Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools


Instructor Name:          Dr. Candyce Reynolds

Phone:                          509-891-7219

Office Hours:                8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday

Email:                          candyce_reynolds@virtualeduc.com

Address:                       Virtual Education Software

                                    16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450

                                    Spokane, WA 99216

Technical Support:        support@virtualeduc.com



Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools will discuss definitions and the personal, social, and legal ramifications associated with sexual harassment, bullying, and cyber-intimidation. The course will address what we know about these troubling areas. We will then explore preventative strategies as well as how school staff can address these issues when they occur. A clear understanding of what constitutes harassment and the harmful effects of harassment on people and institutions is essential to providing a safe and inclusive school environment for all.


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer.  Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.


Course Materials (Online)      

Title:                Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools

Instructor:        Dr. Candyce Reynolds, Ph.D.

Publisher:         Virtual Education Software, inc. 2009, Revised 2013


Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

 The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.


Level of Application

This course is designed to be an informational course that deepens your understanding of the laws and issues surrounding harassment, bullying and cyber-intimidation while providing assistance to victims who seek help.  In addition, you will have increased awareness of the conditions that lend themselves to the creation and support of harassment and of the impact of harassment on individuals, schools, and the workplace.  Finally, you will learn specific steps that individuals and organizations can take in order to prevent and respond to incidents of harassment.


Expected Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:

·       To trace the recent history and development of harassment and its relationship to discrimination, thereby increasing knowledge and understanding of its impact on individuals and the workplace

·       To increase awareness and understanding of social and cultural factors contributing to harassment, and the response to and perception of harassment

·       To know and understand the legal and operational definitions of harassment

·       To know and understand the forms of sexual harassment and its relationship to prejudice, discrimination, and power differentials

·       To know and understand the concepts behind the term “reasonable woman” as it pertains to sexual harassment issues

·       To know and understand the problematic legal issues surrounding workplace romances

·       To provide guidelines for the development and implementation of a sexual harassment policy applicable to the school or work site

·       To increase knowledge of the extent and impact of sexual harassment on the victim and in the workplace

·       To understand the steps that can be taken  if someone is sexually harassed

·       To identify strategies/behaviors to stop sexual harassment

·       To increase knowledge of the responsibilities of supervisors and organizations in preventing and responding to harassment

·       To know about gender harassment on the Internet and preventative steps to take

·       To identify the dynamics of bullying in general

·       To know the impact of bullying on the individuals involved

·       To comprehend the impact of bullying on the school environment

·       To understand the definition of cyber-bullying and intimidation

·       To understand the methods used in cyber-bullying

·       To be aware of the types of cyber-bullying that can occur

·       To identify prevention strategies for bullying and cyber-bullying that schools can implement

·       To offer ways that schools can support parents in preventing cyber-bullying

·       To know and understand remediation possibilities for bullying and cyber-bullying


Course Description

Our educational institutions are, ideally, places where faculty and students are able to work and learn in a setting that is free from intimidation and offensive, hostile behavior.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  Harassment, specifically sexual harassment, bullying, and cyber-intimidation, effectively prevents this type of environment.  As a result, all members of the academic community have a constant and meaningful interest in eliminating all forms of harassment. Schools have a de facto obligation to provide all persons with the promise of being able to develop professionally, intellectually, personally, and socially in egalitarian and humane surroundings.


Sadly, harassment in schools is more prevalent than we would like to imagine.  It is estimated that 80% of middle school students have suffered from sexual harassment.  A 2001 AAUW study found that 58% of 8-11th grade girls reported being sexually harassed often or occasionally.  Startlingly, 39% of 8-11th grade girls reported that they were sexually harassed on a daily basis.  Project PAVE (2008) in Denver, CO reports that 5 million elementary and junior high students are impacted by bullying in the U.S. With the advent of social networking sites on the internet, sexual harassment and bullying have also moved into cyberspace. An i-SAFE America survey of more than 20,700 5th to 8th graders found that 37% reported that someone had said or done mean or hateful things to them online.  A study of teenagers found that 70% of those who reported being a victim of sexually harassing behavior experienced it over the internet (Kelsey, 2007).  


The risk that all public and private school environments face is high in terms of diminished productivity, lost time, and profound legal ramifications and financial liability for both the harasser and the administration.  The increasing prevalence of all forms of harassment has generated increased awareness and involvement of courts, legislatures, society, school districts, students, parents, and staff.  This increased awareness has lowered tolerance for harassment and inappropriate behavior in schools.  It is essential that institutions and workplaces confront and address harassment, as it constitutes a violation of an individual’s legal rights.  Harassment also threatens the physical and emotional well-being and performance of staff and interferes with the learning experience of students. 


This class will discuss definitions and the personal, social, and legal ramifications associated with sexual harassment, bullying, and cyber-intimidation. The following sections will address what we know about these troubling areas. The final section will explore preventative strategies as well as how school staff can address these issues when they occur. A clear understanding of what constitutes harassment and the harmful effects of harassment on people and institutions is essential to providing a safe and inclusive school environment for all.


