Maine.gov

HomeMaine SchoolsSchool & Student Supports → Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention

 

Maine has taken important steps to assess and improve school climate and culture, particularly in the areas of bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment, in order to assure that students are learning in a positive and respectful school environment.

Maine’s anti-bullying law recognizes that bullying behavior must be addressed to ensure student safety and an inclusive learning environment.

This website is available to all schools, parents, students and the general public. Information and resources are provided to support efforts in preventing bullying in Maine’s schools.

Law

Model Policy

Model Policy JICK: Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention in Schools

Model Procedures

All schools must respond to, investigate, and document all alleged incidents of bullying and cyberbullying. These procedures must include written documentation of reported incidents, outcomes of the investigation and/or how the incident was remediated. 

Administrative Procedure

For school principals or superintendents’ designee to use as guidance when addressing an alleged bullying incident. 

Reporting Form

For students, school staff members, parents/guardians and others to report alleged incidents of bullying or to report that bullying was believed to have happened. 

All SAUs must establish procedures for students, school staff members, parents and others to report incidents of bullying, either in writing, in person, and with the option of being anonymous. 

 

Responding Form

For school principals or superintendents’ designee to complete throughout the investigation process. The school principal or a superintendent’s designee will promptly investigate and respond to allegations of bullying behavior. 

The principal or superintendent’s designee must communicate to the parent or guardian of the student who was believed to have been bullied the measures being taken to ensure the safety of the student who has been bullied and to prevent further acts of bullying. The measures being taken can be referred to as a Student Safety Plan

It is also encouraged that the principal or superintendent’s designee communicate with the parent or guardian of the alleged bully the positive and restorative interventions and other appropriate measures being taken throughout the investigation.

Remediation Form

For school principals or superintendents’ designee to complete when it’s been determined that the alleged incident is a substantiated incident of bullying. 

If it was not determined to have been a substantiated incident of bullying, the principal or superintendent’s designee is to refer to the district-wide code of conduct and disciplinary policies for student behavior. 

This form should be used when the substantiated incident of bullying is entered into the Bullying Reporting System in NEO.

Flow Chart

Helpful Definitions

 

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted by the use of any electronic device, including, but not limited to, a computer, telephone, cellular telephone, text messaging device and personal digital assistant.

Source: An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools

 

Electronic expression

Electronic expression bullying is an intentional use of harmful language inflicted through electronic media that may or may not be intended to be directed at an identified individual or group but still has a damaging affect on others. 

Source: Maine Department of Education

 

Physical act or gesture

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions.  Physical bullying includes: hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, tripping/pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, and making mean or rude hand gestures.

Source: stopbullying.gov

 

Verbal/Oral

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things.  Verbal bullying includes: teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, and threatening to cause harm.

Source: stopbullying.gov

 

Retaliation

Retaliation means an act or gesture against a student for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. Retaliation also includes reporting that is not made in good faith on an act of bullying.

Source: An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools

 

Written

Written bullying is having in writing, mean, hurtful and/or harmful words and language directed at or intended for an individual or more than one person.

Source: Maine Department of Education

Data

Substantiated incidents of bullying are submitted to the Maine DOE after an investigation has been conducted by school administration to determine if the allegation of bullying aligns with Maine's definition of bullying.

Personally identifying information about the students involved in the substantiated incident are not included in the submission of the incident.

Substantiated incidents of bullying are reviewed and certified by superintendents quarterly and on or by July 1. 

state-wide substantiated incidents of bullying
Bullying Type 2016-2017 2017-2018
Cyberbullying 85 107
Electronic Expression 44 48
Physical act or gesture 188 174
Retaliation 12 19
Verbal/Oral 350 343
Written 19 24
All Types 698 715

 

