Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

Knowing the difference between Rude, Mean and Bullying

  • Rude: Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else. Incidents of rudeness are usually spontaneous, unplanned inconsideration based on thoughtlessness, poor manners or narcissism, but not meant to hurt someone else.

  • Mean: Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice). The main distinction between "rude" and "mean" has to do with intention. While rudeness is often unintentional, mean behavior very much aims to hurt or depreciate someone.
  • Bullying: Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. Experts agree that bullying entails three key elements: an intent to harm, a power imbalance and related acts or threats of aggressive behavior.
Adapted from an article by Signe Whitson.

Washington State law prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) in our schools. The law and Policy and Procedure define harassment, intimidation or bullying as:
  •  any intentionally written message or image—including those that are electronically transmitted—verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental, physical or sensory handicap, or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act physically harms a student or damages the student’s property;
  • substantially interfering with a student’s education.
  •  severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
  • substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
  • Schools are required to take action if students report they are being bullied, and any district staff member can take the report. Individuals who believe there has been a violation of policy are encouraged to contact their building administration or HIB Representative, Mr. Chad Prewitt at [email protected]

Reporting Process

Step 1: Contact your Student's Classroom Teacher
     We believe most concerns can be resolved at the school level.
     Contact your student's teacher.
     Contact your student's counselor or teacher. Keep in mind that teachers and staff are doing their best to provide services for many students; we appreciate your patience and understanding. Please allow staff 24-48 hours to respond Monday through Friday during business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Step 2: Contact the School Principal
     If you believe your concern is unresolved, contact the school principal.

Step 3: Contact the District
     If you feel your concern is unresolved after talking with your school, please contact our district office at 509-725-1481 to receive assistance in resolving concerns, explaining  district policies and procedures, and ensuring that families and schools are successfully partnering for student success. 

The Washington State Office of Education Ombuds is also available to assist in resolution of complaints, disputes, and problems between families, students, and public schools in all areas that affect student learning. Learn more about resources, tips and ways to help your student succeed academically.

*** You can reference our information regarding Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying in our Elementary Handbook (on page 16) and in our Middle/High School Handbook (on page 23). ***