Ontario has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment.
During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week – November 17-23, 2019 – Ontario students, school staff, parents and the entire school community are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being.
Bullying is defined as a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.
Students may attain or maintain power over others in the school through real or perceived differences. Some areas of difference may be size, strength, age, intelligence, economic status, social status, solidarity of peer group, religion, ethnicity, disability, need for special education, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender and race.
Bullying can take many forms, such as physical, verbal, social and electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) and can occur wherever children gather and adult supervision is low - and that includes the school bus.
Playgrounds, the internet, cafeterias, restrooms, school change rooms and even school buses provide an environment for bullying to take place. After all, bullies have a small, confined space, a captive audience, a victim who cannot simply walk away and a bus driver whose primary job is to keep their attention on the road and drive without distraction. This often results in children who are bullied on the bus being entirely missed by the only grown-up present.
What Students Can Do
All students should practice safe and responsible bus riding behaviour:
Students who experience bullying should:
Students who witness bullying should:
What Parents Can Do
Since kids who are bullied often don’t tell anyone what is happening to them, it is important to look for signs of bullying such as being anxious about getting on the bus or mentioning kids messing with them. It’s always best to dig a little deeper and find out if your child is being bullied.
If your child is being bullied:
What School Bus Drivers Can Do
Ministry of Education: Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/preventio...
Verywellfamily: How to Make School Buses Bully-Proof https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-make-school-...
POPSUGAR Family: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now If Your Child Is Being Bullied on the Bus https://www.popsugar.com/family/What-Do-You-Do-You...
PREVNet: What School Bus Drivers Need To Know https://www.prevnet.ca/bullying/educators/what-sch...