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Bullying Prevention Strategies That Work: The Durham District School Board Success Story


What would Canadian schools look like if their safe schools strategies were evidence-based? The Durham District School Board’s 131 public schools are already on their way. Recently, PREVNet had the opportunity to catch up with this school board’s safe schools team about their decision to adapt the PREVNet document Bullying Prevention and Intervention in the School Environment: Factsheets and Tools (2014), by Dr. Debra Pepler and Dr. Wendy Craig, to find out how adapting evidence-based tools can achieve big results.

How did they do it?

The safe schools team chose to create a PowerPoint presentation based on the content of this PREVNet tool so that they could share it with the administration and staff in their board. The slideshow they created, entitled Bullying Prevention and Intervention Planning was used at the board level to teach safe schools trainers and members of administration, who then took it to schools to be delivered in staff meetings. This format was effective because it allowed school staff to pull and use key slides based on the needs in their school. Slides used most often by schools featured definitions, steps to intervention and responding to bullying. This PREVNet tool was also used to inform the Durham board’s bullying prevention and intervention plan template, as well as their safe schools student safety plan.

Taking tools like this and adapting them to suit your context is important for success. The Durham board received great feedback from schools and administrators, and they plan to continue to use this document to inform their safe schools training, as well as board policies and procedures related to bullying, restorative practice and healthy relationships. For Durham, these resources have helped frame their thinking, and they have seen them provide a voice for both parents and students to express their concerns in new ways, while also providing information and tools for teachers.

Now it’s your turn.

Whatever your connection to promoting healthy relationships for youth, the Durham story stands out as an example of adapting evidence-based tools to suit your organization’s needs. The PREVNet website has a number of different resources that can be used to learn more about bullying and how to prevent it. PREVNet remains committed to promoting tools that are supported by research and we’re here to help you use them. By using strategies that work, we can stop bullying in Canada and promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Durham District School Board’s safe schools website

View the presentation they created here

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