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Bullying and Suicide Prevention

San José Unified believes that all students have a right to a safe, secure, supportive and healthy school environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination, violence, and intimidation. The district is committed to promoting mutual respect and acceptance so our students are kind, respectful, and supportive with one another.

Bullying is repeated, unwanted harassment, intimidation, and abuse of another or others. Bullying behaviors happen more than once over time and can take various forms. Examples of systematic and continuous conduct that may constitute bullying and are prohibited by the district include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical bullying:  An act that inflicts harm upon a person's body or possessions, such as hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone's possessions, or making cruel or rude hand gestures
  • Social/relational bullying:  An act that harms a person's reputation or relationships, spreading rumors, or embarrassing someone in public
  • Verbal bullying:  An act that includes saying or writing hurtful things, such as teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, or threats to cause harm
  • Cyberbullying:  An act such as sending demeaning, harmful, or hateful communications, texts, sounds, or images through a digital device. It includes breaking into another person’s electronic account and assuming that person’s identity to cause damage

Students who engage in bullying or cyberbullying on campus during school hours, traveling to or from school, or at school activities may be subject to disciplinary action. A student may be subject to disciplinary procedures for actions that pose a threat to the safety of other students, staff, or school property. San José Unified schools use Social-Emotional Learning and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to address bullying and inappropriate behaviors. 

Report instances of suspected bullying to a school administrator, teacher, counselor, or trusted adult as soon as possible.

Responding to Bullying Behavior

If you or someone you know has been a victim of suspected bullying, report these instances to a teacher, counselor, supervisor, school administrator, or other trusted adult as soon as possible. Social media bullying is on the rise and can occur through email, text or messages through social media, forums, or gaming platforms where people can view, participate in, or share content.

  • If you experience bullying, some immediate steps you can take include walking away or telling the aggressor to stop in a firm, but calm way.
  • If you witness bullying behavior, be more than just a bystander. Only intervene if it is safe to do so. Peer- to-Peer early intervention is proven to be effective in reducing bullying.
  • In a moment of bullying, a safe way someone can help the person being bullied can include creating a distraction to help focus the attention on something else.
  • If you are the target of cyberbullying:
    • Save evidence by taking screen shots or keeping copies of bullying texts, emails, or other communications
    • Don’t respond. Tell a teacher, counselor, supervisor, school administrator, or other trusted adult as soon as possible
    • Block the aggressors from your social media, email, or other social networking pages

See our policies and other bullying prevention resources:

Hate-Motivated Behavior

The Governing Board affirms the right of every student to be protected from hate-motivated behavior. Behavior or statements that degrade an individual on the basis of his/her race, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical/mental attributes or religious beliefs or practices shall not be tolerated.

Any student who feels that he/she is a victim of hate-motivated behavior should contact the principal. A student may file a complaint in accordance with district complaint procedures. Staff who receive notice of hate-motivated behavior or personally observe such behavior shall notify the principal, Superintendent or designee, and law enforcement, as appropriate. Students demonstrating hate-motivated behavior shall be subject to discipline in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulation.

San José Unified strives to promote harmonious relationships that enable students to gain a true understanding of the civil rights and social responsibilities of people in our society. The district will ensure that staff receive appropriate training to recognize hate-motivated behavior and methods for handling such behavior in appropriate ways, and that students are provided age-appropriate instruction to help promote understanding of and respect for human rights.

Board Policy 5145.9 - Hate-Motivated Behavior

Suicide Prevention

San José Unified encourages everyone to recognize mental health warning signs and build strategies to support everyday well-being. Being proactive and informed can help reduce the risk of suicide in your community. 

Whether you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, or are concerned about a loved one who might be, you are not alone. Administrators, school counselors, or other trusted adults can help connect you to school based mental health support or community mental health agencies. Further support is available by calling or texting any of the state and national suicide prevention resources.

Board Policy 5141.52 - Suicide Prevention
Administrative Regulation 5141.52 - Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention Policy Grade K-6 English | Spanish