Bullying Program

‚ÄčBullying Policy and Brochure

New Anti-Cyberbullying Legislation

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words may cost you a $2,500 fine.  In an attempt to curb cyber-bullying the state of Pennsylvania has made cyber-harassment of a child a third degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine and possible jail time.

Cyber harassment as defined by Act 26, is making malicious statements about a child's physical characteristics, sexuality, sexual activity, or mental or physical health.  Cyber harassment could be made electronically, either directly to the child or through a social media site.

Due to the growing severity of cyber-bullying, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed Act 26 to help curb the problem.  The Act will go into effect September, 2015.

The WMASD has taken a firm stance against bullying.  A new bullying/cyber bullying policy has been adopted for the 2008-2009 school year.  In addition to student assemblies, classroom lessons will focus on anti-bullying topics and professional development is being provided to our staff to an effort to prevent bullying in the district.

These programs are just the start of a intense, comprehensive anti-bullying program adopted for the district.

Students may also use the district's tip line, (412) 948-1117 to report incidents of bullying.

The following information is useful for parents who may feel their child is being bullyed or a bully.

If your child is a victim…

Warning Signs

  • Unexplained marks or bruises
  • Damaged or missing belongings
  • Health complaints such as stomachaches, headaches
  • Avoidance of school
  • Drop in attendance or grades
  • Change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Social isolation/withdrawal
  • Increased anxiety

What You Can Do

  1. Listen Carefully to Your Child’s Reports of Being Bullied – Be sympathetic and take the problem seriously. Be careful not to overreact or under-react. Know the difference between normal conflict and bullying.
  2. Do Not Blame the Victim – This is not the time to challenge your child about why he or she didn’t “do something” or “try something different.” When a child does get the courage to report bullying, it is not appropriate to criticize them about causing it or not handling it correctly.
  3. Get the Necessary Information: Who, What, When, Where, & How Often – This will help guide your discussion and problem-solving efforts.
  4. Educate Your Child about Bullying and Bullies – Help your child put the problem in perspective and depersonalize it.
  5. Brainstorm and Practice Strategies with Your Child to Avoid Victimization – Try the HA HA SO Strategies – Help, Assert, Humor, Avoid, Self-Talk, Own it.
  6. Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem by Praising Him or Her for Confronting the Problem – Encourage your child to think of ways to solve the problem and acknowledge any successes and attempts at new responses and activities.
  7. Encourage your Child to Make Friends in School and to Get Involved in School Activities – Since children who are victimized tend to be socially isolated, it is important for parents to teach and model effective social and joining skills.
  8. Determine the Seriousness of the Situation and Contact Appropriate People – If the bullying is moderate to severe and happening at school, contact school personnel for assistance. Your child may resist you involvement, but moderate to severe bullying requires adult intervention.

If your child is a bully…

Warning Signs

  • Often irritable and angry with others
  • Believes it’s OK to be mean to others if it means getting what he or she wants
  • Blames others and takes no responsibility for the problem; i.e. “he made me do it”
  • Shows little or no empathy for other people’s problems or hardships; has difficulty showing remorse
  • Demonstrates faulty thinking; i.e., “I am entitled to get my way no matter what”

What you can do

  1. Take the Problem Seriously – Resist a tendency to deny the problem or discount the seriousness of it. Avoid denial thinking, such as “Boys will be boys” or “Bullying is just a natural part of growing up.”
  2. Listen Carefully and Check Out the Facts – Do not believe everything your child tells you. Children who bully are good at manipulating adults and can be very artful at weaving a story that makes them look innocent.
  3. Resist the tendency to blame yourself – Hold your child responsible for his or her own choices.
  4. Consequent your child appropriately for bullying behaviors – Make it very clear that you will not tolerate mean or unkind actions and be consistent in your discipline as well as your expectations.
  5. Explore the reasons for your child’s negative behaviors – Get professional help if necessary for your child and/or your family.
  6. Teach & model appropriate, nonviolent problem-solving strategies & solutions.
  7. Teach & model empathy – Provide opportunities to talk to your child about his or her feelings as well as the feelings of others. Use media resources such as books, TV, and movies to develop empathy and compassion for others.
  8. Work to build a positive relationship with your child – Encourage your child’s realistic perceptions of self-worth and self-esteem.
  9. Reward your child for positive, caring actions and for peaceful problem solving.


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