Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

November 17-23 is Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week across Canada.

In this post, we will explore some of the basics of what constitutes bullying and how you can play a positive role in preventing bullying and supporting people who have been targeted.

Jump to the bottom to see information on bullying awareness and prevention courses available to students and teachers!

What is bullying?

Bullying can happen to anyone. It is repeated mean, cruel, hurtful behaviours done on purpose by someone with more power.

Bullying can take many forms, such as:

  • Physical – hitting, shoving, stealing or damaging property
  • Verbal – name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist or homophobic comments
  • Social – excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
  • Written – writing notes or signs that are hurtful or insulting
  • Electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of cellphones, e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites

If you witness bullying

There are many things you can do to create spaces that are free from bullying.

If you are a bystander, you have the power to help in 3 ways:

  1. Stay and help
    • Tell the person who is bullying to stop.
    • Help the person targeted feel supported by speaking up for them when it is safe to do so.
    • Call 911 if the situation is violent and the person being bullied is in immediate danger.
  2. Leave and get help
    • Find someone who has the skills and authority to help such as a teacher, supervisor, police officer or coach.
    • Share what you saw and heard with the person who can help.
  3. After the incident, support the person targeted
    • Let them know that they do not deserve to be treated that way and it is not their fault.
    • Connect them with someone who can help prevent future incidents, like a supervisor, human resources person, teacher or coach.
    • Whenever possible, include them in your future activities.

If you experience bullying

If you are experiencing bullying, you do not have to accept it or just hope it stops on its own.

If you are being bullied, there are 4 ways you can take action:

  1. Tell someone you trust
    • There are people who can help. You do not have to deal with this alone.
    • Talk to someone you trust, such as the Bullying Helpline or a trusted friend, teacher, coach, co-worker or human resource person.
    • You may need to contact the police if the bullying is severe and includes threats or physical violence.
  2. Stay safe
    • Do not fight back – it can make the problem worse.
    • Be assertive and stand up for yourself by telling the person to stop.
    • Try to remain calm and leave the area.
  3. Find support in your community
    • Contact the Bullying Helpline to find supports.
    • Spend time with friends, family or colleagues who support you.
  4. Know your rights
    • You have the right to feel safe. Schools, workplaces and other organizations have a legal responsibility to protect you from bullying.
    • Check the bullying prevention policies and codes of conduct for your school, workplace, sports team and other community organizations.
    • Learn about the laws to protect you from bullying.

Helplines and Resources

Below are some of the resources available to help you combat bullying and deal with its harmful effects.

Anywhere in Canada:

Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.

In Alberta:

  • Bullying Helpline: 1-888-456-2323 to get help anonymously in more than 170 languages or find other supports.
  • Bullying Helpline Chat to get help anonymously from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Alberta GSA Network: GSAs are school-based clubs that work to create welcoming, caring, respectful and safe spaces for students of diverse genders and sexual orientations (LGBTQ2S+) and their allies in schools.
  • Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642 for mental health advice 24/7.

In Saskatchewan:

  • Report Bullying SK: this online tool allows students to anonymously report bullying experiences.
    • It is safe and confidential. Your online report will be anonymous if you do not include your name or contact information.
    • Your school division’s coordinator will be notified and follow-up on the situation as soon as possible.
    • If you have experienced it firsthand or have witnessed someone else being bullied – reach out.

New Course: Cyberbullying and Digital Citizenship

Cyberbullying, like any form of bullying, can be damaging to the self-esteem, reputation and emotional/mental health of the person targeted. However, cyberbullying can be relentless in ways that face-to-face bullying is not – it can reach a victim anywhere at any time.

This is why our course provider and Founding Partner, SWIFT Learning, worked with subject matter experts to develop our newest course, Cyberbullying and Digital Citizenship.

Cyberbullying and Digital Citizenship has been designed for everyone from Parents, Teachers, Adults, to Youth alike.

Upon completion of this two-hour course students will be able to:

  • Recognize cyberbullying and online mistreatment
  • Identify a Cyber Bully, what they do and who they affect
  • Identify the technologies used to mistreat online
  • Apply effective strategies to prevent mistreatment
  • Apply effective strategies if it happens
  • Help reduce the harm
  • Develop a strong sense of digital citizenship and
  • Build resiliency for all

This course is now available to all Safety in Schools users for free through our SWIFT Learning Library!

See Course Description.

Teacher-Orientated Course Available

SWIFT Learning has also worked closely with industry expert Stan Davis to develop their Bullying Prevention course, aimed at teachers and other educators.

Upon completion of this two-hour course, teachers/educators will be able to:

  • Strengthen a positive, inclusive school environment
  • Use effective strategies to reduce mistreatment and increase helpful behaviors
  • Help mistreating youth to change
  • Build resiliency for all
  • Support youth who are mistreated
  • Support positive actions by peers

This course is not available through our Safety in Schools library, but can be purchased through SWIFT Learning at a recently reduced rate of $25 per course.

Visit www.swiftlearning.com to learn more.

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