Core School Components
Effective anti-bullying programs in other countries have core program elements. Throughout each element, a basic anti-bullying message like ‘bullying is not accepted in our class/school, and we will see to it that it comes to an end’ is demonstrated. Core elements are:
Adult Awareness and Involvement
- Adults at the school and home are aware of the extent of bullying/victimizing problems in the school. Majority of staff are clearly committed to participate actively in program; they share a common understanding of bullying/sexual harassment/racial discrimination and intervene in a consistent manner.
- Parents are strongly engaged in improving the situation.
- Partnerships are developed with community agencies.
School Level Interventions
- Start early – Kindergarten, grade 1; grade 8 for sexual harassment.
- Yearly student (Grades 4-7, Grades 8-12), teacher, parent surveys – to assess nature and prevalence of bullying, sexual harassment, racial discrimination.
- Safe School Conference Day – discuss survey results, program components, plan implementation.
- Coordinated supervision of students before/after school, during recess, lunch – in problem areas.
- Bullying Prevention Coordinating Group – representation from teachers, school administrator, guidance counselor, school mental health professional, parents, students.
- Meetings among staff and parents – to foster active involvement, provide information.
- General and individual interventions.
Class Level Interventions
- Establishment and enforcement of class rules against bullying, sexual harassment, racial discrimination.
- Regular class meetings with students – to discuss varied aspects of bullying and other anti-social behaviours, adherence to class rules; engage students in variety of activities to gain understanding for harm caused to victims, strategies to combat bullying; integrated into school curriculum
- Gender-specific – adolescent boys are much more likely to be involved in physical bullying (as perpetrators and victims), sexual harassment against girls, and homophobic harassment of male peers. Boys are much less empathetic towards the needs of victims compared to girls. Girls, on the other hand, are much more likely to be involved in social forms of bullying, both as aggressors and victims. They are also most likely to intervene to stop bullying.
- Meetings with parents of a class – to foster active involvement.
Individual Level Interventions
- Teacher, peer intervention to stop bullying and support victimized students.
- Serious talks with students who bully and victimized students – to ensure bullying stops and victimized students get support to avoid future acts of bullying.
- Serious talks with parents of involved students.
- Counselling/support services for students who bully and victimized students (school-based and referral) using cognitive-behavioural approach.
- Gender-responsive – girls and boys involvement in bullying, sexual harassment and racial discrimination is very different.