2016-17 and 2017-18 substantiated incidents of bullying data

Bullying Prevention Resources

Educator and School Staff Resources

  • Creating Safe Maine Schools provides a guide of theory-driven programs and resources in Maine to help schools and communities create positive school climates and prevent harm.
  • Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Downeast and Southern Maine chapters, help schools implement effective and age-appropriate anti-bullying programs to improve school climate for all students.
  • OUTMaine works toward a welcoming and affirming Maine for all rural young people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions and gender identities. In partnership with their allies and families, OUT Maine supports, educates and empowers these youth in their journey from adolescence to adulthood.
  • One Tree promotes social change within institutions and communities through education rooted in peace, pluralism and partnership. We address the links across systems of oppression and provide education and technical assistance to families, schools and communities on ways to dialogue and address social justice issues of poverty, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other systems of domination they witness and experience.
  • In the Power of H2O, Chuck Nguyen uses a visual and physical presentation to demonstrate the power to overcome obstacles and bullying by utilizing the metaphor of water. This gentle, yet powerful force and mindset can be applied in everyday situations.
  • Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast promotes fundamental change in the justice system and schools. Their responses to crime and wrongdoing seek renewal and safety for the community, support and healing for victims and accountability and reintegration of the offender.
  • Restorative Justice Institute of Maine promotes a widespread cultural and systemic shift to how Mainers approach wrongdoing by advancing the use of restorative justice in communities, schools and correctional settings across the state. 
  • The Leadership School at Kieve challenges students, teachers, and parents to take positive risks, set meaningful goals, make healthy decisions, all while being supportive team members and strong leaders. Adolescents still face a world of challenging choices and conflicting messages: our approach to supporting them as they face the challenges of growing up remains the same.  
  • Crossroads Youth Center’s Unite Against Bullying ME Project is a free program to raise awareness of bullying prevention and to support our youth each and everyday by assisting them to create a bullying free and safe school environment.
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension shares a publication compiled by Judith Graham Ph.D. titled Bullying and Teasing, where the reader gathers in-depth knowledge of the background and research of bullying, and the hurt that comes of bullying. UMaine Extension educators offer programs on bullying and teasing, and have offered to be resources for others wanting more information on program design.

Youth Resources

  • These resources are available to students through their school community or can be accessed on an individual basis.  Students are encouraged to reach out to organizations that offer leadership skills so they are equipped with the tools to help their schools be a safe and inviting learning environment.
  • The Civil Rights Team Project is a school-based program administered by Maine’s Office of the Attorney General. The mission of the CRTP is to increase the safety of elementary, middle level and high school students by reducing bias-motivated behaviors and harassment in our schools.
  • Crossroads Youth Center provides a free program called Unite Against Bullying ME Project, that raises awareness of bullying prevention and supporting youth each and everyday by assisting them in creating a bullying free and safe school environment.
  • Hardy Girls Healthy Women empowers girls to experience equality, independence and safety in their everyday lives.
  • Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) empowers and prepares youth and adults to partner for positive change. The website includes resources for school staff and youth as well as information about trainings, networking and leadership opportunities.
  • Project Aware actively engages youth in empowerment workshops, and helps youth to create presentations and take messages to their peers.
  • Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program delivers education, services, and advocacy that enable youth to make choices within their dating relationships that are safe, healthy, and informed. YAAPP’s offerings are free to all schools and organizations in Cumberland County.
  • Youth MOVE Maine supports young people’s efforts to improve policies in mental health, juvenile justice, and other systems of care, build skills for youth-adult partnerships and take leadership in raising awareness that makes a difference in others’ lives and in their communities.

Parent Resources

  • These resources are available to parents of children of all ages. The offerings are varied based on parent interest and relevancy to their child(ren)’s needs. 
  • Advocates for Children creates programs to prevent child maltreatment and to empower children and families to live healthy and productive lives.  Workshops are offered for parents on a wide variety of topics.
  • Deb Landry, author and parenting coach offers private sessions, classes and information about positive social behaviors for your child, school or organization.  Learn about coaching as a teaching, training or development process for individuals or family in order to receive the support you deserve while learning to achieve the specific personal or professional goals for a healthier lifestyle.
  • G.E.A.R. Parent Network offers workshops for parents on bullying prevention. Parents can also share experiences and knowledge in an online “gotomeeting” forum and/or supportive workshop settings.
  • Maine Parent Federation offers information, advocacy, education and training to benefit families of children and adults with disabilities and special health care needs.
  • Southern Maine Parent Awareness offers information, referral support and education to families throughout Maine who have children with special needs.
  • For help with addressing bullying behavior of an adult:
  • Take action when adults bully young people
  • What to do if your child complains that an adult is doing the bullying

Other Resources

  • Stopbullying.gov is a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • STOMP Out Bullying™ is the leading national anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization for kids and teens in the U.S.
  • PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center shares websites for kids and teens to learn about bullying, engage in activities, and be inspired to own an important social cause.
  • The International Bullying Prevention Association takes research-based best practices into our countries, schools and communities, to make our world a more welcoming and safer place for all.
  • Children's Safety Network is a project of the Education Development Center, Inc and is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
  • Teach Safe Schools provide practical guidelines on how to reduce and prevent bullying behaviors so that schools are supportive, safe and inviting learning environments where students can thrive and be successful.
  • Onlineschools.org offers a comprehensive guide to bullying and cyberbullying with resources from across the web that explore the challenges, impacts, and ways of combating bullying and cyberbullying among students.

Contact

Gayle Erdheim
Truancy, Dropout, Alternative Ed., and Homeless Ed. Consultant
Integrated Student Supports Team Leader
(207) 624-6637
gayle.erdheim@maine.gov