Bullying in School

Addressing and preventing bullying in school needs to be a collaborative effort between teachers and parents. What is your child’s school doing to educate students about bullying? How does the school deal with students who are being aggressive, and those who are being victimized? Use the following questions as a guide to help you in your communication with your child’s school.

Questions parents can ask teachers and school administration:

On Bullying Education…

  • Do students receive information on bullying, sexual harassment and racial discrimination? Are they taught about the different roles kids/adolescents play as witnesses, participants, or instigators? Do teachers discuss with the students how gender, race, age or sexual identity can affect the rates of bullying?
  • What are the school’s policies and rules related to bullying, harassment and discrimination?
  • Has the school initiated any strategies or programs to stop bullying? For example, is there an anti-bullying/harassment committee at the school? Is the school planning a Safe School Forum this year?
  • How does the school react to bullying behaviour? Is there an immediate suspension, or are attempts made at mediation and reconciliation? When are the parents called? Are problems between students talked about at school assemblies or in the classroom? Are students allowed to speak freely about problems they are having with other students in a safe and supported environment?  

On Students’ Safety…

  • Are adults supervising students when they are on school property? How?
  • What, if any, protection can you offer my child at school?
  • Does the school have support groups for students? Is the safety of students a priority in these groups?
  • Is there a plan to provide activities and arrange the classroom and playground to reduce bullying, harassment and discrimination?
  • Does the school offer one-on-one counselling for students who are being bullied?
  • If I feel my child’s teacher/ administration is not addressing the bullying problem effectively, where can I turn?

On Student Rehabilitation…

  • If a student is suspended or expelled from school for bullying, is there a way to do homework? Is counselling made available to help the student get ready to go back to school?
  • Does the school offer one-on-one counselling for students who have problems with aggression? Can parents be a part of the counselling? Does the school teach students about peaceful, non-violent ways to solve problems?