Education Awareness and Outreach
The Board and each school will endeavour to increase education, awareness, and outreach, to engage all members of the school community in supporting efforts to deal with inappropriate student behaviour, including bullying.
Communications with the school community will include the following Ministry of Education definition of bullying as defined in section 1 of the Education Act:
the behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would be likely to have the effect of,
causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical,psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or
creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and
the behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education (“intimidation”).
For the purposes of the definition of “bullying” above, behaviour includes the use of any physical, verbal, electronic, written or other means.
For the purposes of the definition of “bullying” above, bullying includes bullying by electronic means (commonly known as cyber-bullying), including,
creating a web page or a blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
impersonating another person as the author of content or messages posted on the internet; and
communicating material electronically to more than one individual or posting material on a website that may be accessed by one or more individuals.
The Board and schools will strive to:
- Identify different types of bullying, including cyber-bullying.
- Understand the myths and realities of bullying behaviour.
- Identify bullying and how it is different from conflict, aggression and teasing.
- Understand power, peer dynamics and relationships.
- Identify how biases, prejudice and hate can lead to bullying.
- Identify different signs and underlying factors of bullying, such as body image, racism, sexism, homophobia, disability, etc.
In addition, each school should take the following steps:
- Understand a “whole school approach” and the importance of everyone contributing to a positive school climate for student achievement, success and well-being.
- Understand the factors that contribute to a safe, inclusive, caring and accepting school climate.
- Identify ways to make students aware of how they can help prevent and respond to bullying.
- Identify ways that students and parents can safely report incidents of bullying.
- Identify ways to engage parents in conversations about preventing bullying and promoting a positive school climate.
- Reach out to parents and the broader school community to promote safe, caring, inclusive school environments.
- Reflect on our relationships and interactions, and focus on promoting healthy relationships using a variety of strategies.
- Become knowledgeable about community partners and resources available in the community.
- Communicate and share with the school community, all related policies and procedures. These include the school board and school Code of Conduct, equity and inclusive education policy and guidelines for religious accommodations, procedures to address incidents of discrimination, progressive discipline approach, and bullying prevention and intervention plans and strategies.