33% of children in grades 4-6 admit to bullying others. (Beran & Tutty, 2002)

There is no mistaking that children can be incredibly cruel to one other, and as an educator you are likely well aware. The evening news and popular youth media remind us that aggression in schools is a pervasive issue, both locally and internationally. Studies indicate that the victimization rate in Canadian schools is between 10-20%, with a discernible increase in the past decade (Bentley & Li, 1995; Craig & Pepler, 2000).

Address bullying in your school in a constructive way.

Have prevention measures in place. These may include a clear and simple code of conduct that is visible in the classrooms and reviewed with children at the beginning of the year.

Get the topic of bullying out in the open. Have class discussions about bullying: talk about how children might handle situations assertively, avoid being bullied and how they could get help.

Make it absolutely clear that all school staff need to know about bullying that is happening in the school.

All teachers need to feel comfortable handling situations or, alternatively, know where to find support when dealing with bigger issues. Children need a consistent message about bullying from their teachers.

Implement a school-wide anti-bullying program. Enlist the help and input of children, teachers, parents, experts and the community. Initially, gather facts about bullying at your school. Later look for evidence that your program is working.

Engage parents and children in finding constructive solutions.

Provide lots of opportunities for cooperative learning, whether it be through classroom activities, extra-curricular arts, leadership roles or sports. Often children who bully have little experience cooperating and sharing in the achievement of a common goal, and being involved can help them to learn these skills.

Talk to students about bullying, violence prevention and healthy relationships.

Upload the Turn Off the Violence Activity Packages for classroom activities on violence prevention (Elementary, Junior High and High School Activity Packages available)

Acquire reliable resources for educating the school community about bullying.

If an incident is taking place, calmly intervene and diffuse the situation immediately.

Form a child welcoming committee for children who are new to your school. This will provide an instant sense of belonging for the new child and prevent feelings of vulnerability.

Look out for children who are having social problems and offer support.

Maintain a fun, interactive schoolyard with lots of things to engage children. Unsupervised times are the kindling for bullying.

Provincial Resources for Parents:
Or call 1-866-408-LINK; Growing Miracles is a free book for parents of children age six and younger. They are available at any Community Health Centre.
Look for ‘Turn Off The Violence’ activity packages.

Other Useful Websites: