Help for Students
In the Boulder Valley School District, we strive to all students so that they feel safe and supported on a daily basis. There are times when students require additional support.
- Crisis Situations
- Grief and Loss
- Substance Abuse Prevention
- Violence Prevention
- Sexual Violence and Harassment
- Suicide Prevention
What Is Bullying
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
What Is Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
Signs a Child Is Being Bullied
Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
Kids may be bullying others if they:
- Get into physical or verbal fights
- Have friends who bully others
- Are increasingly aggressive
- Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
- Blame others for their problems\
- Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can:
- Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
- Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
- Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
When a crisis happens in the Boulder Valley School District, we have several teams that respond, including:
Emergency Response & Reunification
Safety, Security and Emergency Management works with first responders to first protect and aid students and staff, and then reunify students and families.
Grief is personal. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. How people grieve can be influenced by developmental level, cultural traditions, religious beliefs, mental health, disabilities, family, personal characteristics, and previous experiences.
What to Expect
Grief is not solely related to the death of a loved one. The symptoms, characteristics, and process of grieving can be similar after other types of loss (e.g., divorce, transition, moving).
Grief is often characterized by sadness, emotional pain, and introspection in adults. However, children’s grief reactions differ according to age and developmental level:
What should I look for?
Regressive behaviors, decreased verbalization, increased anxiety
Decreased academic performance, attention/concentration, and attendance; irritability, aggression, and disruptive behaviors; somatic complaints; sleep/eating disturbances; social withdrawal; guilt, depression, and anxiety; repeated re-telling of the event
Middle and High School
Decreased academic performance, attention/concentration, and attendance; avoidance, withdrawal, high risk behaviors or substance abuse, difficulty with peer relations, nightmares, flashbacks, emotional numbing or depression
Grieving does not have a timeline. Schools should be aware of anniversaries, birthdays, developmental milestones, and other factors that could affect students months or years after the loss.
Grieving involves meeting specific milestones. Individuals are likely to experience (and often re-experience) some or all of the following adjustments/responses:
- Accepting the death
- Experiencing the feelings and emotional pain associated with death and separation from the deceased
- Adjusting to changes and an altered environment that no longer includes the deceased
- Finding ways to remember and memorialize the deceased
Grieving is an absolutely normal response to loss – but more assistance may be required when someone shows the following behaviors:
- Marked loss of interest in daily activities
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Wishing to be with the deceased loved one
- Fear of being alone
- Significant decreases in academic performance and achievement
- Increased somatic complaint”
- Changes in attendance patterns (e.g., chronic absenteeism)
Source: National Association of School Psychologists
Things to avoid
- Euphemisms when referring to the deceased such as “they are sleeping,” or “they went away”
- Minimizing statements such as “it was only your great-grandmother, (or dog, neighbor, etc.)”
- Predicting a timeframe to complete the grieving process such as, “it has been a month, you should be getting over this,” or “the pain will fade soon”
- Over-identifying, (e.g., “I know how you feel”)
- Too much self-disclosure (e.g., I lost my mom to cancer) as not everyone handles self-disclosure the same way and the focus should remain on the student’s grief
Things to do
- Maintain routines as normally as possible
- Ask questions to ascertain the youth’s understanding of the event and emotional state
- Give the youth permission to grieve
- Provide age and developmentally-appropriate answers
- Connect the bereaved with helping professionals and other trusted mentors and adults
- Encourage students to adopt adaptive coping strategies, particularly ones that will involve interaction with other students (e.g., sports, clubs)
- Educate teachers and families about what is healthy grief and how to support the student
Substance abuse and problematic patterns of substance use among youth can lead to problems at school, cause or aggravate physical and mental health-related issues, promote poor peer relationships, cause motor-vehicle accidents, and place stress on the family. They can also develop into lifelong issues such as substance dependence, chronic health problems, and social and financial consequences.
Substance abuse is the harmful pattern of using substances—such as tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs—leading to impairment or distress with one or more of the following behaviors:
- Recurrent substance use resulting in failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home such as repeated absences, suspension, and expulsion
- Recurrent substance use in situations where it is physically dangerous, such as driving while impaired
- Recurrent substance-related legal problems, such as arrests for disorderly conduct that are substance-related
- Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurring social or personal problems caused or worsened by substance use
One of the most highly abused substances among youth in the U.S. is alcohol. Youth engage in binge drinking more than adults do. This can lead to risky and potentially harmful behaviors, and many times substance abuse (60-75 percent of youth with substance abuse problems) co-occurs with mental health disorders.
