#Children's Rights
Edmonton Public Schools, School Board Trustees, Alberta Parliment Members

Identifying bullying behaviour

Below are some warning signs to
help identify if a person may be
engaging in bullying behaviour:

• Not understanding or caring if someone is hurt.
• Unexplained increase of money, clothing or other items.
• Boasting about taunting someone.
• Passing off teasing as a joke.
• Laughing when others get hurt.
• Demonstrating aggressive behaviour.
• Grouping together with some individuals and intentionally leaving others out (e.g., isolating, shunning).
• Name-calling.
Bullying is the misuse of power intended to harm or humiliate someone else. People of all ages may engage in bullying behaviours.
• Punching, shoving, teasing, spreading bad rumours, keeping certain people out of a group, getting certain people to "gang-up" on others are all forms of bullying

“Bullying is NOT a normal part of growing up”
Alberta’s Teachers Association 2006

The onus is on the schools and school staff to protect children from all bullying behavior under “Loco Parentis” doctrine “to act in place of parent” and the Edmonton City Anti-bullying Bylaw.

Respect Group was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Respect Group is made up of a team of 30 talented individuals whose passion is to create a global culture of Respect.
We have enlisted pre-eminent experts to develop a best in class curriculum and e-learning platform. Expert content and a professional online training and certification model round out Respect Group’s fully outsourced risk management behaviour-change solutions for sport, schools and the workplace.
Respect in School is an online bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination prevention training tool, developed for School Leaders: teachers, administrators, educational assistants, counselors, custodians, school bus drivers, parent volunteers, or any individuals who interact with students.
This uniquely crafted curriculum provides the information and skills that School Leaders require to understand, prevent and respond to incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD).

• When bystanders intervene, they can stop bullying in less than 10 seconds.
• Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults occur to children under the age of 17.
• Canada has the 9th highest rate of bullying in the 13-years-olds category
on a scale of 35 countries.
• At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently.
• Over 80% of the time, bullying happens with peers around.
• 89% of teachers said bullying and violence are serious problems in our public schools.
• 25% of children in grades 4 to 6 have been bullied

Consequences of a Bullied child

Bullying can cause serious harm:
• Bullying can cause serious harm. Individuals may experience physical symptoms, social isolation or increased difficulty with school achievement.
• When bullying behaviour leads to toxic stress, it can negatively impact a child’s developing brain and result in behavioural and social-emotional difficulties.
• Widespread bullying behaviour creates an environment of fear and hostility that negatively impacts the feelings, social experience and learning of all students.
• Bullying behaviours are learned and should not be considered a ‘normal part of growing up.’ Without intervention, bullying behaviours tend to remain constant or escalate rather than improve as individuals get older. The type of bullying behaviour changes as children grow older and can differ between boys and girls.

Bullying Statistics

In a study of students aged 10-17 years old:
• approximately 10% engaged in chronic, high levels of bullying;
• 35% reported a consistent pattern of moderate level bullying; and
• 42% reported that they had never bullied others.
The research found that children who bully others frequently were establishing a way of interacting that could carry on into adulthood. These children used aggression and power to get what they want and to control others. It was more likely that these children: were in conflict with their parents, had peers who bullied, had a higher susceptibility to peer pressure, and lacked remorse for hurting others.
• 1 in 3 adolescent students report being bullied in the last 3 months.
• Bullying behaviour peaks for boys in Grade 9 at 37% and in grades 8 and 9 for girls at 28%
• In a 2006 study, 39% of students reported that they bullied, and 20% reported both bullying and being bullied themselves.
Source: Boyce, William F. (2006). “Healthy Settings for Young People in Canada”. Public Health Agency of Canada at 93-94.
• 47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying (Bully Free Alberta)
• 25 per cent of students say that teachers intervene. (Red cross Canada)
• Over half of bullied children do not report being bullied to a teacher. (Red cross Canada)
• For boys, bullying behaviour peaks in grade nine at 47 per cent (Red cross Canada)
• girls in grades six, eight and nine at 37 per cent (Red cross Canada)

Epsos Poll

Question One:
“How effective do you feel each of the following interventions
would be at preventing or reducing bullying?”

• Peer pressure by those who witness or hear about acts of bullying 92%
• Counseling and direct intervention by teachers, administrators or school-based conflict resolution experts 90%
• Intervention by parents either to protect their child or to stop their child from abusing others 90%
• Guidance and support from an adult mentor 87%
• Public awareness programs for children and teenagers designed to encourage them not to bully and to intervene when they witness acts of bullying 84%
• Stronger legislation against acts of bullying and stricter enforcement of those laws 76%
• Internet campaigns to identify and discourage bullies 72%

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, an organization that provides mentorship to students, commissioned Harris Decima to perform a public opinion poll on the issue of bullying in February, 2012.
The poll surveyed 1,034 participants across Canada aged 18 and older.
The findings are as follows:

• 95 per cent of Canadian adults surveyed believe people have a responsibility to take action to stop bullies.
• 89 per cent believe bullying poses a serious threat to the long-term well-being of children and teenagers.
• 50 per cent of Canadian adults surveyed were bullied as a child or teenager.
• 62 per cent of those who were bullied believe they would have benefited from having a volunteer adult mentor to help them cope.
• Nearly a third (30 per cent) think the abuse they suffered had a lasting harmful effect.
• 87 per cent of adults surveyed agree that action to reduce bullying strengthens communities over time.

