The Government of Ontario has designated the third week of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. During the week of November 19-25, we will be intentionally addressing issues of bullying and the impact that it has on the academic and socio-emotional well-being of students.
Our Board is committed to creating and maintaining caring and safe environments where students, staff, parents/guardians and others feel safe at school and at all school-related events and activities.
Here are five tips on how we can work together to prevent bullying:
- Be informed. Additional resources are available on the Caring and Safe Schools site and speak with us school about our student code of conduct policies.
- Model positive peer relationships and coping skills. Youth are observant – how do you act in the grocery line, on the roads or when in conflict with a partner, colleague or friend?
- Pause with curiosity. If your child or student is involved in a bullying situation, use those positive coping skills to remain calm, assess the situation and listen before reacting
- Advocacy instead of aggression. In the words of Bully Free Community Alliance of York Region founders Bessie Vlasis and Gwyneth Anderson, don’t be a “bear”! Effective advocacy is about appropriate and respectful communication, loud and aggressive communication is not nearly as effective when dealing with school staff or other families.
- Encourage upstanding behaviour. According to Young Canadians’ Experiences with Electronic Bullying, PREVnet/Media Smarts (2015), youth need to know that their actions would make a difference, not reward or praise, but that their concerns will be taken seriously, that adults would be helpful and that they could do so without turning themselves into targets.
We also encourage the use of the Report it! Button, a tool for students and parents to report incidents of bullying, drugs and vandalism. It is available on the YRDSB and school website homepages.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please contact the office.