Substance use, abuse, and dependence can negatively impact every aspect of an individual’s life.
The good news is youth substance use is preventable.
Protective factors may lessen the likelihood of youth using substances.
BVSD's prevention programming is focused on increasing Protective Factors and reducing Risk Factors.
Youth violence is a public health problem that affects thousands of young people each day, and in turn, their families, schools, and communities.
Youth violence is connected to other forms of violence, including child abuse and neglect, teen dating violence, adult intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and suicide.
The good news is youth violence is preventable.
Protective factors may lessen the likelihood of youth violence victimization or perpetration.
BVSD's prevention programming is focused on increasing Protective Factors and reducing Risk Factors.
If there is immediate threat to your child or others call call 911 immediately.
What Is Sexual Violence?
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, Sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.
It is defined as any unwanted, forced, or coerced sexual contact without the consent or against the will of another person. It can range from inappropriate touching to penetration. It includes the crimes of sexual assault, rape and sexual abuse.
LEARN MORE: Types of Sexual Violence
Sexual Assault 101
Make a Report
The Boulder Valley School District is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students.
Victims of sexual harassment are encouraged to report the incident to an adult they trust, whether it is a school counselor, administrator or law enforcement. Reports can be made orally or in writing. Written reports can be made using the Board's Complaint form, AC-E2 or by email to TitleIX@bvsd.org.
The District's Role
There is no place for this type of behavior in the halls of our schools or anywhere in BVSD. As a district we are taking action to better educate our students about sexual assault, consent and prevention.
Sexual Harassment Policy
It is essential that students and staff members have the confidence that the Boulder Valley School District will do everything in its power to protect victims and to take action against misconduct.
Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
Regardless of whether sexual harassment (that includes sexual violence) occurs at school, Title IX obligates school districts to address any impact of that conduct on students that interferes with their ability to access their education. This means that schools must provide students with their Title IX rights and the contact information for adults at school who can respond to allegations of misconduct and put in place interim remedies to support impacted students. If students experience harassment or retaliation resulting from the exercise of their Title IX rights, then schools are legally obligated to take action to stop it from recurring.
In terms of Title IX investigations, the School District is obligated to investigate and take action to stop misconduct that is impacting students at school, but there is not a strict timeline for such investigations. When the same allegations are being investigated by law enforcement, then the School District wants to minimize potential trauma for students by using information from law enforcement's investigation as much as possible. Most often, we do this by, among other things, using information in police reports, juvenile petitions, and information shared by the DA’s office as the substantive information for the School District’s Title IX investigation while also providing due process to the involved parties as required by the U.S. Department of Education rules and regulations governing school districts. While law enforcement investigations and any related legal proceedings are being conducted, the School District’s focus is on providing interim remedies to support students.
Compliance Officer for students, parents and members of the public:
Suicide is Preventable
Most suicides occur due to some form of mental condition, such as depression or a substance abuse disorder. These conditions are treatable and suicide is preventable.
Know the Risk Factors
Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of.
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
Know the Warning Signs
Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination based on disability. All staff and administrators have the responsibility of insuring that all students with disabilities are identified, evaluated and provided with needed accommodations and services, resulting in a free appropriate public education.
For more information, explore the links below, contact your school's 504 Coordinator or contact:
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. This legislation defines a person with a disability as anyone who: Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity. Major life activities include: bending, breathing, caring for one’s self, communicating, eating, hearing, learning, concentrating, reading, operation of major bodily functions (including but not limited to functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions), performing manual tasks, speaking, sleeping, seeing, standing, thinking, walking, and working
Through the Multi-Tiered System of Supports, we provide more targeted and intensive help for students who need it -- both academically and social/emotionally.
We strive to support all students with universal programming.
When a student is struggling, our teachers, school counselors and psychologists give more targeted help.
If targeted support does not work or a student is in crisis our educators employ more intensive interventions.