Board launches bullying awareness video
The Peel District School Board will recognize Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week from Nov. 19 to 23. Schools will participate in different activities and initiatives to help spread the message that bullying is not tolerated. Students will be encouraged to Choose Action, this year’s theme. The board will also debut a new bullying awareness video for schools to use. It will be available on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
“We take the issue of bullying very seriously,” says Jerry Powidajko, superintendent of leadership development & school support services at the Peel board. “This week is an excellent chance for schools to bring attention to the number of resources that are available to students and parents. Everyone has a duty to ‘choose action’ and report bullying if they believe it is happening.”
At Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga, students will hear from a youth empowerment rapper named Duane Gibson. Gibson, also known as D.O. is a Canadian rapper and Guinness World Record holder for the longest freestyle rap. He will share stories and life lessons with students about how he confronted bullies and dealt with issues including racism. D.O. will present to students on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at two assemblies.
In Brampton, students at Eagle Plains Public School will march through the community on Nov. 23 at 9:30 a.m. to demonstrate their pride for being a bully-free-zone. Prior to the march, students will partake in a school-wide flash mob to the song Spirit Indestructible by Nelly Futado. In addition to the Friday activities, an artificial cow will be in the main hall all week with a sign that reminds students not to be a ‘cow-ard’ and to stand up to bullying.
Belfountain Public School in Caledon will expand their student-run anti-bullying campaign to the entire school. Last year, a few students started an anti-bullying club, which includes a website and blog. The club aims to raise awareness of bullying and provide an outlet for important discussions about bullying to take place. On Wednesday, Nov. 21, all students will have a chance to sign up for the club. The goal is to get 100 per cent participation. On this day, all students will wear a student-designed anti-bullying t-shirt, and sign a plaque that will hang in the hallway as a school-wide pledge against bullying.
Across the Peel board, schools use many programs and initiatives to prevent bullying and to intervene when bullying happens. Students are taught to:
- define bullying
- identify forms of bullying
- identify roles in bullying relationships, for example the person who bullies, the target, the
- bystander or the trusted advocate
- identify strategies for addressing bullying
Every school has a Climate for Learning and Working Team which is required to develop a Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan as part of the School Success Plan. Also, every employee who is involved in the care and service of students is obligated to report in writing to the school administration any action for which the principal must consider suspension or expulsion. Bullying is an offence that must be considered for suspension. The Peel bullying awareness video, and resources are available at www.peelschools.org/aboutus/safeschools/bullying
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week is one of the key items contained in Bill 13: The Accepting Schools Act, that came into effect on September 1, 2012. For more information, visit: www.peelschools.org/aboutus/safeschools/bullying/ or www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/prevention.html
Jerry Powidajko, Superintendent of Leadership Development & School Support Services, firstname.lastname@example.org, 908-890-1010, ext. 2635
Sumble Kaukab, Vice-Principal, Clarkson Secondary School, 905-822-6700, email@example.com
Lynn O’Halloran, Prinicpal, Eagle Plains Public School, 905-793-4969, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Kaake, Acting Principal, Belfountain Public School, 519-927-5212, email@example.com
Reference: Scott LaMantia, School Communications Specialist (acting), firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-890-1010, ext. 2098