Bullying Prevention Plan

SCHOOL: CREDIT MEADOWS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL                    DATE: SEPTEMBER 2019

 

Everyone at our school is committed to making our school a safe, inclusive and equitable environment for all. We treat each other with respect and we will refuse to tolerate inequities in any form at our school. We know that a “whole-school” approach where all stakeholders are involved in supporting our students helps create and maintain a positive school climate.

Definition of Bullying

“Bullying” means aggressive and typically repeated behavior by a pupil where,

  1. The behavior is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behavior 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
  2. The behavior 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)

Bullying takes different forms of contexts with age. It can be physical, verbal, social/emotional or through electronic means (cyber-bullying). Bystanders contribute to bullying by doing nothing to prevent it or become actively involved in supporting it.

“Cyberbullying” includes electronic communication that:

  • Is used to upset, threaten or embarrass another
  • Uses email, cell phones, text messages and social media sites to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude or damage reputations and
  • includes put downs, insults and can also involve spreading rumours, sharing private information, photos or videos or threatening to harm

Examples of Bullying

  • PHYSICAL AGGRESSION: g., hitting, pushing, stealing, damaging property
  • VERBAL AGGRESSSION:g., insults, threats, taunting someone in a hurtful way, name calling, making sexist, racist or homophobic comments
  • SOCIAL OR RELATIONAL AGGRESSION: g., spreading rumors about someone, excluding someone, gossiping
  • ELECTRONIC (Cyberbullying): g., spreading rumors and/or hurtful comments through the use of email, cell phones (texts) and on social media.

Safe Schools Committee

(Note: mandatory for all schools – an existing committee may assume this role)

School Administrator: Ms. Lagundzija-deFreitas (Principal) and Ms. Federico (Vice-Principal)

Equity Rep: Ms. Nixon

Teacher(s): Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Barron, Ms. Zantinge and Mrs. Cleary

Support Staff: Ms. Shannon Kennedy (CYC)

Student Rep: (when appropriate) Miss Shaw

Parent: Ms. McKee and Ms. Fry

Community Partner: (if possible) Constable Davis

 

The role of this committee should include but is not limited to the following:

  • Develop and annually review the School Bullying Prevention Plan
  • Implement and analyze data from the School Climate Survey ( every two years)
  • Identify and implement bullying prevention and intervention programs that address the needs of the school
  • Identify relationship building and community building programs relevant to the needs of the school
  • Assist with training and awareness raising strategies for staff, students and parents/ guardians
  • Communicate bullying prevention and intervention strategies and reporting procedures to the school community

School Monitoring and Review Process

This Bullying Prevention and Inclusive School Plan was developed or reviewed by our Safe School Committee on: September 2019

Our most recent school climate survey was or will be conducted on: May 2020

100% of students in grades 4-6, 98% of students in grades 7-8, 66% of parents, and 85% of staff completed our most recent school climate survey.

Data from our most recent climate survey indicated that:

49% of students in grade 4-6 and 51% of students in grades 7/8 feel very safe at school.

41% of students in grade 4-6 and 30% of students in grades 7/8 identified that they have been bullied a few times at school over the last year.

71% of students in grade 4-6 and 64% of students in grades 7/8 indicated that they told an adult about bullying that had occurred.

75% parents who completed the survey felt that adults at school were helpful in resolving bullying issues. 49% of parents who completed the survey indicated that bullying stopped after their child told an adult about the bullying.

100% of staff who completed the survey indicated that when steps were taken to address specific incidents of bullying, the intervention was successful.

 

Training Strategies for Staff and Members of the School Community

Members of our school community will receive Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive training through:

  • Board professional development workshops
  • Online training for new employees
  • Staff meetings
  • Provision of professional development materials and resources

Parents/Community Communication and Outreach Strategies

We will communicate our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive strategies and initiatives by:

  • Including our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Plan in our school/student handbook
  • Including information inserts in our school newsletters and other in-house publications
  • Sharing information during school assemblies and announcements
  • Sharing information through bulletin board postings
  • Sharing information at School Council and other parent meetings
  • Sharing information at staff meetings
  • Integrating Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusion into classroom instructions
  • Posting our Bullying Prevention Plan and Safe, Equitable and Inclusive Schools strategy on our school website
  • Informing parents and school volunteers of our procedures for reporting incidents of bullying and inequity
  • Assisting parents build awareness and knowledge so they may support our school Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive strategies

 

Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Strategies, Education Programs/Activities

Note: Our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive goal(s) are determined after analysis of the results of our school climate survey.

School Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Goals(s):

  1. To increase our students ability to see themselves represented in resources and materials we use.
  2. To celebrate the abilities and contributions of diverse Canadians (eg., different cultures, differently abled, LGBTQ+)
  3. Continue to develop a positive, inclusive school environment and promote inclusive practices (i.e., character education initiatives, CYC programs, assemblies and special guest speakers, Zones of Regulation, FTP presentations, and CMES partnered with One Voice One Team and ODSS grade 9 students, ).
  4. Create learning experiences for our students that celebrate and honour Indigenous history (i.e., areas of study in the curriculum, books, announcements, Elders invited in to speak to staff and students, field trips, Orange Shirt Day initiatives, Land Acknowledgement shared throughout the year, Blanket Exercise for staff ).
  5. To consistently address issues of bullying and discrimination when we encounter them and to teach prevention strategies.
  6. Empower our students to stand up, to intervene and report bullying when they witness it (i.e., student voice, character education, One Voice One Team initiatives,etc.,).
  7. Our school environment from staff, community partners, and our walls for example, demonstrate what we are focused.
  8. To discuss the barriers that some in our community have and to work to address them so all feel that they are respected and able to fully participate in our school community.
  9. Continue to seek input from our stake holders.

Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive, Education Programs and Activities:

Our school currently implements or will implement the following bullying prevention and equity & inclusive education programs and activities that focus on developing healthy relationships and provide leadership opportunities for our students:

  1. Through the use of our Equity display, morning announcements, school reading materials to address bully prevention and friendship and the resources displays in our Library Learning Commons, students will come to appreciate the diversity of our school community.
  2. Various classroom and schoolwide activities that focus on inclusiveness, social justice, and character (Pink Shirt Days, assemblies).
  3. Programs through our CYC, Family Transition Place, Character Education presentations
  4. Community partners such as the Orangeville Police Services to address bully prevention (including cyberbullying) and character education.
  5. Making sure our walls are reflective about what we believe in as a school
  6. Members of our staff are seeking out opportunities to learn from elders in our community and teach our students about First Nations Metis and Inuit way of life.
  7. The school will participate in the wheelchair basketball program with a focus on ability rather than disability.
  8. Staff and school council will continue to support students whose socioeconomic situations might exclude them from fully participating in school life (e.g., school trips, food days)
  9. Help students to identify a trusted adult to talk when they experience bullying.
  10. Find leaders in the school to empower the vulnerable to feel safe, and to make connections.  Anti-bully team.

Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Responsibilities

Staff:

  • Closely supervise students in all areas of the school and school grounds
  • Watch for signs of bullying and stopping it when it happens
  • Respond quickly and sensitively to bullying reports (Affirm, Ask, Assess, Act)
  • Take seriously parents’ concerns about bullying incidents
  • Assign consequences for bullying
  • Teach students our procedures for reporting incidents of bullying
  • Provide a safe environment for students who report bullying (protection from retaliation)
  • Treat others respectfully
  • Model positive ways of getting along with others

Students:

  • Treat each other respectfully
  • Refuse to bully others
  • Refuse to let others be bullied
  • Refuse to watch, laugh or join in when someone is being bullied
  • Include everyone in play, especially those who are often left out
  • Report bullying to an adult

 

Parents:

  • Model positive ways of getting along with others
  • Help their son/daughter find ways to express anger that do not involve hurting others physically or emotionally
  • Teach problem solving skills
  • Inform school staff if their child tells them about a bullying incident
  • Support the schools bullying-prevention efforts
  • Help their son/daughter understand the value of accepting and celebrating individual differences
  • Be alert to signs their child is being bullied or may be bullying others

Intervention Strategies

Our staff will use the following process when bullying is reported:

Acknowledge the Incident / Affirm

  • “You were right to report/get help from an”
  • “I’m glad you asked for help with this.”

Gather Information / Ask Questions

  • “Tell me more about what ”
  • “Has this happened before?”
  • “Did anyone try to help you?”
  • “Are you telling me this is to get someone in trouble or to keep someone safe?”

Assess Safety / Make a Plan

  • Determine what the student needs to feel safe now
  • What can the student do if the bullying continues
  • What steps need to be taken to limit the possibility of retaliation for the person reporting the bullying
  • Who the student will tell if there is another incident

Act / Follow-up

  • Determine “next step” or refer the student to an administrator
  • Tell them what will happen next
  • Check with the student to determine the success of the intervention

Reporting Incidents of Bullying

Students, parents, school staff and volunteers may use the following methods to report incidents of bullying as appropriate:

  • Safe Schools Incident Reporting (UGShare)
  • On-line Bullying Reporting Tool
  • Tell an adult in the building (phone, in person, email etc.)
  • Parent / Teacher interviews
  • Make an appointment to meet with school staff

When responding to a bullying incident, our school staff uses a progressive discipline approach.  Use of Progressive Discipline supports a safe, inclusive and accepting learning and teaching environment in which every student can reach his or her full potential. Strategies may range from early intervention to more intensive intervention in cases of persistent bullying, with possible referral to board support personnel, community or social service agencies.

 

These may include but are not limited to:

  • character development strategies and programs;
  • providing students with the opportunity to learn life skills such as conflict resolution, anger management and communication skills;
  • collaborative problem solving;
  • utilizing models based on the concepts of peer mediation;
  • documenting incidents requiring disciplinary measures;
  • use of progressive discipline;
  • consideration of mitigating factors;
  • ensuring that contact is made with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students, under the age of 18, early in the disciplinary process and involving them in a plan to improve the behavior;
  • CYC support
  • referral to outside agencies (e.g., CMHA, DCAFS)
  • restorative justice practices (e.g., written or verbal apology, community service)

Consequences are at the discretion of the Principal or Vice-Principal. In the case of severe misbehavior, our format of progressive discipline consequences may be superseded. As incidents arise, it is recognized that each situation is unique. Mitigating circumstances will be considered for student age, frequency of incidents, nature and severity of incidents, student exceptionalities, extenuating circumstances, impact on the school climate.