BROCKVILLE — Schools across the Upper Canada District School Board are promoting Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week November 17-23 to help enhance school safety and encourage positive learning environments.
This week, school staff, students and their parents are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being.
“The importance of being kind and empathetic is embedded in the foundation of our schools, and it’s the premise of our Character Always initiative,” says Chair John McAllister. “Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week is the perfect time to increase our focus on the harm bullying can cause, and reflect on ways we can continue to create a caring environment that advances student learning. It is a responsibility for each and every one of us.”
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.
We encouraged 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, email, text messaging and through social media.
Some activities occurring at UCDSB schools during the week include the following:
Chesterville Public School: In addition to regular programming, children’s performer Gerry Mitchell will present his shows Do Respect for Grades K-3 and One Voice for Grades 4-6 on Friday, Nov. 22. His musical performances center around the need for respectful behaviour and encourage youth to stand up and speak out against bullying.
Rockland District High School: Intermediate staff have organized a Pink Shirt Campaign to raise awareness about the impact of bullying.
Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute: Students with the school’s Link Crew have created positive anti-bullying messaging to be read with morning announcements.