Bullying is a major problem for Canadian children and one we cannot ignore. As bullying rates in Canada remain higher than 2/3 of Western countries, impacting social relationships, well-being, and overall health, the importance of bullying prevention policy has never been stronger.
Each province and territory defines bullying differently and all have their own legislation or policies to address the issue. PREVNet provides an online resource to learn more about how the law deals with bullying in each province or territory and your rights and responsibilities as a parent and an educator.
But bullying prevention is not just about eliminating bullying—it is also about promoting the development of healthy relationships. The goal is to help ensure that all children and youth have healthy, safe, respectful and caring relationships with everyone in their lives.
A Whole School Approach is the most effective approach to preventing bullying and promoting healthy relationships. Children’s learning depends on having positive relationships at school. When everyone works together for a safe, inclusive, and accepting school, children and youth receive consistent messages and responses about bullying and positive relationships at school, at home, in sports, in recreation centres, and in the neighbourhood.
And while bullying frequently happens at school, it is a community problem. A Whole School Approach is more effective when community partners are involved. Messages about bullying prevention are improved and more impactful when it comes from a diverse group people who children and youth respect. Involving the community helps to ensure that youth get consistent messages everywhere they live, learn, play, and work.
Implementing a School Bully Prevention Plan
School boards and schools require bullying policies and plans. A bullying prevention school board policy and school plan is essential for coordinated and consistent efforts to prevent and address bullying.
A board policy establishes the framework for bullying prevention with:
- a definition of the problem
- a statement of importance
- implementation and evaluation plans
Read more about how to implement a school plan in our Bullying Prevention and Intervention in the School Environment: Factsheets and Tools document. And, use the Bullying Prevention Policies and Procedures Checklist tool to make sure you have an evidence-based and comprehensive plan.