Bullying and harassment can have a serious and significant impact on learning, student safety and the school climate. In fact, principals must now consider suspension when dealing with acts of bullying.
School climate is the sum of all personal relationships between all members of the school community. A positive climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable and accepted. A positive school climate is essential for students to succeed in school.
Bullying is typically a form of repeated, persistent, and aggressive behavior directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/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.
Bullying can take many forms. It can be:
- 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 rumors about them
- electronic (commonly known as cyber-bullying) – spreading rumors and hurtful comments through the use of e-mail, cellphones, social media websites and text messaging
Cyber bullying is different from other forms of bullying. It can:
- spread to many people very quickly
- be done anonymously
- remain posted online for an indefinite period of time
- have a negative effect on the school climate, even when it originates off school property.
What can I expect as a parent if my child is being bullied?
- Your child’s teacher or another teacher your child trusts may be able to solve the problem or may have suggestions about the kind of help your child needs.
- Talk to your principal, if you would like to learn more about the services available through the school.
- School staff are expected to make every effort to fully investigate your concerns, while protecting students’ privacy.
- Teachers should discuss bullying openly in class and help students understand the importance of respect, caring about the feelings of others, and friendship.
- Ask to see your school’s code of conduct, which sets out how students, teachers, and other members of the school community should behave towards one another.
- Ask to see your school’s bullying-prevention policy. The policy outlines what the school staff can do to solve the problem.
- All school staff must report incidents of bullying to the principal. School staff who work directly with students must respond to any incidents of bullying.
- If, after a reasonable amount of time, you are not satisfied with the school’s response, you may contact the supervisory officer of your school board.
Are you looking for more bullying information? MommyMatter has done several informative articles on bullying to help put a stop to it. Check out the following articles now for further information…