Schools are a primary place where bullying can happen.
Helping to establish a supportive and safe school climate where all students are accepted and knowing how to respond when bullying happens are key to making sure all students are able to learn and grow and understand healthy behaviours.
Teachers and administrators play a vital role in bullying prevention.
- Be proactive - introduce community building activities that demonstrate care, compassion and friendship
- Observe your students for any change in behaviour that may come from being bullied, or being a bully
- Listen to your students when they ask for help
- Let students know you are there to support them and you will do all you can to help them feel safe
- Reassure students who are being bullied that bullying is not their fault. You may have to make numerous attempts before a student is able to break free from the fear of “telling”
- Work with parents to prevent and stop bullying
Resources for teachers:
One of the most extensive set of anti-bullying resources for teachers is the “Promoting Relationships and Preventing Violence Network” website (www.prevnet.ca). The website is frequently referenced by Education Ministries and Departments across Canada.
Three particularly helpful teacher tip sheets address the needs of young children, elementary school children and high school students:
- What teachers of young children need to know (pdf)
- What teachers of elementary students need to know (pdf)
- What teachers of high school students need to know (pdf)
TEACH is the largest national education publication in Canada. Their “Real world tips for anti-bullying in our schools” is an excellent source of teacher tips.
Department of Education of the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has assembled an extensive list of bullying awareness and prevention resources. Some are Department of Education developed resources. Others make use of PrevNet resources (see above). The department’s anti-bullying resources page can be accessed at:
The “Bullying Prevention” page of Alberta Education’s website has tips for teachers, parents and students. Alberta Education is committed to fostering caring, respectful and safe learning environments and optimal conditions for teaching and learning through bullying-prevention strategies and effective behavioural supports.
“Stop a Bully” Program
The “Stop a Bully” program was established in British Columbia in 2009 and is now used as the Registered Bullying Prevention Program of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
“Stop a Bully” teacher classroom resources include lesson plans, activities, media resources and handouts.
Safe and Caring Schools Committee
- The Fourth R is a comprehensive, schools-based program that stresses the importance of healthy relationships. It helps youth make safer choices, provides training in relationships skills and promotes positive youth relationships in collaboration with parents, schools and communities. Program goals: reduction of violence; school and community liaisons; leadership and support for students and staff; and education and empowerment. Youth Safe Schools Committees are student-led, teacher-facilitated groups that take part in classroom explorations, connect to community support services, mount media campaigns to educate the student body and provide information and support to those who need it. Primary resource tools are lesson plans.
- RespectED: The Canadian Red Cross has been working to promote healthy relationships amongst individuals and within schools since 1984. The RespectED: Violence & Abuse Prevention program has educated over 5 million Canadian children, youth and adults.
- The WITS Programs (Walk away|Ignore|Talk it out|Seek help) were developed through a partnership among police from the Rock Solid Foundation, educators from BC’s Greater Victoria School District 61, and researchers from the University of Victoria. The WITS Program for K-Grade 3 teaches children a nonviolent strategy to use when faced with peer aggression. The WITS Programs bring together schools, families and communities to create responsive environments that help children deal with bullying and peer victimization. WITS has two components: the WITS Primary Program (Kindergarten - Grade 3) and the WITS LEADS Program (Grades 4 - 6).
- The PATHS (Providing Alternative Thinking Strategies)® Curriculum is a program for educators and counselors that is designed to facilitate the development of self-control, emotional awareness, and interpersonal problem-solving.