QPS Statement on Bullying

The Quincy Public Schools is committed to providing a safe, affirming educational environment for all students. A safe learning environment is one in which every student develops emotionally, academically, and physically free of intimidation and abuse. Providing and sustaining a safe and healthy learning environment is the highest priority of the Quincy Public Schools. One way we are doing this is by reducing the incidences of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation in every school through prevention, effective and compassionate intervention, and promoting a sense of belonging. Every school community member can contribute to a positive school climate.

Staff members are obligated to report bullying incidents under the regulations. Bullying reports can also be filed by parents, students, and school community members. Understanding the definitions of bullying, cyberbullying and retaliation is the first important step. Here, you can find definitions and helpful resources for recognizing, reporting, and intervening in bullying incidents: Quincy Public Schools Bullying Prevention and Intervention. If you are a parent, guardian, or student, you may report any suspected incident(s) of bullying to the Principal, dean, assistant principal, guidance counselor, or teacher of your school. You can make your initial report in person, by writing a note, sending an email, or leaving a voicemail message. You can also fill out an anonymous Bullying Incident Report Form.  

Currently we are reviewing the full plan, the Quincy Public Schools District-wide Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan which is posted on the District website at QPS Bullying Prevention Plan. Of note, the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan has been updated to reflect Chapter 86 of the Acts of 2014, which amended G.L. c. 71, §370, the anti- bullying statute, and was signed into law on April 24, 2014. G.L. c. 71, §370, as amended. The law requires school districts to "recognize" in their bullying prevention and intervention plans that certain enumerated categories of students may be more vulnerable to being targets of bullying based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have 1 or more of these characteristics. Districts and schools must also include in the plan the specific steps they will take to support these vulnerable students and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies they need to prevent or respond to bullying or harassment. Under the law, school districts must notify parents and guardians of targets of bullying of the availability of the Department's problem resolution system and assist these parents and guardians in understanding the problem-resolution process. Chapter 86 also addresses the data reporting and collection obligations of school districts to collect and report the following data to the Department: 1) the number of reported allegations of bullying or retaliation; 2) the number and nature of substantiated incidents of bullying and retaliation; 3) the number of students disciplined for engaging in bullying or retaliation, and 4) other information required by the Department. Additionally, Chapter 86 requires school districts to administer a Department-developed student survey at least once every four years to assess "school climate and the prevalence, nature and severity of bullying in schools."

We must continue to work together to provide for the social emotional wellness and mental health of our students. The care and compassion for ALL of our students are appreciated. Please feel free to contact your principal or me for guidance or assistance. Thank you for everything you for being part of the positive change within our school community.