NEW! Speak Now HIDOE reporting app now available for middle schools!
This easy-to-use app offers students another way to report bullying incidents that happen on campus, on HIDOE transportation, or at HIDOE-sponsored events. The app is available Jan. 31, 2019 for middle schools, to be followed by high schools in September 2019 and elementary schools in September 2020. Click to learn more.
What is it?
- “Bullying” — any written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward other particular student(s) and the behavior causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s); and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).
- “Cyberbullying” — electronically transmitted acts that a student has exhibited toward another student or employee of the department which causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) or school personnel and is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment. Please review our guidelines on social media and texting abuse here.
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT: To be clear, bullying is not acceptable in Hawai'i's public school system. [VIEW]
YOUR ROLE: Everyone has a role to play in bullying prevention and response. Click to learn more:
- Parents and Families [VIEW]
- Students, including victims, perpetrators and bystanders [VIEW]
- Staff [VIEW]
A community issue
Bullying belongs to all of us. School staff can address incidents and support students at school, but they cannot stop bullying — in all its forms, and in all the places it occurs — on their own. Families, students, and communities have a role to play to adopt and promote a culture of respect, responsibility and resiliency.
We urge families to talk with their children about being respectful and empathetic towards others, including those different from themselves. In our schools, we cultivate these characteristics as part of Nā Hopena A‘o, social-emotional learning, and other efforts. While bullying can happen to anyone, students may also be targeted because of race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, learning disabilities and other qualities; a violation of
civil rights laws.
Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, families and communities.
Any child who is bullied or who witnesses a bullying incident is encouraged to tell a trusted adult. (Additionally, students in our middle schools can report using the
Speak Now HIDOE app.) If an incident happens on our school campuses, on HIDOE transportation, or during a HIDOE-sponsored event, appropriate school personnel will investigate and follow up.
Prevention: All schools are invested in building a positive school culture and climate to encourage all students to be respectful and empathetic. To address bullying behaviors schools may be implementing one or more the following:
- School-wide positive behavior practices that teach students to be respectful, responsible and compassionate learners.
- Anti-Bullying Programs: Communities are unique, and schools have different approaches based on their community’s needs. Some schools have students leading their anti-bullying efforts.
- Community Partnerships: Many schools cultivate relationships with community agencies, health and wellness providers, policing and community policing groups, legal advisors, cultural practitioners and others to broaden supports.
Response: When an incident happens, the principal or his/her designee investigates to:
- Determine whether an offense as defined by Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR)
Chapter 19 occurred.
- Make an entry in the Department’s student support database, which allows schools to identify, monitor and track student concerns over time.
Follow-up: School staff provide supports to victims and bullies to address ongoing conditions that may have contributed to the bullying incident and to help prevent future incidents. These conditions may include issues at home, stress, abuse, and health, social-emotional and behavioral health issues, among others.
E Ola Pono: As a cultural response to bullying in schools, student groups are encouraged to actively “Grow Pono” to create a more welcoming and safe environment for everyone at their school. E Ola Pono means to live with respect for and in harmony with everyone and everything around you. The annual
Statewide E Ola Pono Campaign challenges students to work together on activities or projects that promote pono as a “Way to Be.” Student-led projects and campaigns have proven to be the most effective and powerful initiatives to reduce harassment and bullying in schools. Addressing this need in a culturally relevant way based on Hawaii's host culture provides a foundation that can benefit all people who call Hawaii home.
- Results of the 2018-19 campaign can be viewed here.
- Results of the 2017-18 campaign can be viewed here.
Peer Mediation: Student-led and focused programs that empower students to create environments that are safe and peaceful. An example: Kapa‘a High — WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM
Hawaii Administrative Rules,
Chapter 19, governs issues related to student misconduct,
which includes bullying, harassment and cyberbullying. It's important that students and parents review this information to be aware of what constitutes a Chapter 19 violation, and what the consequences are.
Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
The Hawaii Health Data Warehouse via the state Department of Health produces this
biannual report to track a spectrum of youth risk behaviors, in conjunction with a national data gathering and analysis effort by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report includes harassment and bullying at school, and cyberbullying at school. View the most recent reports relating to bullying and cyberbullying:
To support and develop the academic achievement, character building and social-emotional well-being of all children, the Board of Education develops policies and the Department cultivates and curates aligned resources for students, employees and the public school system. Learn more.