What is bullying?
Bullying means repeated and hostile or demeaning behaviour by an individual in the school community where the behaviour is intended to cause harm, fear or distress to one or more other individuals in the school community, including psychological harm or harm to an individual’s reputation.
What can be done?
Parent Responsibilities – How to be part of the solution.
Parents play an important role in the education of their children around all forms of bullying. Combined efforts of students, parents and school staff helps to reduce or eliminate bullying. Students, parents and school staff need to work collectively to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. A key component in bullying prevention is open and honest communication with children, parents, school staff, outside agencies and law enforcement. Your child and all students should feel safe at home, in the community and at school.
Suggested ways for parents to support bullying preventions:
- Modeling – talk to your child about avoiding physical and verbal aggression when dealing with frustration and attempting to resolve conflicts. Avoid the use of negative actions.
- Provide an encouraging environment that embraces diversity and acceptance.
- Encourage empathy for others.
- Know your child’s friends and outside influences. Encourage your child to become involved in organized sports, lessons, camps and other out of school activities.
- Encourage communication. Talk to your child about healthy relationships and what constitutes bullying.
- Problem-solve with your child to develop solutions to bullying behaviours.
- Monitor the time your child spends online, watching TV, and playing video and computer games. Set a technology curfew.
- If your child is being bullied listen, gather information and advocate for your child. Encourage your child to talk to trusting adults.
- If your child is bullying others set consequences to reinforce that bullying behaviour is unacceptable.
- Report bullying by contacting the police.
- Seek help from schools and outside agencies
Student Responsibilities – A strong plan.
It is important that students learn the skills to prevent bullying that might happen, diffuse bullying that is starting to happen and deal with bullying after it happens. Skills that can help students prevent bullying:
- Make a Plan - hang out with students who treat each other respectfully. Join clubs and activities.
- Talk about Bullying - Say what you think about bullying behaviour.
- Seek Help - Ask for help from a friend, classmate, parent, or teacher. “Can somebody help me? I’m being bullied.”
- Report Bullying – tell an adult if you or someone else is being bullied.
- Document - Save and print any online information/correspondence related to a bullying incident
- Assert Yourself;
Stop bullying me “Stop”
Make “I” statements – “I don’t like being called names.”
Set Limits – “If you want to talk to me, do it without mocking my clothes.”
Avoid – Stay away from places or people where there is bullying behaviour.
Humour – Make a joke or laugh it off.
Ignore – don’t respond to comments that make you uncomfortable, are intended to demean you or ridicule you.
Leave – walk away from kids who bully. “I’m out of here!”
There is no such thing as an innocent bystander! Everyone can play a role in bullying prevention. Bystanders need to support the victim, help diffuse the bullying before it escalates and report bullying to authorities.
- Help diffuse a potential bullying situation.
- Stick up for someone who is being bullied.
- Befriend kids who are alone and vulnerable.
- Include kids in a group if they ask or invite them to join your group.
- Refuse to watch join, cheer, record, or promote bullying.
- Report bullying when it is witnessed or be a witness to the victim’s own report.
- Avoid being put at risk by intervening in a situation that might threaten safety; go for help instead.
- Refuse to listen to or repeat gossip/rumours.
What is cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying is defined as intentionally using technology such as emails, social networking, texts, cell phones, pagers, instant messaging to harass, defame, offend, and insult other individuals. It is intentional hostile, aggressive behaviour toward another individual or group of individuals.
- Monitor the sites your child visits online.
- Have your child provide their computer passwords to help monitor communication and sites your child is visiting.
- Have electronics in shared living spaces where Internet usage can be monitored.
- Set specific times for computer and electronic usage.
- Purchase a filter that will block sites with inappropriate content and to help monitor computer activity.
- Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about threatening or harassing messages.
- Talk to your child about responsible on-line behaviour.
- Report incidents and file complaints with communication service providers and Web sites where cyber-bullying is occurring.
- Have your child set privacy settings to limit the number of individuals who can access their information.
- Remind your child that all information online is not necessarily true.
- Remind your child of Internet etiquette. Students should be conversing with others in the same manner they would face-to-face.
- Inform your child that what is posted in social networking sites, such as Facebook, becomes public and permanent.
- Store your child’s mobile phone or electronics in the parents’/guardians’ bedroom for the night and have access to the Internet blocked after a bedtime.
- Be familiar with privacy settings for any online services to which you subscribe. The recommended setting for adolescent Facebook users is “Friends Only.” Parents/Guardians are responsible for the lawful use of the mobile phone or internet service to which they subscribe. Mobile phone and internet service provider agreements include clauses that prohibit the use of the device or service for any harassing, bullying, intimidating, threatening, abusive, illegal, or offensive statements or activities. If your child is on your phone plan or using your internet service, and they violate any of the clauses of the agreement, the parent/guardian can be held liable and possibly charged. Parent/Guardians should know that a person under the age of 13 is not permitted to register for Facebook.
- Only correspond with people you know. Block unwanted communication that occurs through emails, texts or social networking. Don’t reply to cyber-bullying.
- Save copies of chats that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Never agree to meet someone you have met online in person.
- Practice safe Internet usage such as not divulging your name, phone number, school or place of employment, or credit card information. If signing up in a chat room use a nickname and don’t post pictures that would attract unwanted attention.
- Only correspond with people you know. Block unwanted communication that occurs through emails, texts, social networking.
- Don’t respond to bullying or inappropriate messages, but save them as evidence..
- Do not post bullying activities. Don’t endorse bullying! Stop Bullying! School Response to Bullying School Responsibilities – Creating a safe and caring environment
A primary concern for Calgary Board of Education schools is to create a safe and caring learning community where students treat others with respect and dignity. Bullying prevention is a combined effort of students, parents and school personnel. Incidences of bullying should be reported to administration for investigation, response and the determination of appropriate interventions or consequences. Consequences for bullying or bystander behaviour includes but is not limited to conflict resolution, suspension, expulsion, removal of privileges, law enforcement involvement,