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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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School Health - Bullying

Current research shows the need for a “whole-school” approach for the prevention of bullying. Generally, successful “whole-school” strategies follow the key principles below.

Key Principles

  • Strong teacher and adult leadership and strong student-teacher bonding
  • Clear and consistent behavioural norms
  • Adult awareness and involvement
  • Effective supervision
  • Involvement of stakeholders
  • Involvement of youth in program development and delivery
  • Target multiple risk and protective factors
  • Focus on both early and long-term interventions
  • Be gender and age specific and focus on social skills1

A shared set of beliefs and norms makes it more likely that anti-bullying efforts will be successful. In a positive school environment, students feel they are accepted and belong.

In order to shift towards a positive and safe school climate, there is a need to educate students, staff and parents about bullying. There is a need to provide opportunities for everyone to practice the skills. They have learned or the education they receive will be ineffective.

 
 

Students can:

  • Ask that your school take The Pledge to End Bullying
  • Report any bullying that happens to you or someone else. Telling is not tattling. You are doing your part to create a safe community
  • Take responsibility for your actions
  • If you see bullying taking place, don’t get involved to try and stop it unless you have been trained in how to do this effectively. Be an Upstander.
  • “Bystanders who step in and take action can usually stop bullying within 10 seconds. You need to be safe, which means that you may need to go for help instead of stepping in yourself, but you can make a difference” (Alberta how to make it stop b-free.ca – Alberta Children and Youth Services)
  • Be part of setting the rules in your classroom and school about appropriate behaviour. Then do your part to act that way. Better to walk away, get help and report it

Kids Help Phone

If you’re being bullied, you need to know that there's help. You can get help at Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868. Although it may be hard to believe sometimes, you’re not alone. Others will stand with you to stop the bullying. There are people that will understand and help, if you let the know.2


Teachers/school staff can:

  • Access skills training to identify, respond to and prevent bullying incidents
  • Listen to students
  • Support students know you are there to support them and will do all you can to help them feel safe
  • Reassure students who are being bullied that it's not their fault. It may take numerous attempts before a student is able to break free from the fear of telling
  • Help your school develop a plan for supervision and intervention
  • Role model positive relationships that demonstrate respect and caring
  • A school-wide assessment to identify the extent to which bullying is a problem
  • Plan an exercise with the school community to determine how best to address bullying
  • Watch for patterns of bullying, especially in unstructured settings
  • Discuss with other staff to idenfiy problems
  • Respond to bullying consistently
  • Increase school awareness of what bullying is and what it looks like
  • Hold a class meeting to discuss appropriate and inappropriate behaviours
  • Address bullying directly and privately
  • Create playground environments that can be seen by supervisors
  • For more resources: Educator - Curriclum, Teaching and Learning Resources - Middlesex-London Health Unit

Community can:

  • Provide access to resources, information and support initiatives to prevent alcohol and drug use
  • Community partnerships may include:
    - police
    - public health agencies
    - children’s mental health agencies
    - social services
    - health care organizations
    - non-profit and service organizations (e.g. Heart and Stroke Foundation and Rotary Club)
    - media
    - cultural (libraries, museums, zoo, theatre and art gallery)
    - foundations
    - faith-based organizations
    - businesses
    - recreation centres
    - community colleges and universities
    - youth criminal justice system
    - other community agencies.

Policy can:

Help create a positive learning and teaching environment. This results in better academic outcomes for all students, helping them reach their full overall potential.

Steps to creating a school anti-bullying policy3

  1. Define bullying
  2. Look for model policies and customize them for your situation
  3. Specify how reporting of bullying will be done
  4. Specify disciplinary actions and how reports will be investigated
  5. Address support for the victim(s) of bullying
  6. Include anti-bullying training and prevention procedures

Other Helpful Resources

 
Date of creation: November 12, 2012
Last modified on: May 14, 2018

References

1Adapted from Public Safety Canada. Bullying Prevention: Nature and Extent of Bullying in Canada. Retrieved from Retrieved from
http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/bllng-prvntn/bllng-prvntn-eng.pdf
2Government of Alberta. Stand Up and B-Free from Bullying. Retrieved from
http://www.b-free.ca/home/about-bullying-home.html
3Adapted from BRIM. Anti-bullying Policies for Schools. 2012. Retrieved from
http://antibullyingsoftware.com/anti-bullying-policies-for-schools