Student Expectations  

As a student you will be expected to:

·        Complete all three information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

·        Complete all three section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.  You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course.  *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·        Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

·        Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·        Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.


Chapter Topics

Chapter 1 - Sexual Harassment


Sexual Harassment

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual Nature

Quid Pro Quo

Hostile Environment


Recognizing Harassment

Workplace Components

Impact of Sexual Harassment

Effects of Sexual Harassment



Chapter 2 - Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation




Cyber-Bullying Behaviors


Cyber-Bullying Technologies

Face-to-Face Bullying vs. Cyber-Bullying

Understanding the Dynamics of Bullying


Chapter 3 – Prevention & Intervention

The Need

Developing a Safe Organizational Culture

The Law & Sexual Harassment

Preventive Measures for Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Policy

Internet Use

Workplace Environment


Bullying at School


Responding to Bullying

Parents Managing Cyber-Bullying


The Internet & Sexting



At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score.  After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access.  Your final grade for the course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams.  This score will be printed on your final certificate.  As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.


Instructor Description

Candyce Reynolds is Associate Professor of Post Secondary Adult and Continuing Education in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University and the chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy department.  Her current scholarship focuses on developing inclusive classrooms and the role of a supportive environment on student learning.  She has served at Portland State University as the Director of Affirmative Action where she spearheaded the development of Sexual Harassment Training Program as well as the development of the university’s sexual harassment and consensual relationship policy.  Currently, she also works closely with a number of alternative and charter schools on their boards or as a consultant in creating supportive learning environments.  She holds an AB in Psychology and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and an MS and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon.  Dr. Reynolds is past board member of Open Adoption and Family Services and the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Public Charter High School in Portland, Oregon.


Contacting the Instructor
You may contact the instructor by emailing candyce_reynolds@virtualeduc.com or by calling (509) 891-7219 Monday through Friday. When calling during office hours messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.


Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email support@virtualeduc.com or call (509) 891-7219.  When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call. 


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.


Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.


Bibliography (Suggested Readings)

AAUW Educational Foundation. (2001). Hostile hallways: Sexual harassment in America’s public schools. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women.


Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Office. (2009). Oregon State University Consensual Relationship Policy.  Retrieved August 12, 2009, from  http://oregonstate.edu/dept/affact/consensual-relationships-policy


Aftab, P. (2006).  Internet safety resources. Available from http://www.wiredsafety.net


American Association of University Women. (2011). Crossing the line: Sexual harassment at school. Retrieved from http://www.aauw.org/research/crossing-the-line/


Anderson, M., Kaufman, J., Simon, T. R., Barrios, L., Paulozzi, L., Ryan, G., Hamnond, R., Modzeleski, W., Feucht, T., Potter, L., & the School-Associated Violent Deaths Study Group. (2001). School-associated violent deaths in the United States, 1994-1999. Journal of the American Medical Association, 286, 2695-2702.


Boulton, M. J., & Underwood, K. (1992).  Bully victim problems among middle school children.  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 1-13.


Carrington, P. M. (2006, June 6).  Internet increases cyberbullying.  Retrieved January 12, 2009, from http://timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Common%2FMGArticle%2FPri


Coloroso, B. (2009). The bully, the bullied, and the bystander: From pre-school to high school—How parents and teachers can help break the cycle. New York: William Morrow.


Eisenberg, M. E., & Aalsma, M. C. (2005).  Bullying and peer victimization: Position paper of the Society of Adolescent Medicine.  Journal of Adolescent Health, 36, 88-91.


Ellison v. Brady, 924 Federal Reporter 2d Series.


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2008). Sexual harassment. Available from http://www.eeoc.gov/types/sexual_harassment.html


Equal Rights Advocates. (2008). Women in the workplace.  Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.equalrights.org/publications/fact_sheets/workplace.asp


Farrington, D. (1993). Understanding and preventing bullying. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: A review of the research (p. 17). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2008). A parent’s guide to internet safety. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm


Fein, R., Vossekuil, B., Pollack, W., Borum, R., Modzeleski, W., & Reddy, M. (2002).  Threat assessment in schools: A guide to managing threatening situations and to creating safe school climates.  Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program and the Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center.


Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H., and Hamby, S. L. (2005). The victimization of children and youth: A comprehensive, national survey. Child Maltreatment, 10, 5-25.


Harris Interactive & GLSEN. (2005).  From teasing to torment: School climate in America: A survey of students and teachers.  New York: GLSEN.

Hill, C., & Silva, E. (2005). Drawing the line: Sexual harassment on campus. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women.

Hinduia, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2012). School climate 2.0: Preventing cyberbullying and sexting one classroom at a time. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.


Hirsch, L., Lowen, C., & Santorelli, D. (2012) Bully: An action plan for teachers, parents, and communities to combat the bullying crisis. New York: Weinstein Books.


