WCW Bullying Prevention Plan 2022/2023

SCHOOL:  William C. Winegard Public School DATE:  August 2022

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 student where, 

  1. 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
  1. 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, using put-downs
  • SOCIAL OR RELATIONAL AGGRESSION:  Spreading rumours about someone, excluding someone intentionally, gossiping
  • ELECTRONIC (Cyberbullying): e.g. spreading rumours and/or hurtful comments through the use of email, cell phones (texts) and on social media
SAFE SCHOOLS COMMITTEE

 

School Administrator: Mrs. MurrayCako and Mrs. Alie
Equity Rep: Ms. Farkas    
Teacher(s): Mrs. MacDowell, Mrs. Heeley
Support Staff: Gayton Fairfield
Student Rep:  (may not attend all meetings but should when appropriate)
Parent:     Mrs. Albanese
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 (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 Equity & Inclusive School Plan was developed or reviewed by our Safe School Committee on:  September 2022.  

Our most recent school climate (WHY) survey was conducted on:  Spring 2019

Our Upper Grand District School Board school climate survey is scheduled to be re-administered every 2 years.

The response rates for William C. Winegard Public School are as follows:

  • 93% of students responded
  • 69% of parents (2018)
  • 91% of staff members (2018)

Data from our most recent (WHY) survey indicated that:

     97% of students in grades 4-6 and 92% of students in grades 7-8 reported that they feel very safe when they are at school.

      48% of students in grades 4-6 and 32% of students in grades 7-8 reported that they have been bullied at school a few times.

      67% of students in grades 4-6 and 55% of students in grades 7-8 reported that they told an adult about it. (2018)

      86% of parents who completed the survey felt that adults at school were helpful in resolving bullying issues. (2018)

      89% of staff who completed the survey indicated that when steps were taken to address specific incidents of bullying, the intervention was successful. (2018)

TRAINING STRATEGIES FOR 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):
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 on our website
  • 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
  • Informing parents and school volunteers of our procedures for reporting incidents of inequity
  • Assisting parents build awareness and knowledge so they may support our school Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive strategies
  • Other (please specify):  Informing students about the Stop a Bully web link
BULLYING PREVENTION AND EQUITY & INCLUSIVE STRATEGIES, EDUCATION, PROGRAMS/ACTIVITIES

Note:  Our Bullying Prevention and Equity & Inclusive goal(s) are currently being developed.   Certain themes we are focusing on can be seen below.

SCHOOL BULLYING PREVENTION AND EQUITY & INCLUSIVE GOALS(S):

  1. Foster a learning environment that gives all students a sense of safety and belonging so they are empowered to take risks, explore new ideas, and take responsibility for their learning
  2. Include the voices, stories, cultures and histories of all the students in the classroom, their families, and the greater community
  3. Maximize supervision during transitions and during non-teaching times
  4. Continue to give the message that it is okay to report and adults will help

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. Ongoing attention to and follow up with any concern about bullying
  2. Ensure groups and clubs are inclusionary and aimed at maintaining a welcoming and safe environment at the school
  3. Continue building unity and inclusion through spirit and character education events
  4. Focusing on the positive contribution of students through morning announcements
  5. Focus on knowledge of self and what we bring to the school community through activities such as the “paw project” – creating a united front with everyone focusing on understanding and celebrating differences

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 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
  • 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;
  • 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)

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.