Every parent or guardian wants to trust that their child is safe at school. And still, dangers exist. Luckily, there is much that can and is being done to address threats to our children's safety. On this page, we will provide information and resources aimed at informing parents and guardians of potential risk and empowering them to take action. Click on the topics below for more resources.
Targeted Violence involves planned violence that is focused on a specific person or persons. Targeted violence can be threatening, stalking or predatory in nature. Attacks can be psychological/emotional, physical or both, (this can include things such as incidents after school shootings, bomb threats or dating violence) and can result in psychological/emotional trauma, physical injury or even death.
Children are hearing a lot about school safety these days. They might participate in "active shooter" drills in school. They may hear about tragic events in the media. They may witness or experience bullying in their school. They may have fears about their safety and the safety of their teachers and peers. The best thing that a parent or guardian can do to help their children manage these feelings is to talk about them.
How do I report concerns regarding bullying or targeted violence?
The Illinois State Board of Education provides resources on reporting bullying at their website: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Bullying-Prevention.aspx
Many parents may not know that the Authority and responsibility to administer discipline and respond to acts of bullying rests with the local board of education, through the office of the superintendent of schools and building administration. If your concerns are still not resolved, you may consider contacting the local board of education. If, after exhausting all inquiries at the district level, your concerns remain, you may consider contacting the office of the regional superintendent of schools that holds supervisory authority over the schools in your county. A listing of regional offices/superintendents can be found on the Directory of Regional Offices of Education and Intermediate Service Centers Document.
Finally, the United States Department of Education, through the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), directs school districts to look at each bullying incident not only as a violation of bullying policy, but as a possible action of discriminatory harassment. If discriminatory harassment has occurred, the school district must take steps to end the harassment, regardless of any discipline imposed for bullying. A complaint of discrimination can be filed by anyone who believes that a school that receives Federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.
The following is a link to the OCR complaint form: https://ocrcas.ed.gov/welcome-to-the-ocr-complaint-assessment-system
The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination, but may complain on behalf of another person or group. Before filling out the complaint form, it might be useful to read the information in the following link to understand how the Office of Civil Rights handles bullying complaints at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html You may also contact OCR at 1-800-421-3481.
The E-Info Hotline provides assistance to kids, teens, parents and teachers coping with cyberbullying and Internet safety issues. Please call 1-888-414-7678 or email email@example.com
Children develop across a developmental continuum that is defined by age and experience. Which means all children don't meet development milestones at the exact same age, but rather across the age continuum. It is always best to provide professional support and intervention as early after the onset of an identified concern as possible. There are many resources available to help you understand where your child is on the developmental continuum. Here are a few links based on age:
School Age 6-12 Years
Middle School and Early High School Years
Late High School Years and Beyond