Bullying Prevention Plan

SCHOOL:  East Garafraxa Public School                                         DATE: September 30, 2020

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
  1. 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 person.
  • Uses email, cell phones, text messages, and social media sites to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude or damage reputations and friendships.
  • includes put-downs, insults and can also involve spreading rumours, sharing private information, photos or videos, or threatening to harm someone.

Examples of Bullying

  • PHYSICAL AGGRESSION: e.g., hitting, pushing, stealing, damaging property
  • VERBAL AGGRESSION: e.g., insults, threats, taunting someone in a hurtful way, name-calling, making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments
  • SOCIAL OR RELATIONAL AGGRESSION: e.g., spreading rumors about someone, excluding someone, gossiping
  • ELECTRONIC (Cyberbullying): e.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: Lena Federico (Principal)

Equity Rep:  Julie Brundle

Teacher(s): Shane Mead, Amy McClure

Support Staff: Alison Lyle-Moutrey

Student Rep: (when appropriate) none at this time

Parent: Liliana Sousa

Community Partner: Public Health Nurse: Joan Heath, Shannon Gordanier OPP, Marsville Lions (if possible)

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 (WHY – Wellness Health of Youth 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 23, 2020

Our most recent school climate survey was conducted in  2018.

  • 100% of students in grades 4-6, 100% of students in grades 7-8, 7% of parents, and 42% of staff completed our most recent school climate survey.

Data from our most recent climate survey indicated that:

  • 42% of students in grades 4-6 feel somewhat safe, and 52% feel very safe at school. 27% of students in grades 7-8 feel somewhat safe at school and 68% feel very safe at school.
  • 33% of students in grade 4-6 identified that they have been bullied a few times, 13% reported being bullied often, and 4% reported being bullied almost every day at school over the last year. 26% of students in grades 7-8 identified that they have been bullied a few times 7% reported being bullied often and 0% reported being bullied almost every day at school over the last year.
  • 72% of students in grades 4-6 indicated that they told an adult about bullying that had occurred. 83% of students in grades 7-8 indicated that they told an adult about bullying that had occurred.
  • 50% of parents who completed the survey felt that adults at school were helpful in resolving bullying issues.
  • 50% of parents who completed the survey indicated that bullying stopped after their child told an adult about the bullying
  • 83% 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

☒On-line 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 instruction

☒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 to 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. Honouring diversity in our school community by providing a learning environment that is representative and reflective of staff and students.
  2. To continue to directly address issues of bullying, discrimination, and racism when it is observed.
  3. To have our students see themselves represented in the resources and materials we use.
  4. Ensure that Indigenous history, traditions, and culture are accurately reflected in classroom instruction.
  5. Assist students in developing positive social skills, self-regulation, self-advocacy, and conflict management skills to reduce bullying.
  6. To increase student awareness of what constitutes bullying and the various forms of bullying.
  7. To teach students how they can discourage bullying and report bullying when it occurs.
  8. To increase student voice in developing a safe and inclusive school.

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. Peer Helpers within cohorts to support leadership, learning, and modeling of appropriate behaviour that supports a warm, welcoming, and inviting atmosphere and experience at East Gary.
  2. Celebrate diversity in our school through RAIDERS Character Education traits.
  3. The use of unlearn posters to initiate conversations.
  4. Create bulletin boards to celebrate inclusiveness.
  5. Share virtual presentations through student’s voice (recognizing cultural days of significance).
  6. Share O’Canada in different languages.
  7. Indigenous Focus – use various forms of media, have virtual presentations (Orange Shirt Day and Have a Heart Day), celebrate Indigenous History month in June, and include Land acknowledgments at the beginning of meetings and larger group events.
  8. Continue with programs that support and encourage good character and resiliency to reduce bullying: use the programs Zone of Regulation,  embed character education in daily school activities (ie. random acts of kindness, Pink Shirt Day, etc.), create Google slide presentations for staff to use in their classrooms to reduce bullying connecting it with school’s monthly character trait focus (eg. October: Respect).
  9. CYC (Child and Youth counselor) to support positive friendships, interactions, and improved social skills that target areas of concern, using social distancing.
  10. A Conflict Resolution Response is applied by Staff and the Admin where conflict occurs with a goal of restoring relationships and moving forward in a positive manner for everyone.
  11. Equity and Inclusion focus as a standing item on our monthly staff agenda.  This provides an opportunity to share equity resources and share best practices.
  12. Recognizing days of significance to foster inclusion.
  13. Bring awareness to Board initiatives such as Orange Shirt Day, Bully Prevention Week, Black History Month, Mental Health and Wellness, etc.
  14. Staff will continue to support students whose socio-economic situation might exclude them from fully participating in school life.
  15. Use of announcements and Twitter account around what bullying is and what you can do (focus times in November, February, and April) and to acknowledge and teach about diverse groups that make up our community.

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 maybe 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 adult.”
  • “I’m glad you asked for help with this.”

Gather Information / Ask Questions

  • “Tell me more about what happened.”
  • “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 the “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)
  • Online 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:

  • Well-being strategies and programs
  • 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 and 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.