To help enhance school safety and encourage positive learning environments, schools across the Upper Canada District School Board held a Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week from November 15-21. School staff, students and their parents were 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 intended to cause fear and distress 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.
“In a time when we need to come together now more than ever before, it’s important to remain kind and show empathy to one another,” says Chair John McAllister. “Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week is an opportunity to reflect on how we can continue to create a caring environment for our students.”
Each school within the UCDSB has a safe schools team working to promote a safer and more welcoming learning environment. Safe schools teams are encouraged to plan activities or launch initiatives that heighten awareness of bullying and its impact on the school community.
Through our safe schools teams, as well as providing staff training opportunities and promoting positive school climates, the UCDSB is committed to operating schools that ensure every student feels safe and supported.
We encourage everyone to learn more about the different forms bullying can take, including:
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.
Some activities occurring at UCDSB schools during the week included Winchester Public School hosted daily activities that honour kindness and differences including Shine Bright with Kindness Day where students and staff will wear bright colours.
Parents/guardians can also access the parent resource to learn more about cyberbullying.