Stevens Treatment Programs

On May 3, 2010 Governor Patrick signed an Act Relative to Bullying in Schools.  This law prohibits bullying and retaliation in all public and private schools, and requires schools and school districts to take certain steps to address bullying incidents.  Parts of the law (M.G.L.  c. 71, § 37O) that are important for students and parents or guardians to know are described below.


Stevens Treatment Programs does not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation, in our program, on school/program grounds, or in school-related activities. We investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, and staff development, activities, and parent or guardian involvement. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is prohibited.


Aggressor is a student who engages in bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation.

Bullying is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; (ii) places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. 

Cyber-bullying is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, and the Internet.  It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and internet postings. 

Hostile environment is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.

Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

School Staff includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals. 

Target is a student against whom bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation is directed.

Reporting Bullying:

Stevens Treatment Programs expects that anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student, reports it to a Program Director (Education Director, Residential Director, Clinical Director, Assistant Director, Day Shift Manager). Anyone, including a parent or guardian, student, or employee, can report bullying or retaliation.  Reports are made in writing or by speaking with any Program Director or reports may be made anonymously.  Disciplinary actions are not taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report.  Students, parents or guardians, and others may request help from a staff member to fill out a written report.  Students can ask to speak privately with a Program Director or any staff they wish, to report or talk about an incident of bullying.

Stevens Treatment Programs has two pathways for identifying potential bullying; through a report of bullying and through discovery in monthly Safety Committee Meetings.

Stevens Treatment Programs convene monthly for a Safety Committee Meeting in which directors and clinical staff review all consequences issued for negative peer interactions to identify patterns that can be, or lead to, bullying.  This pre-investigation assists Stevens in identifying bullying that may have gone unreported. The Safety Committee makesrecommendations and puts therapeutic interventions in place to prevent further incidents and maintain safety.  Once identified, incidents of bullying are documented in an Incident Report to the Director of Program Services for further investigation if needed.  In addition, the Safety Committee develops a monthly report that outlines the number of reported allegations of bullying or retaliation; the number and nature of substantiated incidents of bullying and retaliation; the number of students disciplined for engaging in bullying or retaliation, and other information required by the Department.

When a Program Director receives a report about bullying, he or she quickly conducts and documents a pre-investigation to determine what happened and if bullying or retaliation tookplace. If the Program Director determines that bullying or retaliation may have occurred, he or she completes an Incident Report which elicits further inquiry and may include an Internal Investigation. Upon completion of that investigation, and if it is determined that bullying or retaliation has occurred, individualized interventions are put in place to ensure the safety of all involved parties. The director or the assigned clinician: (1) notifies the parents or guardians of the target, and to the extent consistent with state and federal law, let them know what the program has done to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation; (2) notifies the parents or guardians of the aggressor (3) provides appropriate treatment/consequences and (4) notifies the local law enforcement agency if the Program Director or designee believes that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.  

Bullying Prevention:

Stevens Treatment Programs staff believe it is very important to provide a safe program for all the youth living and/or attending school here. Program staff take part in training sessions throughout the year that focus on providing a safe, secure environment for all residents. Once a year staff take part in a training session that focuses on bullying prevention.

The youth at Stevens Treatment Programs are encouraged to let staff know if they are not feeling safe. They have cottage staff, directors and clinicians available to them to talk. In addition, each summer all the youth take part in a curriculum where they discuss bullying and bullying prevention. The group discusses topics such as what bullying is, why people bully and ways todeal with bullies.

If you would like to review the entire Stevens Treatment Programs Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, a Clinician, Program Director or Administrator can make it available to you.


Last Updated: January 2019

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