Palms Middle School Home
kids holding Diversity is Beautiful sign

We salute other middle schools that treat bullying as seriously as Palms Middle School does. See the Los Angeles Times article about Hale Middle School in Woodland Hills.

LAUSD SchoolTipline

The Los Angeles Unified School District established a tip line in Fall 2012. The distrct-wide program, named SchoolTipLine, allows students to report bullying, threats, or the presence of improper items on campus using a website form or by sending a text message from a smart phone.

To use the text message system you'll need the Palms school tip number and school keyword.

For more information, see the SchoolTipLine FAQ or contact a counselor.

"Confessions of a Former Bully"

Look for this book in the Palms Library.

Confessions of a Former Bully

Anti-Bullying Program

Palms does not tolerate bullying or cyberbullying. Bullying and cyberbullying are frequent behaviors and experiences in middle school but should not be considered "part of growing up."

Bullying occurs at every school but some schools pretend the problem doesn't exist. Palms confronts the problem head-on. As a middle school parent you should too.

Education and Action

The anti-bullying program at Palms relies on education and action.

  • Education. Palms provides student education, staff education, and parent education about bullying and cyberbullying. Everyone in the school community should be aware of the problems and what can be done about them.
  • Action. Action is taken when the school staff learns of bullying or cyberbullying incidents from victims, bystanders, parents, or staff members who observe bullying behavior. Each and every case is taken seriously.

What is Bullying?

  • Bullying is a form of intimidation where someone belittles, threatens, or hurts someone else using name-calling, taunting, spreading rumors, gesturing, or by physically shoving, tripping, etc.
  • A disagreement between pals or a similar argument between equals is not bullying. Bullying occurs when students are in some way unequal, and one student is taking unfair advantage of a difference.
  • Example: A student taunts another student based on social status, popularity, body size, grade level, appearance, success in academics or sports, or some other perceived advantage.

What is Cyberbullying?

  • Electronic communications are part of modern life and are often part of a student's social development.
  • Cyberbullying means online intimidation using electronic communications such as e-mail, text and picture messaging, cell phone calls, videochat, multiuser online gaming, and interacting at message boards and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
  • Cyberbullying most often occurs off-campus, not during school hours. Cyberspace can be much like an extension of the school grounds. For that reason, it can affect students and school performance just like on-campus bullying.  

Facts about bullying

  • When a student is victimized by intimidation outside school, the most likely perpetrators are school classmates or kids they know from the neighborhood, sports teams, clubs, off-campus classes, summer camp, etc. Anonymous cyberbullying is less common.
  • In surveys a majority of 12- to 17-year-olds report being bullied and/or cyberbullied at least once. Victims are usually fairly sure who the bully is.
  • Students who are bullied at school are more likely to be cyberbullied online. Students who use the Internet are more likely to encounter cyberbullying if they have pages on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
  • Nine out of 10 victims don't tell an adult. They may think it's their problem to handle on their own, may feel guilty, worry about retribution, or fear getting in trouble with parents. They may fear losing their technology privileges if they report cyberbullying.
  • It's a myth that bullies are insecure outcasts. They are often the most popular among their peers.
  • Repeated bullying can have long-lasting effects, including poor school performance, loss of interest, general unhappiness, and students learning to see themselves as victims even after bullying stops.
  • Having a racially and culturally rich school (like Palms) can reduce bullying because every day students are learning to accept and appreciate differences.

It's the Law

  • Cyberbullying has been illegal in California since 2009.
  • In October 2011 California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1156, a bill sponsored by the California State PTA. AB 1156 mandates staff training in the prevention of bullying, expands the definition of bullying to include cyberbullying, and gives victims of bullying priority for transferring out of a school if they request it. See fact sheet.
  • As of January 2012, California state law allows schools to suspend students for bullying classmates on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Free Event for Students and Parents: November 8, 2013

The Fifth Annual Cyber Crime Prevention Symposium, for students, educators, and parents, will be held Friday November 8, 2013, from 8:00am to 3:15pm at The California Endowment, 1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The event will include workshops on

  • Cyberbullying
  • Social Media and Internet Dangers
  • Sextortion
  • Cyber-Related Legal Challenges
  • Digital Reputation

Representatives will be there from

  • The FBI
  • The L.A. City Attorney's Office
  • The U.S. Attorney's Office
  • Local law enforcement
  • Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
  • The Anti-Defamation League

Registration is open from now until October 23, 2013. There is limited space per school. For details, visit the ICAN website.

STOP cyberbullying

Tips for Students

School safety:

  • Walk with friends and sit with friends at Nutrition and Lunch when you can. Students who are with friends are less likely to be picked on so you'll be helping yourself and your friends too.
  • If you're new to the school try making friends among your classmates.
  • Feel free to talk about it with your counselor.

Online safety:

  • Communicate with friends, not strangers. Limit online friends to people you know.
  • Avoid posting very personal information.
  • Avoid posting photos that are revealing or show you doing something inappropriate.
  • Don't believe mean rumors.
  • Make sure people you talk to online are really who they say they are.

If you are bullied or cyberbullied:

  • Realize that it's not your fault and that the bully is the one doing something wrong.
  • If you are bullied in person, walk way. You might tell the bully that they are doing something wrong and should be ashamed of themselves, but don't get into a fight.
  • If you are bulled online, don't reply or retaliate. Fighting back the same way is likely to make the problem worse.
  • Block online messages from anyone who is mean.
  • Report bullying to a trusted adult rather than trying to solve the problem by yourself.

If you see that someone else is being bullied or cyberbullied:

  • Never forward a mean message because that makes you part of the problem.
  • Stand up for victims. Bullies hope to be admired for getting away with being mean, but they don't deserve it. Saying "that's mean" or "that's not funny" can immediately stop bullying.
  • Report bullying to a trusted adult.

Tips for Parents

Online safety:

  • Keep computers in a central area that can be supervised. No computers in bedrooms.
  • Set and enforce reasonable limits for time spent online. Explain your reasons. It's fine to negotiate these limits.
  • Make sure you have access to your child's online accounts.
  • Review lists of "friends" (online connections).
  • Watch for the warning signs of bullying.
  • Read about bullying and cyberbullying (see recommended sites below left).

Communication and trust:

  • Learn about the sites your child uses.
  • Have your son or daughter show you where he/she goes online and any profile page he/she has.
  • Talk regularly about online issues that concern you, such as what's appropriate to post.
  • Watch what your child does online, with their knowledge. That maintains more trust than using online tracking software or site-blocking tools.
  • Parents are rarely aware that their own child may have bullied someone. Consider the possibility and watch for any evidence of this. See If your child is the bully.

If bullying occurs:

  • Take it seriously but remain calm.
  • Help your child understand that it's not their fault.
  • Keep a record of harassing messages.
  • Let school officials know.
  • Work with the school to address the problem. Contacting the bully's parents yourself can easily backfire.
  • Follow-up with your child and the school to see if the problem has reoccured.
  • Enforce online limits but resist the urge to remove online privileges or prohibit social interactions, both so students can continue their social development and so they will come to you when problems occur.

No More Bullies! - No Más Bravucones!

This book for students, by André Lewis, has been customized for LAUSD families, with a message from the former LAUSD Superintendent as well as LAUSD policy information.

Download:

Download

Recommended Websites

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