UGDSB looks ahead to Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
November 15, 2021
From November 22 to the 26th, the Upper Grand District School Board will be participating in Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week (BAPW). During BAPW students, staff and guardians are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effects on student learning and well-being. Each school will be doing its part to stress the importance of bullying awareness and prevention to its staff and students.
It is the UGDSB’s mission to create and encourage school climates that promote a healthy and inclusive relationship between staff and students, make students and staff feel safe and encourage positive leaders in our school community and outside of it.
What is bullying?
As defined in section 1 of the Education Act, “bullying” means aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where, (a) 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, (i) 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 (ii) creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and (b) 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 this definition of “bullying,” behaviour includes the use of any physical, verbal, electronic (“cyber-bullying”), written or other means.
What does bullying look like?
In many incidents of bullying, there are common players: the one doing the bullying, the one being bullied, or the bystander. There are two main types of bystander, those who do not support bullying behaviour but ignore when a bullying incident occurs and does not report it, and there are those who do support the bullying behaviour either overtly or covertly.
In many incidents a child who is being bullied may not want to speak up out of fear. A child who is being bullied may act out in different ways; they may refuse to go to school or tell you they’re sick on school days, they may be withdrawn in certain social situations where they usually are engaged, or they may suddenly begin to lose clothes or personal items.
A child who may be bullying others may be doing so at home and at school, this may look like aggressive behaviour toward others, lack of empathy toward others, or not getting along with others.
What to do if you notice bullying behaviour
A child may not report a bullying incident out of fear of consequence of what may happen next. The UGDSB has an online bullying reporting tool, where an individual can anonymously report a bullying incident. The form covers where and when the incident occurred, who was involved and what type of bullying occurred: physical, verbal, cyber and emotional.
The online bullying reporting tool is available to UGDSB students in every grade – victims or witnesses – to report incidents at any time, from anywhere. The tool makes it easy for kids to reach out and let an adult in authority know when there’s a problem. Parents are also welcome to use the tool, either to report incidents they have witnessed themselves, or by passing on second-hand accounts from younger children. Reports go directly to the school principal for follow-up.
Where can I find more information?
For a parent/guardian who is dealing with a bullying incident there are many resources available to support you and your child/ren.
Resources and Links:
- UGDSB Bullying Prevention Plan
- UGDSB Online Bullying Reporting Tool
- Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network
- Canadian Safe Schools Network
- Kids Help Phone
- Pink Day
- Bullying Prevention
- Bullying Canada for supports and resources