Hoover, J. H., Oliver, R., and Hazler, R. J. (1992). Bullying: Perceptions of adolescent victims in the Midwestern USA.  School Psychology International, 13, 5-16.


iSAFE. (2006). Survey of internet behavior.  Retrieved on August 12, 2009, from http://www.isafe.org


Juvenonen, J., Graham, S., & Schuster, M. A. (2003).  Bullying among young adolescents: The strong, the weak, and the troubled.  Pediatrics, 112, 1231-1237.


Kelsey, C. M. (2007). Generation MySpace: Helping your teens survive online adolescence. New York: Marlowe and Company.


Kim, Y. S., Koh, Y., & Leventhal, B. (2005).  School bullying and suicidal risk in Korean middle school students.  Pediatrics, 115, 357-363.


Kowalski, R. M., Limber, S. P., and Agatston, P. W. (2008).  Cyber bullying: Bullying in the digital age.  New York: Blackwell.


Martlew, M., & Hodgson, J. (1991).  Children with mild learning disabilities in an integrated and in a special school: comparisons of behaviour, teasing, and teachers’ attitudes.  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 61, 355-372.


Mesach, Gustavo S. (2009, August). Parental mediation, online activities, and cyberbullying. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 387-393. 


Miller, C. (2012). The essential guide to bullying: Prevention and intervention. New York: Alpha Books.


Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. New York: Blackwell.


Olweus, D., Limber, S. P., Flerx, V. C., Mullin, N., Riese, J., & Snyder, M. (2007). Olweus bullying prevention program: Schoolwide guide.  Center City, MN: Hazelden.


Oracle v. Sundowner (1998) 523 US.


Patchin, J. W. (2011). Cyberbullying prevention and response: Expert perspectives. New York: Routledge.


Princeton University. (2004). Sexual harassment: What you should know. [Brochure.] Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.princeton.edu/uhs/pdfs/SHAREHarass.pdf


Project PAVE. (2008). Available from http://www.projectpave.org/. Retrieved August 12, 2009.


Rigby, K. (1996).  Bullying in schools: And what to do about it.  Briston, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


Roth, D. A., Coles, M. E., & Heimberg, R. G. (2002).  The relationship between memories for childhood teasing and anxiety and depression in adulthood.  Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 16, 149-164,


Rubin, Paula N. (1995). Civil rights and criminal justice: Primer on sexual harassment. NIJ Research in Action series. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/harass.txt



Scherr, T. G., & Larson, J. (2010). Bullying dynamics associated with race, ethnicity, and immigration status. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), The handbook of bullying in schools: An international perspective (pp. 223-234). New York: Routledge.


Smith, P., and Brain, P. (2000). Bullying in schools: Lessons from two decades of research.  Aggressive Behavior, 26, 1-9.


Smith, P., Morita, J., Junger-Tas,  D., Olweus, R., Catanano, C., & Slee, P. (1999).  The nature of school bullying: A cross-national perspective.  London: Routledge.


Sutton, J., Smith, P.K., & Swettenham, J. (1999a).  Bullying and “theory of mind”: A critique of the “social skills deficit” view of anti-social behavior.  Social Development, 8, 117-127.


Sutton, J., Smith, P. K., & Swettenham, J. (1999b).  Social cognition and bullying:  Social inadequacy or skilled manipulation?  British Journal of Development, 17, 435-450.


Swartz, J.  (2005, March 7).  Schoolyard bullies get nastier online.  USA Today, p. 01a.


Swearer, S. M., Grills, A. E., Haye, K. M., & Cary, P. T. (2004).  Internalizing problems in students involved in bullying and victimization: Implications for intervention.  In D. L. Espelage & S. M. Swearer (Eds.), Bullying in American schools: A social-ecological perspective on prevention and intervention (pp. 63-83). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Thompson, D., Whitney, I.,  & Smith, P. (1993).  Bullying of children with special needs in mainstream schools.  Support for learning, 9, 103-106.


Whitney, I. and Smith, P. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools.  Educational Research, 35, 2-25.


University of Maryland at College Park. (1998).  Sexual harassment education resource manual. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.mith2.umd.edu/WomensStudies/GenderIssues/SexualHarassment/UMDManual


Unnever, J. D.,  & Cornell, D. G. (2003).  The culture of bullying in middle school.  Journal of School Violence, 2(2), 5-27.


Williams, K., Harkins, S. and Latane, B. (1981).  Identifiability as a deterrent to social loafing: Two cheering experiments.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 303-311.


Young, A. M., Grey, M., & Boyd, C. J. (2009). Adolescents’ experiences of sexual assault by peers: Prevalence and nature of victimization occurring within and outside of school. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(8), 1072-1078.


Yude, C. Goodman, R., & McConanchie, H. (1998).  Peer problems of children with hemiplegia in mainstream primary schools.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39, 533-541.


Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.


Updated 4/16/15 JN