This week, Ontario takes time to focus on the prevention of bullying, and on recognizing it when it occurs. School Boards adopt policies and practices that are meant to ensure that each student finds school a warm, safe and welcoming place. I am reproducing below info found on the Ministry of Education’s website on this subject.
“Bullying is defined as a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.
Schools are encouraged to use this opportunity to explain the different forms bullying can take. These include:
Physical – hitting, shoving, stealing or damaging property
Verbal – name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist or homophobic comments
Social – excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
Electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of cellphones, e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites …
Each school in Ontario has a safe schools team working to promote a safer and more welcoming learning environment. Teams include the school principal, a teacher, a student (where appropriate), a parent and a member from the broader community.