In response to this public health issue the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) provided funding to the Canadian Public Health Association for research and development of its project “Criteria of Best Practices and Evaluation Tools for Anti-bullying Programs.”

The primary objectives of this project included:

  • Identify the criteria for best practices in Anti-bullying programs
  • Develop an evaluation framework and outcome-measure tools
  • Set-up a web site on Anti-bullying Program Evaluation and Best Practice Criteria
  • Distribute findings that will allow programs to adopt criteria for best practices and implement the evaluation framework.
The goal is to engage partners in health, education, justice, social services, parents/guardians and youth in the development and testing of an evaluation framework and identification of the criteria of best practices for school-based anti-bullying/harassment programs.

In preparation for this project CPHA undertook preliminary research on the impact on students of zero-tolerance policies on bullying. Its findings, published in a discussion paper entitled “Bullying, School Exclusion and Literacy” indicate that a warm and caring school culture develops a strong personal sense of school membership. Feelings of membership in turn improve academic and behavioural functioning. The discussion paper also brought forward findings to indicate that an emotionally supportive school acts as a protective factor serving to buffer children from family problems, negative peers and environmental risks. This research provided the foundation to CPHA’s “Criteria for Best Practices and Evaluation Tools for Anti-bullying Programs.” This project was comprised of two components: a “CPHA Safe School Study” and the development of an “Assessment Toolkit for Bullying, Harassment and Peer Relations at School.