The Board of Education recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student well-being, student learning, and school attendance and desires to provide a safe school environment that protects students from physical and emotional harm. No individual or group shall, through physical, written, visual, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any student or school personnel, or retaliate against them for filing a complaint or participating in the complaint resolution process. In an effort to stop bullying from happening, Linden Unified School District has developed strategies for addressing bullying in all of its forms (based on a student's actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion) in our district schools with the involvement of students, parents/guardians, and staff and depending upon the situation, we also look to collaborate with social services, mental health services, law enforcement, courts, and other agencies, and community organizations to develop and implement effective strategies to promote safety in schools and in the community.
The Board of Education recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and that school personnel who regularly interact with students are often in a position to recognize the warning signs of suicide and to offer appropriate referral and/or other assistance. In an effort to reduce suicidal behavior and its impact on students and families, Linden Unified has developed measures and strategies for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention
The Linden Unified School District has a no tolerance policy against bullying in all forms. Student safety is a top priority for Linden Unified and the district does not allow behaviors that infringe on the safety or emotional or physical well-being of any student. Linden Unified has developed strategies for bullying prevention and intervention to help keep students safe and ensure a healthy learning environment. The district has an extensive board polity on bullying that covers a variety of areas, including cyberbullying, bullying prevention, intervention, complaints and investigation, discipline and enforcement mechanisms.
Any incidents of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment, harm to school and/or property or harm to self should be reported to any adult in the district in which the student feels safe. Parents can report any incidents to the school principal and/or district office. All incidents will be taken seriously and are acted upon in a timely manner. As each incident is different, each will warrant a different reaction and timeline for actino and can be as thorough as the information provided.
The types of issues that can be reported include:
- Bullying - Bullying includes verbal, non-verbal, physical or emotional acts against another student either in person, via electronic device, or online.
- Damage or Harm to School or Property - Damage or harm to school property includes intentional destruction to the school or school property in a harmful or malicious manner.
- Discrimination or Harassment - Discrimination or harassment includes acts against another person on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, religion, age, or personal beliefs in person, via electronic device or online.
- Harm to Self or Others - Harm includes intent or desire to injure yourself or others.
The Linden Unified School District is committed to providing a safe, secure and healthy environment that allows every Student to be learning in every classroom, in every subject, every day. The district believes that students and staff have the right to be free of bullying, threats, intimidation and harassment while on our campuses or participating in or being associated with any school/district related activity. In Linden Unified, the community is encouraged that "if you see something, or know something, to say something".
Digital Citizenship: Cyberbullying
Linden Unified School District utilizes Common Sense Media curriculum to educate students about being a responsible digital citizen and meet the program needs on updated mandates. The new updates require educating students about "appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.
Link to Common Sense Media.
In 2019, Linden Unified School District partnered with #ICANHELP to ensure that our 5th - 8th graders understand the need to think before they post - to treat others with respect, to build and maintain a positive digital footprint, to protect their online privacy and the privacy of others, and to respect intellectual property boundaries.
Learn more about the #ICANHELP campaign.
Bully Prevention in PBIS
School-wide PBIS begins with the premise that all students should have access to supports to prevent the development and occurrence of problem behavior including bullying behavior. To avoid stigmatizing any student, school-wide PBIS emphasizes what a student does and where it occurs, instead of negatively labeling a student as a bully, victim, perpetrator, or aggressor, the emphasis is on labeling what the student does, for example, name-calling, teasing, intimidation, verbal aggression, and cyber-harasssment. Bullying behavior is always described in the context or setting in which it occurs, for example, cyberspace, hallway, dance, field trip, bus, or other "setting".
Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention Resources
Parents are a key component in the fight against bullying and cyberbullying. Please take a look at the links below for more information on how to recognize the signs of bullying and the steps you can take to help prevent this from happening to your child.
Linden Unified School District has a social workers, academic counselors, and school psychologists available at our schools. They have been trained to assess suicidal ideation and respond appropriately to the level of threat identified. It is the top priority of Linden Unified School District to ensure the safety of the students in our schools. Please use our social workers, academic counselors, and school psychologists as resources, in addition to the information provided on this website.
You will find information about the warning signs and risk factors of youth suicide, as well as how to respond if you find out your child has suicidal thoughts or attempts. Provided are local and national crisis hotline information as well as website resource links.
Board Policy 5141.52 - Suicide Prevention
The Governing Board recognizes that suicide is a major cause of death among youth and should be taken seriously. The purpose of this policy is to protect the health and well-being of all district students by having procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to suicide.
Warning Signs are observable behaviors that may signal the presence of suicidal thinking. They might be considered "cries for help" or "invitations to intervene". We encourage our staff to follow your instincts, it is not overreacting. Please communicate with your social worker, counselor, or school psychologist on site if you observe behaviors that concern you.
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness
- Changes in sleep patterns or eating habits
- Significant changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts, and/or feelings
What to Do when Faced with a Student in Crisis
Saving lives often begins with asking a question.
- Ask the difficult question. "Have you had thoughts about killing yourself?" Do not offer unrealistic reassurances.
- Paraphrase what you are hearing the student say. This will support your ability to monitor how accurately you are understanding what the student is saying. For example, "I understand when you say that you aren't sure if you want to live or die, but have you always wanted to die? Well, maybe there's a chance you won't feel that way forever. I can help."
- Providing information about a current or upcoming life transition can help lessen anxiety. Remember, your job is not to act in the role of the mental health professional.
- Connect the student with a counselor, administrator or social worker immediately. Maintain visual contact with student at all times.
- Always provide a student with a 24-hour crisis number. Have them put the contact information into their phone if possible.
- Be aware of the identified individuals on your site who are working with you to provide more long-term professional support.
What to Avoid When Helping a Student in Crisis
- The student could be in a state of chaos and confusion, so how you model your emotions is key.
- In an effort to provide support, be careful that you are not providing your opinions.
- Avoid being impatient, judgmental or shocked.
- Be careful not to minimize the student's experience but do not overreact as it may cause the student to shut down.
- Base the foundation of your relationship on honesty and trust.
- Do not promise secrecy in an effort to glean information regarding the crisis.
Suicide Prevention Resources
LUSD Social Workers, Academic Counselors, and School Psychologists
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-TALK (800-273-8255)
San Joaquin County Crisis Center: (209) 468-8686
Website Resource Links