Free To Be Me

School Anti-bullying Program

Rationale

To develop a comprehensive anti-bullying program that fosters a safer and more inclusive learning and working school climate."Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse - emotional, verbal and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation.The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target."Bullying is abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality or ability."  (Source:  http://www.stopabully.ca)

Successful Interventions Require a Whole School and Community Approach

"The comprehensive community approach involving the broader community may enhance the effectiveness of whole school interventions." "1. Intervention at three levels - the whole school population, students who were just beginning to bully or be bullied and students with serious bullying or victimization behaviours.2. Address the attitudes, behaviours and interpersonal and emotional skills of students.3. Involve parents in the initiative. 4. Involve the larger community."(Source:  http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-sante/bullying-intimidation/prevention-eng.php)

Safe Schools Are Everyone's Responsibility - Ontario Ministry of Education

 The expectations from the Ontario Ministry of Education are that respect and responsibility are at the heart of safe schools in the province."Respect:  respect differences in people and in their ideas and opinions;treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, especially in disagreement;respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;respect the rights of others;show proper care for school property and the property of others;take appropriate measures to help those in need;respect persons who are in a position of authority;respect the need of others to work in an environment of learning and teaching."Responsibility:  As a student, there are certain responsibilities. "These include: coming to school on time and being ready to learn;showing respect for yourself, for others and for those in authority;not bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;following the rules and taking responsibility for your actions." (Sources:  http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/safeschl/eng/student.html                  http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/equity.pdf)

Bullying, Cyberbullying and the Law

Cyberbullying can have legal implications, as well as social implications. It is important that all education stakeholders know the facts.  As part of this anti-bullying initiative, the regional police service will make presentations to the various stakeholder groups in our school community:  students, parentst and staff."Bullying, including cyberbullying, can take many forms. Some forms, such as name-calling, teasing, belittling and social exclusion, are familiar and may be hurtful but are not criminal offences. However, bullying and cyberbullying conduct can escalate to more serious activities that are criminal offences under the Criminal Code, including criminal harassment (section 264); uttering threats (section 264.1); intimidation (subsection 423(1)); mischief in relation to data (subsection 430(1.1)); unauthorized use of computer (section 342.1); identity fraud (section 403); extortion (section 346); false messages, indecent or harassing telephone calls (section 372); counselling suicide (section 241); incitement of hatred (section 319); child pornography (section 163.1); and defamatory libel (sections 298-301).More recently, a new form of cyberbullying has emerged that is not covered by the criminal law. It involves the distribution of intimate (sexual) images without the consent of the person depicted in the image. Sometimes the motivation is to take revenge on a former partner (sometimes colloquially referred to as "revenge porn"). Young people are increasingly exchanging intimate images consensually, which is a problem in itself, but one that is exacerbated if those images later become fodder for humiliating cyberbullying attacks involving non-consensual distribution or so-called "sexploitation."(Source: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2013/doc_32995.html).