HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION and BULLYING (HIB)
The 2019 Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5698, a Washington state law that prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) in our schools.
RCW 28A.600.477 defines harassment, intimidation or bullying as any intentionally written message or image-including those that are electronically transmitted-verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:
Physically harms a student or damages the student's property.
Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education.
Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
If you feel your child has experienced harassment, intimidation or bullying please contact their school counselor and fill out the HIB Incident Report. If you have additional questions, please email Ridgefield School District's HIB Compliancy Coordinator Chris Griffith.
U.S. Health and Human Services stopbullying.gov defines bullying as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. 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.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Statistics on the rates of bullying and cyberbullying vary between studies due to the measures used, the questions asked, and the population studied. However, the general consensus is that one out of three children are bullied at school, in the neighborhood, or online and that one out of three children bully others. No child is immune - kids of every race, gender, grade and socio-economic sector are impacted. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As parents you have the power to help reduce bullying.
Please check out the resources to the right for additional information and tools to help communicate with your family. We are in this together!