Bullying
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A Look Back at High School

Public affairs and education intern Alison Geoffrey reflects on her experience in high school.

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If you don't feel safe or your rights aren't being respected by teachers, staff or other students, contact us now for free & confidential help.

Bullying

Know Your Rights

Wherever you go to school, you have a right to be safe.

  • If you experience harassment or bullying by other students, teachers or school staff, you can get help to get it to stop.
  • You also have the right to report to the police anyone – in or outside of school – who physically harms you, threatens you or vandalizes your property.

Tell somebody.

  • If you have understanding friends, parents, or counselors, use them as a support system.

Keep notes on what is happening.

  • Record who, when, where, and how. For example:
    • On August 27, 2013, my friend Mandy and I were walking to our second class and John shoved me into the locker and called me a homophobic slur.
    • On August 27, 2013, I opened my locker to retrieve books for my English class and I found an anonymous letter threatening to kill me because I’m transgender.
  • Keep your notes; do not give the originals to anyone else.
  • Consider keeping your notes in a journal.

Get a copy of your school’s policies on student conduct and discipline.

  • It should be in your student handbook or on the school website.
  • You can also talk with your guidance counselor or school administrator.
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Jason's Story

When Jason's middle school refused to stop the bullying he suffered for three years, GLAD helped him get the school to take action.

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Report bullying or harassment to a teacher or school administrator.

  • Make your report in writing - email will create a good record, or make a copy of a handwritten complaint - so that you can prove you made it.

Follow up.

  • If you do not hear back from your school or do not think it took your report seriously, ask in writing (again, email is great) for follow up.
  • Don't suffer! Contact GLAD Answers for help.

All six New England states have strong anti-bullying laws that apply to public schools.

  • The laws in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont also apply to some private schools.
  • Find information about your state's law here.

These laws require action:

  • If staff at your school see bullying, they must report it.
  • When bullying is reported, your school must investigate it.
  • If the investigation determines that bullying did happen, your school must take appropriate action to keep the target of bullying safe and to prevent future incidences of bullying.
  • Schools are required to make sure that both students and parents are aware of your school’s anti-bullying policies and that you have access to copies of those policies.

Cyberbullying

  • Each New England state has a legal definition of cyberbullying as part of its anti-bullying law
  • If you experience cyberbullying, you can report it and get help!
  • If you're a parent or ally, remember: if it's mean, intervene!
  • Check out these great resources for reporting and stopping cyberbullying, from the LGBT Technology Partnership

Check It Out!

It Gets Better Project

Communicates to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.

GLSEN Connecticut

Works to ensure safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Trevor Project

 A national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

More Great Resources →

GET MORE!

Click On the Map to Learn More About Students' Rights in Your State:
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Get the Facts!

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BULLYING, HARASSMENT & SCHOOL SAFETY

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