Bullying Prevention Plan and Safe, Equitable and Inclusive School Strategy
Downloadable version: Ponsonby PS Bullying Prevention Plan 2023-2024
SCHOOL: Ponsonby PS DATE: September 30, 2023
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 behaviour by a student where,
- The behavior is intended by the student to have the effect of, or the student 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
- The behavior occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the student 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 special education needs.
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 rumours about someone, excluding someone, gossiping
- ELECTRONIC (Cyberbullying): e.g., spreading rumors and/or hurtful comments through the use of email, cell phones (texts) or on social media.
Safe Schools Committee
(Note: mandatory for all schools – an existing committee may assume this role)
School Administrator: Kelley Jones
Equity Rep: Beth Cruikshank
Teacher(s): Amy McPhedran
Support Staff: Bill Bulmer
Student Rep: (when appropriate)
Parent: feedback received from School Council, September 23, 2023
Community Partner: (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 30, 2023
Our most recent school climate (WHY) survey was or will be conducted on: February 2022
92% of students, 4 parents, and 12 staff completed our most recent school climate survey.
Data from our most recent climate (WHY) survey indicated that:
100 % of students feel safe at school.
38 % of students identified that they have been bullied at school or on the bus in the past year.
83 % of students indicated that they told an adult about bullying that had occurred.
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
- ⛝Other (please specify) Family resource library
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 (WHY) survey.
School Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Goal(s):
- To foster an affirming school culture at Ponsonby PS that celebrates diversity and connection.
2. To teach and model healthy, respectful, and inclusive interactions at school, including during less-structured times such as riding the school bus, nutrition breaks/recess, and dismissal time
3. To provide an atmosphere of caring and responsive adults, through active supervision and monitoring of classroom and school event locations, and with consistent follow up when addressing student concerns.
4. To empower student leaders to model and lead various activities in the school and community promoting inclusion and interconnectedness.
5. To proactively implement anti-bullying and inclusive education through classroom and school activities.
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:
- Use the supports from School Mental Health Ontario (e.g., First 10 Days, Mindfulness) and the Wellness Works/Umbrella Project to strive to build positive well-being in all school community members’ lives.
2. A variety of school clubs and teams, including a GSA, to engage students with their school community
3. Spirit Days, created using the Equity guidance from the board, which include colour house activities, celebrations around the world, Terry Fox Day and other events to allow for diverse leadership roles.
4. Daily announcements to celebrate and acknowledge the traditions and celebrations, and observances that are outlined in the UGDSB Equity Calendar, with a specific school-wide focus on Orange Shirt Day and the International Day of Pink.
5. Adult-facilitated discussion to resolve and reduce conflicts, and build relationships
6. Revisit and reflect diversity, during Bullying Prevention Week and throughout the year.
7. Increase our resources, for staff, students, and families, to reflect and act on current societal issues (e.g., BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+ )
Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive Responsibilities
- 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
- 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
- Model positive ways of getting along with others
- Help their child 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 child understand the value of accepting and celebrating individual differences
- Be alert to signs their child is being bullied or may be bullying others
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 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:
Student to Student:
- Safe Schools Incident Reporting (on-line)
- 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 equitable 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;
- 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 behaviour;
- CYC support
- referral to outside agencies (e.g., CMHA, DCAFS)
- restorative justice practices (e.g., written or verbal apology, community service) (2022)