Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week


Ontario has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment.

During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week – November 16-22, 2014 – Ontario 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.

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

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.

Sharing Stories About Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

Schools are encouraged to be creative during Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week and to share stories and samples of their work.

Schools have been asked to create artwork posters during Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week that focus on a relevant theme. Each school can submit artwork for possible use on the ministry website or for future Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week materials.

The ministry also encourages schools to send student artwork and success stories about their Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week activities. A selection of these will be posted to the ministry website.

By organizing Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week activities, schools will be effecting positive change in student achievement and well-being.

Resources

Videos

School Peacekeepers: Keeping a lookout for Bullies

How to talk to teenagers about mental health

Anthony McLean shares tips on Cyber-Bullying Prevention