Bullying - Information

General Information

The Muscogee County School Board believes that all students can learn better in a safe school environment. Behavior that infringes on the safety of students will not be tolerated. Bullying, as the term is defined in Georgia law, of a student by another student is strictly prohibited. Such prohibition shall be included in the Handbook and Code of Conduct for all schools within the school system.

Students who experience bullying are encouraged to report and share information with any school district personnel. Students who want to make a report of bullying behavior in writing, may obtain and fill out a “Silent Report” form. These forms are available in the offices of school counselors and school administrative offices.

Additional reporting resources:
MCSD Student Safety/Bully Hotline: 706-748-2267
Statewide Bullying Hotline: 1-877-729-7867 / 1-877-SAY-STOP

Bullying behavior is defined as:

  1. Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or
  2. Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm; or
  3. Any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, which a reasonable person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate, that:
    • Causes another person substantial physical harm within the meaning of Code Section 16-5-23.1 or visible bodily harm as such term is defined in Code Section 16-5-23.1. Visible bodily harm is defined by 16-5-23.1 as bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim;
    • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
    • Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
    • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

The term applies to acts which occur on school property, on school vehicles, at designated school bus stops, or at school related functions or activities or by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network, or other electronic technology of a local school system. The term ‘bullying’ as used in this Policy also applies to cyber bullying, which is behavior that occurs through the use of electronic communication, whether or not such electronic act originated on school property or with school equipment, where such electronic communication:

  1. Is directed specifically at students or school personnel;
  2. Is maliciously intended for the purpose of threatening the safety of those specified or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school, and
  3. Creates a reasonable fear of harm to the students’ or school personnel’s person or property or has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose.

For the purposes of this Rule, electronic communication includes but is not limited to any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system.

Upon a finding by a school administrator that a student has either committed a bullying offense or has been a victim of bullying, the student’s parent or guardian will be notified.

Each reported incident of bullying behavior will be documented and investigated by the school principal / designee, and a disposition determined which may include suspension from school or a referral to the Student Discipline Tribunal. School district personnel will conduct follow-ups on reports as appropriate.

Any person who reports in good faith an incident of bullying, harassment, or intimidation to an appropriate school official, and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures in the school district’s policy shall be immune from civil liability for any damages caused by such reporting or any failure to remedy the reported incident.

Note that some student misconduct prohibited by this policy may also trigger responsibilities under the District’s policies preventing discrimination on the basis of Sex, Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Gender and/or Age. Individuals receiving complaints of bullying or harassment should consider both sets of District policies that prohibit both ‘bullying’ and peer harassment based on Sex, Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Gender and/or Age.

If a student in grades third through twelfth is found guilty of bullying behavior by the discipline tribunal for the third time in a school year, that student shall be assigned to an alternative school.

Any report of retaliation against a reporter of bullying will be investigated and addressed accordingly.

All schools are trained in the four step investigation process for an alleged bullying complaint. The written process is located in the document section of this website and can be down loaded. Additionally, there are resource documents that can be viewed or downloaded for your support.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of bullying and where can I find it in the District's handbook?

Bullying occurs when a student “is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students.” However,bullying differs from other forms of conflict. The “imbalance of power between the bully and the victim based on physical size, strength, age, or social status” represents a key feature of bullying. Bullying is also characterized by repetition over time. Peer conflict involves a perceived balance of power and for every action there is a response.

Muscogee County School District’s policy on bullying from Rule-4 of the Handbook and Code of Conduct as stated below:
Rule 4 – Bullying and Cyberbullying
Bullying behavior is prohibited.
Bullying behavior is:

  1. Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or
  2. Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm; or
  3. Any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, which a reasonable person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate, that:
    1. Causes another person substantial physical harm within the meaning of Code Section 16-5-23.1 or visible bodily harm as such term is defined in Code Section 16-5-23.1. Visible bodily harm is defined by 16-5-23.1 as bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim;
    2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
    3. Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
    4. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

The term ‘bullying’ as used in this Rule also applies to cyberbullying, which is behavior that occurs through the use of electronic communication, whether or not such electronic act originated on school property or with school equipment, where such electronic communication:

  1. Is directed specifically at students or school personnel;
  2. Is maliciously intended for the purpose of threatening the safety of those specified or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school, and
  3. Creates a reasonable fear of harm to the students’ or school personnel’s person or property or has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose.

For the purposes of this Rule, electronic communication includes but is not limited to any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system.

Upon a finding by a school administrator that a student has either committed a bullying offense or has been a victim of bullying, the student’s parent or guardian will be notified.

Each reported incident of bullying behavior will be documented and investigated by the school principal / designee, and a disposition determined which may include suspension from school or a referral to the Student Discipline Tribunal. School district personnel will conduct follow-ups on reports as appropriate.

Any person who reports in good faith an incident of bullying, harassment, or intimidation to an appropriate school official, and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures in the school district’s policy shall be immune from civil liability for any damages caused by such reporting or any failure to remedy the reported incident.

Note that some student misconduct prohibited by this policy may also trigger responsibilities under the District’s policies preventing discrimination on the basis of Sex, Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Gender and/or Age. Individuals receiving complaints of bullying or harassment should consider both sets of District policies that prohibit both ‘bullying’ and peer harassment based on Sex, Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Gender and/or Age.

When the Student Discipline Tribunal panel finds a student in grades six through twelve guilty of bullying behavior for the third time in a school year, that student shall be assigned to an alternative school.

Retaliation against a reporter following a report of bullying is prohibited.

What are some signs that my child may be a target of bullying?

Here are the top ten: 1. Unexplained injuries; 2. Changes in appetite; 3. Frequent sick days; 4. Missing personal items; 5. Suffering grades; 6. Tendency to self harm; 7. Isolation; 8. Avoidance; 9. Loss of sleep; and 10. Exclusion from social activities

What do I do if I believe my child is being bullied.

Immediately contact the school first. Request to speak with school counselor, assistant principal or principal to discuss bullying.

What do I do about a threatening electronic message (cyber bullying)?

Make copy of document, screen shot, take picture with your phone or print document. Bring documentation to school counselor or available administrator.

How can I report anonymous bullying?

  1. You can make a silent report to the school.
  2. Contact us on the Bully Hotline at 706-748-2267.

What procedure do schools use to address bullying?

All school personnel must report known or suspected acts of bullying to the principal or designee. He/she or designee will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation to validate the claim. If the allegation is substantiated; an age appropriate consequence ranging from counseling the student to punishment. The administrator must then notify all parents, counsel all students, and conduct periodic follow-ups with all involved.

Contact Information

Dr. Angela Vickers Chief of Student Services

706-748-3336

Kitty Griggs Executive Assistant to Dr. Vickers

706-748-3336

Mr. Marcus DuBose Director of Student Services

706-748-3217

Kitty Griggs Secretary to Mr. DuBose

706-748-3217