October 10, 2018
Dear PPS High School Students,
Local and national events have led to an increase in awareness and reporting of sexual harassment, discrimination, sexual violence, sexual assault, and teen dating violence. While we decry that these events happen at all, we want to be sure you know that if you experience or are aware of sexual violence or discrimination that we want you to report these concerns to our schools so that we can help ensure your safety and well-being.
If you are concerned about or experience sexual violence or discrimination, we, of course, encourage you to seek the support of your family. We also encourage you to talk to a trusted adult in your school, which could be a counselor, teacher, administrator, or other staff member. I am the District’s Title IX Coordinator, and I also am a resource for you. When we know of these concerns, you have our commitment that we will support you and do all we can to ensure your safety and security. You should know that any reports made on behalf of you or someone else that are made in good faith will not be the basis for any punishment or retaliation. We want you to come forward and have the support you need and deserve.
My contact information and those of other resources are:
* District Title IX Coordinator (call 503-916-3340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
* SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Center) at 503-640-5311
* Safe Oregon call or text 844-472-3367 or email email@example.com (this link is also available in the Quick Links list on our Madison home page).
When reporting, we will ask you to provide as much information as possible so we can fully support you and make the school environment safe.
In light of some recently reported events, you also might ask what else we are doing as a District to be prepared to address these kinds of reports. In August, we delivered enhanced training for all of our school building leaders. After that training, each school identified a leader to serve as a School Compliance Officer. Each of those SCOs is undergoing in-depth training on enhanced procedures to address concerns about sexual violence or discrimination modeled after national best practices. We are also further developing our curriculum to ensure students know both what is appropriate and how to report these serious incidents. Our PPS School Board has recently adopted a Teen Dating Violence policy to complement the existing Anti-Harassment policy to address sexual violence and discrimination, which can be found at these links:
* 4.30.070-P Teen Dating Violence/Domestic Violence
* 4.30.060-P Anti-Harassment
In our schools, each and every one of you should expect to learn and socialize in an environment that is free from sexual violence or discrimination. Please report any incidents that you experience or are aware of so that we can support you and make our school environments what we all expect them to be—safe and supportive every day.
High School Programs Director
Interim Title IX Coordinator
At Madison HS, the School Compliance Officer for reporting Sexual Violence and Discrimination is Assistant Principal Lajena Broadous.
Please refer to the following links, definitions, and resources from PPS for further information:
ALL students have the right to feel safe and included at school so they can thrive academically and socially regardless of race, gender, religion, ability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other perceived differences. Harassing, bullying, taunting, teasing, or physically harming a student or staff member or a person’s property is unacceptable by our community agreements and prohibited.
Any student who is found to bully, harass, or otherwise intentionally harm others will meet with the school Principal and/or Assistant Principal. The student's parents and teachers may also be involved in person or by phone. Consequences for bullying, harassing, taunting or teasing others can be varied by incident and may include verbal or written apology, loss of privileges, behavior contracts, removal from a classroom or activity, suspension. Severe bullying or harassment or ongoing bullying or harassment can result in suspension pending expulsion hearing by a PPS Senior Director.
Bullying is a special form of aggressive behavior. Dan Olweus, an world authority on bullying and bullying behavior defines it this way: "A person is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." What differentiates bullying from other aggressive acts is that the student who bullies intends to harm, there is more than one incident, and an imbalance of power makes it hard for the child who's being bullied to defend him/herself. This difference in power can be physical—the child who bullies can be older, bigger, stronger; or several children can gang up on a single child. It can also be psychological, which is harder to see but just as potent—the student who bullies can have more social status or a sharper tongue, for instance. (Rigby, 2001b).
Verbal bullying includes name-calling, insulting, intimidating, mocking, threatening, and making racist, sexist, or sexual comments. Different from taunting, teasing in severity only. When does teasing cross the line and turn into bullying? The answer often lies in perspective of the person being teased or bullied.
Physical bullying includes a variety of behaviors such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and taking or destroying property.
Relational bullying uses relationships to control or harm another person, excluding her from the group or events, talking behind his back, spreading rumors, telling lies about her, giving him the silent treatment, etc.
Cyberbullying utilizes all of the electronic paraphernalia of modern life—cell phones, instant messaging, videos, e-mail, chatrooms, blogging, social networking sites such as Facebook—to threaten, insult, harass, spread rumors, and impersonate others. Because it can continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and because perpetrators remain anonymous, invisible, unpunished, and distant from the impact of their actions, cyberbullying can be even more harmful than ordinary bullying
Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior which disturbs or upsets, and it is characteristically repetitive and unwanted. In the legal sense, it is behavior which appears to be threatening or disturbing.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behavior, including words or actions, unwanted attention, advances, or offers of/for a sexual nature.
Teen Dating Violence means a pattern of behavior in which a person uses or threatens to use physical, mental, or emotional abuse to control another person who is in, or has been in, a dating relationship with the person, where one or both persons are 13 to 19 years or age; or behavior by which a person uses or threatens to use sexual violence against another person who is in a dating relationship with the person, where one or both persons are 13 to 19 years of age.It is critically important for our students to communicate with adults in the building when there are issues or concerns.
Portland Public Schools is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free of harassment and bullying. Harassing or bullying, as defined in (3), is strictly prohibited. Students shall avoid any conduct or action that could be characterized as harassment or bullying.
- Harassment and Bullying District Policy 4.30.060-P (pdf)
- Teen Dating Violence/Domestic Violence Policy 4.30.070-P (pdf)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Cyberbullying is bullying or harassment that happens online. It can happen on a social networking site, in a text message, an email, an online game or comments. It might involve rumors or images posted on someone’s profile or passed around for others to see, or creating a group or page to make a person feel left out. Because cyberbullying messages can be rapidly sent to many people, they can cause considerable damage to children. There are many guidelines and resources to help parents navigate and stay involved in their child's online activity.
It is our goal, in the following links, to provide families with helpful information about some of the more frequently asked questions related to internet awareness and cyberbullying.
- Steps to Respect http://www.cfchildren.org/steps-to-respect.aspx
- Bully Blockers http://www.cfchildren.org/bullying-prevention.aspx
- Bullying Preventions and PBIS http://www.pbis.org/common/pbisresources/publications/bullyprevention_ES.pdf
WEBSITE RESOURCES FOR ADULTS AND STUDENTS
- www.adl.org (anti-defamation league)
- www.glsen.org (gay, lesbian, and straight education network)
- www.Girlsinc.org (information about empowering girls)
- www.saysomethingnow.com (author that specializes in books about bullying)
- www.handsproject.org (anti-violence campaign)
- www.trudyludwig.com (author that specializes in books about bullying)
- www.caresnw.org (Cares NW -a community based medical program)
This mapping tool was created to assess risk factors, protective factors, outcomes, policies and resources related to sexual violence and sex education, particularly among adolescents.