Bullying Prevention and intervention Information An overview for school staff
Bullying takes many forms Also called harassment and includes… • Physical • Verbal • Social • Cyber • Racial • Sexual
Bullying is a major health issue with immediate and long-lasting side effects Taken from: http://www.prevnet.ca/bullying/dangers
Homophobic Bullying • Defined as bullying behaviours that are motivated by prejudice against a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity • Canadian researchers found that 3.5% of youth self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified or questioning (LGBTQ) and 7.5% of heterosexual youth acknowledged same-sex sexual behaviour (http://www.cea-ace.ca/sites/cea-ace.ca/files/EdCan-2008-v48-n1-Wells.pdf) • These youth are more likely to be victims of bullying, sexual harassment and physical abuse and face a greater risk of social isolation.
Who Experiences Homophobic Bullying? Homophobic bullying can affect anyone, may occur at any age and may be targeted at individuals: • who self-identify as non-heterosexual. • who are perceived to be non-heterosexual. • who don’t conform to conventional gender norms or stereotypes. • who have same-gender parented families or caregivers. • who are parents, coaches, teachers and community members who are non-heterosexual. Learn more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=1011
The Complexity of Bullying • Bullying is complex and reflects a problem in interpersonal and group relationships. • As bullies, youth learn to use power and aggression to control and hurt others. • As victims youth become increasingly powerless and find themselves trapped in relationships in which they are being abused. • As bystanders youth learn how power is gained by intimidation, and how control is gained through fear.
What Schools Can Do Maximize the use of evidence based prevention and intervention strategies/programs that foster healthy relationship dynamics: • Restorative Practices allow you to stop bullying in the moment while holding youth accountable and restoring social bonds. • Roots of Empathy teach important lessons about caring relationships and are evidence based to reduce bullying and aggression. • This program needs to be implemented in the early elementary grades and requires support throughout students school careers. http://www.prevnet.ca/bullying/educators/what-teachers-can-do-in-the-classroom
What School Staff Can Do • Learn to recognize bullying • Take bullying seriously • Intervene when necessary and encourage healthy relationship skills • Help students develop social skills, empathy, social responsibility and citizenship. Relationship skills are just as essential as knowing how to read and write. • Explore classroom management strategies at http://www.prevnet.ca/bullying/educators/what-teachers-can-do-in-the-classroom
Bystanders - Peers • Peers are present in over 85% of the bullying incidents • Youth who regularly see bullying are at increased risk for: • Using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety • Missing or skipping school • Peers need to learn that they play a huge role in stopping bullying http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/InfoBooth/Bullying/Are-You-A-Bystander.aspx
Bystanders – School Personnel • Silence is Complicity • School personnel play a pivotal role by choosing either to encourage the bully or to protect the victim. When bystanders intervene bullying stops; almost always (and immediately). Craig & Pepler, 1995, 1997; Hawkins et al., 2001; Vaillancourt et al., 2009
Encourage children to report bullying • When children tell, bullying decreases • Recall reporting obligations of Bill 157 • How? • Register your school in an anonymous reporting website (http://www.stopabully.ca) • Be a caring adult who is available; ask children about their peer relations; know their friends; and monitor their interactions
Preventing bullying in your school Research shows most educators choose bullying prevention programs on word of mouth, but 15% of these programs do more harm than good. Should you have questions regarding evidence based bullying programs, your Mental Health Leader is available to provide support.