According to the State of Massachusetts, bullying is defined as the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic (cyberbullying) expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property, places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property, creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at school, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Bullying can be either verbal or physical or both. Although the bullying may take place outside of school, it can still interfere with a student’s educational experience.
Cyberbullying is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, whether the means of communication is owned by the school or not. This includes, but is not limited to, text messages, e-mails, Facebook postings and messages, web pages, instant messaging and blogs. Although most cyberbullying takes place away from school, it can have a direct impact on a student’s school performance.
Bullying is prohibited on School grounds, property immediately adjacent to School grounds, at School-sponsored or School-related activities or functions, or any vehicles leased for use by the School. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is also prohibited.