Systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. Bullying includes instances of cyberbullying, as defined in Section 1006.147(3)(b), F.S. Bullying may include, but is not limited to, repetitive instances of teasing, social exclusion, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, theft, harassment, public or private humiliation, or destruction of property. If the physical harm or psychological distress is not the result of systematic or chronic behavior, evaluate for Harassment.
SESIR Bullying must include 3 elements: It must be 1) repeated; 2) intentional; and 3) involve a power imbalance.
- Student uses a cell phone to take a picture of a student using the bathroom at school and shares it electronically.
- Student spreads nasty rumors at school about another person, in conversation, in a note, or electronically.
- Student repeatedly teases another person in a mean way, calling him/her inappropriate names, making fun of his/her appearance, or the way he/she talks, dresses, or acts.
- Student calls another student an inappropriate name once.
Note: Bullying is a "Violent Incident if it Results in Bodily Injury" and must be reported in the related element "Injury-Related".
If the bullying results in any of the other SESIR incidents, the incident should be coded appropriately with a Related Element coded as "Bullying-Related".
For example, if a student bullies another student and then severely beats and injures the individual at the same time, then the incident should be reported as Aggravated Battery, Bullying-Related, Injury-Related.
Note: Bullying incidents must also be reported in the related element "Bullying-Related"
Use the code for Unsubstantiated Bullying (UBL) when, after a complete investigation and follow up of a reported bullying incident, the investigator determines that there is not enough evidence to substantiate that the incident meets the criteria of a prohibited act under definition of bullying as listed in the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for all Students Act (Florida Statute 1006.147).
Do all bullying incidents have to be reported in SESIR? We code lower-level incidents locally as “inappropriate behavior”.
- If an incident meets the SESIR Bullying definition, it should be coded as BUL: “The incident is bullying if the incident includes systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation.”
- 1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited
An incident is bullying related if the incident includes systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees.
If a student or other systematically and chronically inflicted physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students which may have involved teasing, social exclusion, threat, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, theft, sexual or racial harassment, public humiliation, or destruction of property, then the incident should be reported as bullying related.
Note: If the bullying results in any other SESIR Incidents do not code the incident as Bullying. Instead, the incident should be coded appropriately with the related element coded as bullying-related.
Unsubstantiated Bullying (UBL) Definition:
After a complete investigation and follow up of a reported bullying incident, the investigator determines that there is not enough evidence to substantiate that the incident meets the criteria of a prohibited act under the definition of bullying as listed in the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for all Students Act (section 1006.147, F.S.).
This is not considered a “SESIR incident,” but the Department is required to track this data for the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education and per section 1006.147, Florida Statutes.
Does Unsubstantiated Bullying have to be linked to a student's record? If an incident is coded as UBL, does it have to have a state-defined action attached to it?
- Since these unsubstantiated incidents are not technically incidents, the process for entering them into SESIR will differ slightly from the 26 actual SESIR incidents. In 2010-11 several data elements were updated to include a "Z" code ("not applicable") to better accommodate the reporting of these unsubstantiated incidents. For example, if a report of bullying cannot be substantiated (either because it was not actually bullying or because the investigation did not yield enough evidence to code the incident as SESIR Bullying), then the "Unsubstantiated Bullying" or UBL cannot be linked to a student record since there is no offender, therefore "Incident, Involvement Type" (PDF) will be coded as a "Z". The same "Z" code will apply to the Weapon and Drug Description data elements as well as the 8 "related" elements. To simplify data entry, some districts are programming their systems to default to a "Z" code for these 11 data elements when the incident code is either UBL or UHR.
What data elements are required for Unsubstantiated Bullying incidents? Location, context, involvement type, related elements, (the new sex, race or disability related), etc?
- The "Incident, Basis" data elements (Sexual Orientation, Sex, Religion, Race, and Disability) must be coded Yes or No for UBL or UHR incidents (Z-Not Applicable is not an option per the data elements): NOTE: A Y or N code must be used for incident types of Bullying (BUL), Harassment (HAR), Sexual Harassment (SXH), Threat/Intimidation (TRE), Unsubstantiated Bullying (UBL) and Unsubstantiated Harassment (UHR) and for incidents coded Y (yes) on Incident, Bullying-Related. All SESIR data elements would be completed for a UBL or UHR, but the12 data elements listed below should always default to Z for UBL and UHR:
Additionally, DOE will be collecting general (not per-incident) information on how your schools handled UBL and UHR. For UBL and UHR, no referral action is required. Refer to only the data elements in the SESIR reporting format since none of the Discipline/Resultant Action codes would apply to a UBL or UHR incident. Since the reports of bullying/harassment are unsubstantiated, there is no offender so the data elements from the Student Discipline reporting format will not be completed (except those that overlap with the SESIR reporting format).
Office of Safe Schools
325 West Gaines Street, Room 1302
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400