At HCDSB, we believe that safe, caring and inclusive learning environments where all students feel a positive sense of belonging are necessary conditions for student achievement, well-being and faith formation. We are committed to creating and maintaining safe, caring, and inclusive schools through appropriate prevention and intervention practices.
What is Bullying?
The Ministry of Education defines Bullying as:
“…a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour 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 different forms, including:
- Physical: hitting, shoving, stealing or damaging property
- Verbal: name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist, or homophobic, transphobic, and/or any derogatory or profane comments
- Social: excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
- Electronic (cyberbullying): spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of cellphones, e-mail, text messaging, gaming platforms and through social media
Bullying of any type:
- adversely affects a student’s ability to learn;
- adversely affects healthy relationships and the learning environment for students, staff and community members;
- adversely affects a school’s ability to educate its students;
- adversely affects a school’s ability to provide an equitable and inclusive learning environment;
- will not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses, or in any other circumstances (i.e. online/virtual space, off school property, or outside the regular school day) where engaging in bullying will have a negative impact on the learning environment.
Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
Our HCDSB Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan was developed to promote a system-wide approach to ensuring a safe, inclusive and accepting learning environments in each of our schools, free of bullying, harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate behaviours.
The plan is made up of four parts:
- Education, Awareness and Outreach – so that all students, families and staff can identify bullying behaviours
- Evaluation of Evidence – to ensure that strategies are evidence-based
- Prevention – training, programs, education on creating and sustaining safe and welcoming schools
- Intervention and Support Strategies – processes and strategies to address and respond to bullying when it happens
Our Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan is reviewed regularly in accordance with Policy II-40 Bullying Prevention & Intervention.