor, etc.) right away; The staff member should make a plan to inform the principal. You are encouraged to also write down the details to document the incident(s) and share your notes with the principal. Telling an administrator counts as a bullying report.
- Write down the details about what happened, where and when the incident happened, who was involved, and the names of any witnesses. Do this for every incident. Keep copies of any related documents or other information. If you give a verbal report, follow up with a written report (for example, scan your notes or take a picture with your phone and email it to the principal). An email or a copy of your notes counts as a bullying report.
- Complete a Bullying Complaint Form. You can choose the printed paper form or the anonymous online form:
What is the timeframe for a response after I make a report?
- The administrator begins an initial investigation as soon as possible - no later than 48 hours after the bullying report was made
- If bullying is found in the initial investigation, the administrator takes interim steps to complete the investigation and to protect the victim and witnesses of the bullying incident
- The administrator notifies parents/guardians of the students involved of the bullying report and status of the investigation
- The administrator develops a response and safety plan to protect the targeted (or potentially targeted) student(s)
- The administrator sends a written resolution to parent/guardian within 10 days
Will the bullying complaint be kept confidential?
- Individuals who complete the Bullying Complaint Form will be protected from retaliation
- To the extent possible, administrators investigating an incident will protect the confidentiality of the identity of the person reporting the incident
- The student(s) who allegedly did bullying behaviors will be informed about the complaint as part of the investigation
- The results of the investigation (confirmation of the incident(s) as bullying or not bullying) and response will be shared back to the person who completed the Bullying Complaint Form
- However, the details of the intervention and/or disciplinary consequences for the student who did the bullying behaviors must be kept confidential and may not be shared due to educational privacy rights
What if I need additional support?
Ask the school to translate or interpret information into a language you understand if needed. If you need help completing the form, you can ask school staff for assistance. If you have communication needs because of a disability, you can ask for accommodations.
- Consider filing a Uniform Complaint if you are not satisfied with the resolution after following the bullying report process listed above or if you have any complaints about the process. Please see the Uniform Complaint / Title IX page for more information.
Consider seeking mental health services if needed. Sometimes counseling or mental health support can be helpful for a student who has been harassed or bullied.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, poses an immediate threat to themselves or others, or is being hurt by someone, call 911 for immediate help.
If you are struggling to cope with your situation (even if you are not thinking about suicide), you can also call or text these support numbers for help.
For questions about a bullying situation or about bullying prevention lessons, please contact:
Hidie Reed, Safe and Inclusive Schools TOSA
(510) 784-2600 ext. 72801
BULLYING PREVENTION LESSONS
- HUSD Bullying Prevention & Digital Citizenship Lessons
- HUSD Safe Schools Elementary Book Project K-6
- Bullying Prevention Lessons TK-6
- Bullying Prevention Lessons 7-12
- Solidarity Week, Campaigns and more!
- Welcoming Schools K-6
- ADL: Bullying Prevention Lessons K-12
- PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center K-12
- PBS: The Heart Exercise 6-12
- Learning for Justice: Bullying Basics & Bias
- Responding to Hate and Bias at School: A Guide for Administrators, Counselors and Teachers
LEARN MORE ABOUT BULLYING
- Cyberbullying Research Center K-12
- California State PTA
- California Department of Education
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
page updated October 2023