School Statement for Bullying Prevention
At St. John Brebeuf School part of our character education includes teaching our students that any form of bullying is not acceptable. All of us at SJB School are committed to providing a learning environment that is safe, caring and provides our students with every opportunity to grow to their full potential—physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is not normal peer conflict. “Bullying is a pattern of repeated aggressive behaviour over time, directed from one child to another where there is a power imbalance.” (Dr. Dan Olwens, Norwegian researcher and psychologist). Bullying can be carried out physically, verbally or socially/emotionally, in writing or otherwise. It is behaviour intended to create a negative school environment for another person.
What are Some Effects of Bullying?
The child being bullied may experience: lowered self esteem, self blame, anxiety, depression, headaches, stomach aches, avoidance of school, absenteeism, disrupted academic achievement.
Prevention Education Program
All members of the school community are committed to preventing bullying at St. John Brebeuf School and promote a safe school climate.
- Be role models in word and action.
- With the assistance of students, identify areas in the school where bullying occurs.
- Educate students through a Bullying Prevention Program which teaches pro-social skills, attitudes and behaviours and which clearly establishes that bullying behaviour will not be tolerated.
- Communicate to students the effects of bullying behaviour and actions which will be taken for bullying.
- Acknowledge pro-social behaviour among students.
- Maintain a vigilant level of student supervision.
- Maintain a high level of awareness when bullying is suspected.
- Educate students to report bullying behaviour according to the school’s reporting system.
- Implement the process to investigate reports of bullying.
Once a bullying situation has been identified the school will:
- Intervene with the student(s) responsible for bullying.
- Intervene to support the child who has been bullied.
- Notify the parents of the child who has been bullied and the parents of the child who has exhibited bullying behaviour.
- Participate in the school-wide Bullying Intervention Program
- Learn to distinguish between tattling and reporting bullying behaviour
- Learn and apply conflict resolution skills to resolve disputes
- Take their role as a responsible by-stander seriously when witness to bullying
- Allow and encourage their child to report and deal with peer conflicts at school and issues related to the school’s code of conduct
- Advise their child to report incidents of bullying according to the school’s policy
- Inform staff when their own child feels too intimidated to report a personal problem related to bullying
- Be willing to inform the school if any bullying is suspected
- Help their child understand that parental reporting is appropriate for any bullying situations at school even if their own child is not directly involved
- Encourage their child to not retaliate if bullied
- Refrain from speaking to someone else’s child regarding bullying behaviour but rather speak with school personnel unless they witness a possibility of injury to a child
Parents and Students have an important role to play in combating bullying by supporting the school’s policy for bullying prevention.
The school recommends that parents:
- Watch their child for signs of distress that may be due to bullying at school
- Take an active interest in what their child is learning at school in the Bullying Prevention Program
- Take an active interest in their child’s social life and promote their child’s positive social interactions with others at school
- Establish clear rules against bullying at home
Intervention Process for Bullying Behaviour:
- Immediate intervention by a school staff member who witnesses bullying
- The staff member who receives a report of bullying behaviour will begin the investigative process to gather additional information.
Once bullying behaviour is identified:
- The teacher or principal will intervene with the child who has bullied to reinforce the expected behaviour and intervene with appropriate action
- The teacher or principal will intervene to support the child who has been bullied
- The parents of the child who has bullied will be informed by the teacher or principal. The parents will be involved in the intervention and resolution.
- The parents of the child who has been bullied will be informed by the teacher or principal and parents will be involved in the support process of their child.
- If the bullying behaviour is repeated, the parents of the bully will be informed and the bully will have a further consequence. Depending on the age of the child, and at the discretion of the principal, a suspension may be given with a review of the desired social skills.
- If the bullying behaviour continues, further suspension will be given at the discretion of the principal and in some cases students may be expelled.
All students will report bullying incidents to their classroom teacher, the principal or another staff member.
Range of Consequences (alphabetical)
- Behavioural/Performance Contract: In some instances, the student will be required to meet specific behavioural standards. Such behavioural action plans are documented, with copies provided to all concerned parties.
- Conference: A conference may be held with the student, teacher, administrator and appropriate staff to develop a plan for action. Parents may be notified/involved.
- Detention of Student: The student will be detained at the school from 3:20 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. on the following school day and are supervised by the teaching staff. Parents will be notified of the detention in advance. If students have commitments, alternate arrangements may be made.
- Expulsion: At the discretion of administration.
- Formal Administrative Interview: Incidents will be documented and parents will be notified. If required, a meeting will take place with parents, administration, and appropriate staff. The student must commit to a written plan of action designed to modify the underlying behaviour. Behaviour will be monitored and documented over a period of time, after which a follow-up conference will take place. Under extreme cases, the student may be suspended.
- Informal Discussion: All concerned parties will meet with the student to reach an agreement regarding the student’s behaviour.
- Outside Agency: Whenever necessary, the appropriate outside agency will be notified. Some examples include Pastoral, Child and Family Services, Police, Truancy Officer, and Clinical Support Services.
- Parental Involvement: The parent will be contacted to discuss the specific behaviour of the student and steps that must be undertaken to change the behaviour. The nature of the contact could vary from a telephone conversation to a formal conference at the school involving the parent, student and school personnel.
- Removal of Privileges: Access to playground, lunchroom, and participation in field trips, extra-curricular activities, and special events will be removed. The school will notify the parent when such privileges are removed.
- Restitution: The student or parent may be required to compensate for damages incurred. Such restitution may be monetary in nature but could take alternate forms.
- Suspension: In-school or out-of-school suspension from school is a serious consequence that is imposed subject to administrative discretion.
- Withdrawal from Classroom Setting: The student will be temporarily withdrawn from the classroom setting and relocated to a supervised alternate location.