Question Two:
“How serious a problem do you think bullying is in each of the
following facets of life in Canada?”

Very serious or
Moderately serious Not too serious
Elementary school
88% 10%
Middle school/High school 94% 4%

Alberta Statistics In 2008, 2010, and 2012, Ipsos Reid polled residents of Alberta as part of the “Alberta Children and Youth Services: Albertans’ Perceptions of Family Violence and Bullying Survey.”
The intent was to measure public knowledge of bullying and family violence, determine prevalence of bullying and family violence in the media, and glean information for future direction with regards to public awareness and education strategies in the prevention of bullying and family violence. In 2008, 1,571 people aged 16 and older were polled. 119 When surveying for attitudes about bullying,
• 91% said the prevention of bullying should be a high community priority, and
• 83% said the provincial government should make it a high priority
• The survey also asked those polled to identify different behaviours that constitute bullying. When presented with a list of behaviours, the category that received the greatest percentage was “verbal abuse,” at 69%. Physical bullying was a close second at 68%, while cyberbullying was only chosen by 7% of people.

The Alberta Teachers Association (ATA Website) quotes:
Safe and caring schools a guide for teachers:
Developed under agreement with the Minister of Education
Province of Alberta, Canada
The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities, 11010 142 Street NW, Edmonton T5N 2R1. © 1999 by the Alberta Teachers’ Association. © 2005 by the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities

“A student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed,
repeatedly and over time (may even occur once), to negative actions on
the part of one or more other students.”
Steps for teachers:
1. Intervene immediately Do not show anger. Keep calm. This sends a message to the children that you are in control.
2. Talk to the students Talk to the person (or persons) exhibiting bullying behaviour, the victim and any witnesses, separately and as soon as possible. Listen non-judgementally to everything the children have to say about what happened. Take notes.
3. Expect denial Expect the student who bullied to downplay, deny, or try to steer the discussion away from his or her misbehaviour. Don’t be sidetracked.
4. Talk about the behaviour Avoid sarcasm or personal criticism that could lower the bully’s self-esteem. Criticize the behaviour, not the child. Repeat your school’s codes of conduct and point out why the bully’s behaviour was unacceptable. Let the student who bullied know that appropriate consequences— restitution for the behaviour, carrying out an act of kindness for others, completing exercises aimed at reducing aggression and developing empathy—will be imposed and that his or her parents will be involved.
5. Use appropriate consequences Show the student who bullied that consequences to violence are possible.
6. Reassure the victim Let the victim know that all possible steps will be taken to prevent another incident and follow through.
7. Let others know Talk with an administrator and other teachers and staff to alert them to the problem or to find out if they can provide some history on the problem.
8. Work with the families Let the student who bullied and victim know that you will be contacting their parents. Involve the parents in creating an action plan to avoid repeated incidents.
9. Help the victim involve the victim in groups and situations where he or she can make reliable friends, build self-confidence and develop social and assertiveness skills.
10. Help the bully Involve the student who bullied in exercises designed to reduce aggressive behaviour, correct his or her thinking errors and develop empathy for others.
11. Follow up Keep communicating and working with the parents and other teachers until the situation is resolved.
12. Develop an anti-bullying climate in the classroom You can help prevent bullying or greatly reduce its incidence by regularly incorporating classroom activities that promote a safe and caring environment.
13. Thought-provoking literature Raise awareness of bullying by reading and discussing age-appropriate literature, such as The Berenstein Bears and the Bully in the Berenstein Bears series for Grades K-4, Don’t Pick on Me for intermediate students and Lord of the Flies for older groups. Discuss why the bully acted the way he or she did, how the victim might feel and in what ways others could have helped.
14. Encourage discussion Get children to share ideas on what they can do if they are bullied or witness another being bullied.
15. Seek student input Work with your students to develop a list of appropriate classroom behaviours. List both desirable and undesirable behaviour. For example: We don’t want hitting or name-calling. We want to include everyone in group activities
16. Praise appropriate behaviour Recognize and praise positive, friendly, supportive behaviour of students toward each other.
17. Get students involved Arrange volunteering opportunities for students to be involved in helpful activities with peers or younger children.
18. Reinforce daily Teach and model non-violent, non-racist, non-sexist ideas and values as part of the every-day curriculum.
19. Foster social skills Teach and model social skills such as communication, making friends, confl ict resolution and appropriate assertiveness.
20. Structure groups Use co-operative learning groups to include less popular, more timid children in small, accepting groups.
Does your school follow these steps?

Together we can make it stop!

We, the undersigned, call on the
Edmonton Public Schools
School Board Trustees
and Alberta Parliment Members to STOP bullying and harassment.

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The Stop the harassment of bullying in our schools by anyone. We deserve to be safe. petition to Edmonton Public Schools, School Board Trustees, Alberta Parliment Members was written by Yanni Theodorou and is in the category Children's Rights at GoPetition.