Stamping Out Bullying In Ontario Schools

The government’s new bullying prevention strategy will help to prevent bullying and tackle its causes, Education Minister Gerard Kennedy said today.
“Bullying is an underestimated and pervasive problem,” said Kennedy. “It is a proven precursor to violent behaviour and is never acceptable in Ontario’s schools or communities.”
As part of a comprehensive bullying prevention strategy, the government is investing $23 million over three years to reduce incidents and fundamentally change attitudes toward the phenomenon of bullying.
A 2003 provincial survey of Grade 7 to 12 students, conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, found that one in three students reported being bullied at school. Bullying may include verbal, physical or social forms of bullying in varying degrees.
“The province will dramatically step-up the fight against bullying by providing schools with the Action Plans, training and resources to implement effective bullying prevention programs,” said MPP Liz Sandals, Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Monte Kwinter and Safe Schools Action Team Lead.

The strategy also includes:
– An ongoing $1 million partnership with Kids Help Phone to expand the
24-hour hotline’s ability to respond and counsel anonymously to calls
and online questions from students about bullying
– A new provincial registry of effective bullying prevention programs
recommended and meeting criteria of the Safe Schools Action Team.
Some components of the programs will include awareness campaigns,
in-school anonymous reporting mechanisms and safe peer intervention
techniques
– Mandatory bullying prevention programs in every school in Ontario.
Funding of $1,500 to $2,000 per school for staff training and
resources to create an in-house safe schools team, composed of
students, teachers, principal and parents, to establish an approved
bullying prevention program that meets the individual needs of the
school according to their school culture
– A $1 million High Challenge grant, available by application for
schools with identified additional challenges

Today’s announcement responds to the recommendations of a bullying prevention report prepared by the Safe Schools Action Team released today. The team’s report was developed following province-wide consultations. Other members of the Action Team include leading safe schools experts, Dr. Debra Pepler, Stu Auty and Ray Hughes.
“This partnership with the Ontario Government will enhance our ability to provide immediate, confidential support to students and help curb the effects of bullying at school and in our communities,” said Graham Lute, VP, Marketing and Fund Development, National Office, Kids Help Phone. “The funding will also allow us to hire additional counsellors, provide increased training and improve the response times on our online counselling service.”
“The effectiveness of bullying prevention programs relies, in part, on the ability to empower students to lead the charge of changing attitudes in their schools,” said Kennedy. “Students need to be freed of the fear of bullying to create the best possible environment for student learning and achievement. The hotline and the new programs are giving students a place to
turn for help.”
Studies show that when peers intervene positively, they are effective in stopping the bullying within 10 seconds, 57 per cent of the time.

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6 Replies to “Stamping Out Bullying In Ontario Schools”

  1. How can I apply for the $1 million High Challenge grant for my school? I am currently teaching at Alexander Henry High School in Sault Ste. Marie, and we are a high school with all locally developed and workplace curriculum. Our students have very high and diverse needs; bullying is definitely an on-going issue in our school, both student-to-student, as well as increasing student-to-staff bullying. I believe that additional staff training as well as student awareness and training would allow for the development of a much more anti-bullying/bullying prevention program.

  2. My children have been ‘bullied’by teachers…any comments or resources you could direct me to

  3. I beleive we are already on your registry as a source for the teachers to choose to speak to their children on bullying. Our business writes curriculum’s by using puppets on subjects like bullying.

    Our curriculum is called Bully Busters.

    Our web site http://www.bettermebooks.com

    I am writing to find how we can market our curriculum’s better with the registry and the teachers of the Ontario schools.

    We strongly beleive that teaching our children between right and wrong not only benefits them but everyone around them.

    Thank You;
    Rob Marshall
    Better Me Books Inc.
    1-800-573-2027

  4. Marcia – there are a couple of places that you could go. First, I would talk to the teacher and see if things can be resolved. Second, Principal to see if there is a plan in place. Third, your school trustee who represents you and your constituency. Fourth, I would contact the College of teachers. Not sure if you are in Ontario, but OCT.ca does accept complaints.

    After all these levels have been exhausted there is always legal recourse.

    But, honestly if you have done the first four and got no results, I doubt that you have a legal cause. That’s my own personal opinion though.

  5. ONLINE COURSES ABOUT BULLYING LAUNCHED FOR TEACHERS
    AND PARENTS

    The creator of world’s first Website about cyberbullying and the originator of National Bullying Awareness Week, http://www.bullyingawarenessweek.org, is proud to announce the launch of a groundbreaking new Website, http://www.bullyingcourse.com. http://www.bullyingcourse.com offers affordable and easily accessible online courses and Webinars about bullying and cyberbullying for professional educators and parents. “I have had the dream of creating this kind of educational resource for some time”, says Bill Belsey. “I went to a great Canadian university, but during my entire four years of teacher training, I never had a class, let alone a course about bullying, what it is, how to identify it, how to prevent it and what to do if you learn that bullying is happening to one of your students. Bullying is often seen as the number one non-academic issue that teachers face today, and yet educators feel that they need more information, help and support to address the issue more effectively. http://www.bullyingcourse.com can go a long way to addressing this need,” notes Belsey. A recent Canadian Press story reported that bullying is the biggest education worry of parents. “With the launch of http://www.bullyingcourse.com, parents can learn how to address their concerns about bullying with their child’s school from a position of knowledge and greater understanding,” said Mr. Belsey. “We’ve already had many people from across Canada and around the world register for these online courses and Webinars about bullying and cyberbullying. I believe that it can really help to make a difference,” Mr. Belsey believes.

    For more information, please visit http://www.bullyingcourse.com, or contact
    1 (403) 932-1748 or help@bullying.org.

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