What is harassment?

Conduct includes, but is not limited to the following, when it relates to a person’s sex (gender/male or female), race (color), national origin (your family’s ethnic background….German, Irish, African), religion (Jewish, Buddhist, Protestant…), age, handicap and/or disability (walks with difficulty, emotional illness…) and sexual orientation.

  • Name calling, teasing, jokes, rumors
  • Pulling at clothing or other possessions
  • Graffiti
  • Notes or cartoons
  • Unwelcome touching of a person
  • Offensive or graphic poster, pictures or book covers
  • Any words or actions that make you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or hurt

What is a hate crime?

A hate crime is a crime in which someone’s conduct is motivated by hate, bias or prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability or sexual orientation of another group or individual. Examples include assault and battery, vandalism or threats that involve bias, such as racial slurs or graffiti. A hate crime is a civil rights violation under Massachusetts law and in some cases, federal law.

How can you stop harassment?

You can make a difference!

  • Keep a diary of what is happening
  • Ask your parent to visit the school

Some people say….

  • “Bullying/harassment is just part of growing up…” It isn’t. You don’t have to put up with it. Adults don’t put up with being hit and insulted when they go to work. You shouldn’t either.
  • “If you hit back, you won’t get bullied again….” Don’t believe it. Although it may work sometimes, it is just as likely to make things worse.

All students, teachers, administrators and other school personnel of the Triton Regional School District are responsible for creating an environment that is free of harassment.

Harassment hurts! It can make you scared and upset. It can make you so worried that you can’t work well at school. Some kids actually skip school to get away from it. It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you. You can begin to feel that being harassed is your fault.

Why do people harass others?

  • They have their own problems – they feel upset or angry or feel that they don’t fit in
  • They get scared of getting picked on so they do it first
  • They want to show off and seem tough
  • Many don’t like themselves and so they take it out on someone else

If you are trying to decide if it is time to file a harassment complaint, start by asking yourself these questions: 

  • Is what is happening truly HURTFUL to me? How am I feeling (angry, sad, embarrassed, humiliated, afraid)? Has it changed the way I feel about coming to school?
  • Is the behavior DELIBERATE (done on purpose)? Could it have been an accident or mistake? Is it part of a rough game? Could I be “tattling” just to get someone in trouble?
  • Is the behavior PERSITENT (does it happen over and over)? Did it happen once last year or once this week? Does it happen all the time when you are on the bus, eating lunch, passing in the hall or in class?

Look at your answers to decide if you: 

  • Are ready to file
  • Want to look at your behavior
  • Want to share this with your parents

JESC 2001