Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

We at Lakehead DSB are committed to providing a safe, caring and inclusive learning environment for all students. Ontario’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week runs from November 17 to 23, 2019. This week is an opportunity for us all to reinforce clear and positive messages that bullying is not acceptable in our schools and communities. We believe that every student has the right to feel safe at school and be treated with respect and dignity.

This annual event raises awareness in our students and staff around bullying and the impact it has both on individuals as well as the broader learning environment. During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, our schools can raise awareness and focus on promoting a safer learning environment for all students.

While Lakehead DSB schools engage in bullying awareness and prevention every week of the school year, we recognize this time as a valuable opportunity to raise awareness in parents and the local community. It is important to note that everyone has a role to play in bullying prevention. Students, parents, teachers and school staff are encouraged to work with their school council, student council and community partners to promote and facilitate participation in Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.

Schools that have bullying prevention and intervention strategies in place foster a positive learning and teaching environment that supports well-being and helps students reach their full potential. Providing caring, safe and supportive learning environments are at the heart of all of the Lakehead DSB efforts to promote student achievement, well-being and success.

During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week – November 17-23, 2019 – students, school staff and parents are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being.

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.

Take 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 through social media.

Safe Schools Teams
Safe schools teams are encouraged to plan activities or launch initiatives that heighten awareness of bullying and its impact on the school community. 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. By organizing Bullying Awareness and Prevention activities, schools will be effecting positive change in student achievement and well-being.

Help us put a stop to bullying.

Here are some resources:
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Q&As – Ministry of Education
Bullying: We Can All Help to Stop It -Ministry of Education
Bullying: We can all help stop it – Ministry of Education
Bullying: What we know and what we can do – PREVNet
What Parents need to know – PREVNet
Violence, Bullying and Abuse Prevention – Canadian Red Cross

Please contact your school’s Principal or Jeff Upton Education Officer, if you have any questions or need any assistance with regards to Bullying Awareness and Prevention or other safe schools initiatives.