Hadley Junior High School and Philemon Wright High School are committed to providing a safe, caring and harmonious environment that fosters respect for all members of the school community. Our schools aspire to fulfill a commitment to safer schools by fostering an atmosphere of respect, understanding, and encouragement between all who teach, work and learn in the school, so that the development and contribution of every individual can be acknowledged, and all can work together to benefit personal growth and the common good.
What is Bullying?
Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, provides this commonly accepted definition for bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. The definition of “bullying behvaiours” at Hadley and Philemon Wright is: “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”
This definition includes three important components:
- Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Types of Bullying
Bullying can take on many forms:
- Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and name calling;
- Bullying through social exclusion or isolation;
- Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting;
- Bullying through lies and false rumors;
- Having money or other things personal property/belongings/possessions taken or damaged by students who bully;
- Being threatened or being forced to do things by students who bully;
- Racial bullying;
- Sexual bullying, harassment, unwanted advances, inappropriate touching, and;
- Cyber-bullying (bullying behavior via cell-phone, Internet, etc…).
Types of Violence
Violence can take on many forms:
- Verbal or written violence including derogatory comments and name calling;
- Physical violence such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting;
- Abusive relationship when dating
- Sexual violence such as inappropriate touch or threats;
- Vandalism, and;
- Cyber-violence (negative, targeted behavior via cell-phone, Internet, etc…).
School Community Responsibilities
At Hadley Junior High School and Philemon Wright High School there is a culture where effective programs and policies communicate to all students and staff the message that bullying-type behaviour will not accepted or tolerated.
Responsibilities of staff
- To act as appropriate role models for all staff and students;
- To take every precaution to ensure that students are supervised at all times;
- To reinforce the message that bullying is not accepted or tolerated;
- To be observant of signs of distress or suspected incidents of bullying; To treat all reports or observed incidences of bullying seriously by reporting them immediately the appropriate administrator or to any staff member;
- Providing and fostering an environment where students they feel they can speak to staff about their concerns.
Responsibilities of students:
- To behave appropriately, respecting individual differences and diversity – to take a stand against bullying;
- To participate in anti-bullying peer and counseling groups;
- To attend anti-bullying information/training and support workshop/assemblies;
- To report and inform (parents/guardians, school staff, friends) if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied –whether it occurs at school and away to and from school;
- To help someone who is being bullied by taking a stand – reporting and supporting;
- To stand up and help someone being bullied.
Responsibilities of parents:
- To watch for signs that their child may be the victim of bullying;
- To watch for signs that their child is exhibiting bullying behavior;
- To speak to the Youth Counsellor, Teacher, or the Administrator if their child is being bullied, or if they suspect that this is happening;
- To seek advice from the Youth Counselor and or Administrator if they suspect that their child is bullying others;
- To encourage open conversations with adults if they are bullied or suspect others are bullying
- To encourage their children to tell a responsible adult if they are bullied. Students can expect that their concerns will be responded to by the school staff and that they will be provided with appropriate support (for both the victims of and those responsible for the behaviour).
Procedure for Reporting All Bullying-Type Behaviours
If someone witnesses what they believe to be bullying-type behaviours towards a member of our school community they can use the following steps as a guideline for action:
- It is important to report any incidence of bullying. All students, staff and parents MUST report any incidents of bullying.
- Document (in writing or via email) all incidents of bullying behaviours/violent behaviours (describe: a) what happened, b) between who, c) where it happened, d) when it happened, e) why it happened.
- Bring the incident report to the attention of a teacher, counselor, or principal.
- Reported incidents are investigated first by the Administration. The alleged student(s) committing the bullying-type behaviour and the victim are interviewed separately.
- All potential witnesses are interviewed by the Administration.
- ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH Administration and staff are CONFIDENTIAL. NAMES of any victims/witnesses are never released.
- Victims and/or parents are asked their perspective and their opinion on potential interventions by school staff before interventions take place.
- If any degree of bullying has occurred the following action will be taken: support/consequences and counseling will be given as is appropriate to both the victim and the student(s).
- Students, in particular senior students, involved in our mentoring program and teachers, can assist in countering bullying.
- All staff/students have a responsibility to maintain the safety and welfare of fellow students. This means we must all take this policy document seriously.
Follow-Up (All incidents of bullying are viewed as serious)
- We will support the victim in the following ways:
- Offering immediate support and the opportunity to talk about the experience with a school counselor.
- Informing the victim’s parents/guardians (while also respecting the victims’ privacy).
- Offering continuing support as needed.
- Incidents or reports of bullying will be documented.
- Taking one or more of the steps described below to prevent the reoccurrence of bullying.
- We will try to prevent a reoccurrence of bullying in the following ways:
- Our schools provide a range of effective programs to ensure a safe and secure environment promoting personal growth and excellence in all students. Our goal is to develop confidence and self-esteem to empower students to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. As part of this, an anti-bullying and anti-violence message is consistently communicated to students.
- Conducting on initial Investigation as outlined in the Responsabilities section above.
- By making available to the student(s) counseling services.
- Ensuring just and strict school consequences for student(s) committing the bullying-type behaviour. The following are the disciplinary steps the school’s Administration will follow:
- Official warning to stop offending (verbal and written) to the students and parents.
- A student may be automatically suspended from school if the act of bullying is considered severe regardless if there have been previous issues.
- In the case of a serious incident of bullying, parents of both the victim and the student(s) committing the bullying-type behaviour are notified. The parents of both the victim and the student(s) committing the bullying-type behaviour are informed of the allegations and are also informed about the student’s responses to these allegations (verbal and written).
- If they do not stop engaging in bullying behaviours after any warning from school staff, students will be suspended from school.
- Students who bully others may face one or more of the following consequences:
- Involvement in mediation;
- Referral to the school counselor;
- Parents will be contacted by the school;
- Recommendation for an out-of-school assessment;
- Referral to Gatineau Police;
- Privileges will be withdrawn (e.g. exclusion from school, school activities, school services), and;
- Sanctions outlined in the School’s Discipline Policy such as detention and suspension.
Note: The school will also refer to the Western Quebec School Board’s “Safe Schools Policy”.
Note: Please see Appendix A Bullying Reporting Form to be used by students and parents. Parents and students may also report an incident of bullying or any violent/hurtful incident students and parents by emailing concerns directly to firstname.lastname@example.org