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 and parents 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.
Schools are encouraged to use this opportunity to explain the different forms bullying can take. These include:
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
Electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of cellphones, e-mail, text messaging and through social media.