It is everyone's responsibility to act respectfully, to behave responsibly, and to address bullying whenever and wherever it arises.
This is York Region District School Board strategy to address bullying:
Educate - We are committed to recognizing, responding to and resolving bullying. Education is key.
Communicate - We are committed to delivering a strong message to students and parents and the community: bullying is everyone's problem and everyone's responsibility.
Trust - We are committed to and recognize the importance of trusting relationships as the foundation for the Board Anti-Bullying Strategy.
We are committed to recognizing, responding to and resolving bullying. Education is key.
- Ensure common and accurate understanding of what is and is not bullying for staff, families and students.
- Staff and students trained in electronic bullying and anti-bullying (the role of the student who bullies, the student who has been bullied, the bystander and the up-stander), as well as digital citizenship.
- Well-Being School Teams comprised of staff, students, family members and community members in all schools.
- Social, emotional and academic learning supports available in all schools, through the Mental Health and Well-Being Team and Caring and Safe Schools Consultant.
- Accessibility of programs in all schools, such as Restorative Practices, Roots of Empathy, character development and resiliency training.
- Students trained in the use of reporting tools and educated about the importance of using them (including Report It Button).
- Cultural, racial, socio-economic sensitivity, accessibility, and knowledge of the YRDSB Equity Action Plan.
- Support for mental health and addiction needs.
- Positive space for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, queer and questioning) students, staff, family members, community members and allies of the LGBTQ community.
We are committed to delivering a strong message to students, family members and the community: bullying impacts everyone and is everyone's responsibility.
Information resources on bullying provided to family members and the community:
- Family, newcomer and community education sessions developed and delivered.
- A Board Code of Student Conduct developed and all School Codes of Student Conduct revised, in partnership with students and family members, to include anti-bullying strategies.
- Anti-bullying included as a School Council topic in all schools.
- Ongoing system and school-based measurement and monitoring of program effectiveness (School Climate survey, Every Student Counts survey, reports to the YRDSB Anti-Bullying Working Group).
- Continue to ensure community membership in Anti-bullying Working Group to support anti-bullying and mental health and well-being.
- Information on how to navigate through a bullying situation available for staff, students and family members.
- Investigate and tackle the bystander effect to promote student up-standing behavior with developmentally-appropriate whole school and curriculum resources.
We are committed to and recognize the importance of trusting relationships as the foundation for the Board Anti-Bullying Strategy.
- Staff respond directly to, or secure assistance in bullying situations.
- Create and support a school culture that increases a sense of connectedness and belonging.
- Create and support processes in all schools to provide student and family voice.
- Accessibility to trusted adults for all students, especially those who are vulnerable, those who bully and those who are bullied.
- Create a culture that values and respects students with exceptionalities.
- Fair, equitable and bias-free discipline processes, including, but not limited to, restorative approaches, progressive discipline and mediation.
- Safety plans developed and available.
- Crimestoppers and Board confidential web-based reporting system (Report It Button) for student, family and community use.
Review of the Ontario Ministry of Education Mandate
Education plays a critical role in preparing young people to grow up as productive, contributing and constructive citizens in the diverse society of Ontario. This can best happen when all students feel safe at school in a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.
Not only is a healthy, safe and inclusive learning environment where all students feel accepted a necessary condition for student success; but, students cannot be expected to reach their full potential in an environment where they feel insecure or intimidated. This is particularly true for students who may be more vulnerable.
Because bullying is a relationship problem, it will take all of us to address bullying: government, educators, school staff, parents, students and the wider community. Each has a role to play in creating a positive school climate and preventing inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying, sexual assault, gender-based violence
In order to achieve this, we need to focus our collective efforts and strategies in numerous ways, including:
- The creation of inclusive and caring school climates that discourage and prevent inappropriate behaviour
- Providing the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values for the development of critical consciousness
- An open and ongoing dialogue amongst the educational community, including students and parents – all voices need to inform the work
- Stronger support for all participants in bullying and inappropriate behaviour situations. There is a need to assist them in developing healthy relationships, making good choices, continuing their learning and achieving success.
- Support for students who wish to work toward more inclusive environments, such as GSAs.
- Addressing inappropriate pupil behaviour and promoting early intervention
- Establishing disciplinary approaches that promote positive behaviour and use measures that include appropriate consequences and supports for pupils to address inappropriate behaviour.