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​WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? - A CATHOLIC RESOLUTION TO ISSUES OF BULLYING AT ÉCOLE ST. MATTHEW SCHOOL

STATEMENT OF RESOLUTION

We at École St. Matthew School are called to live in God's love. Our school is built upon the fundamental belief that all students have the right to a safe, positive and Christian environment, free from bullying behaviour.

RATIONALE

In accordance with our strong Christian beliefs and Jesus' example, we expect all to work for peace through acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation. Bullying behaviour will not be tolerated at École St. Matthew School, and all bullying incidents will be investigated and dealt with in a serious and timely manner.

DEFINITION OF BULLYING:

The term "bullying" is used to describe several different kinds of intentional, negative and hurtful behaviour causing emotional, psychological, and/or physical harm. Bullying can be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping), verbal (e.g. name calling, teasing, insulting), social (e.g. manipulating friendships, purposely excluding others from activities, spreading rumours) or cyber (e.g. threatening or insulting another via the Internet). Bullying can be direct (such as face to face) or indirect (such as spreading rumours) and is not gender specific. Bullying is often repetitive in nature. Bullying means there is an imbalance of power by one person or a group of people such that the person being victimized feels helpless in the situation. It is not bullying when two children of approximately the same age, strength, or developmental level fight, quarrel or have a disagreement.

Bullying definition for students

Bullying happens when a person or a group of people tries to gain power over another person by saying or doing hurtful things. It is not an accident. Sometimes bullies hit, tease or tell stories to hurt people. Sometimes they purposely exclude others from activities. The person who is being bullied cannot stop this hurtful behaviour and worries that it will happen again. It is not bullying when two children of approximately the same age or strength have a fight or a disagreement.  

PREVENTION OF BULLYING BEHAVIOUR BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE ECOLE ST. MATTHEW SCHOOL COMMUNITY

Prevention of bullying behaviour is an important goal in the creation of a safe, positive and affirming learning environment. Each member of the École St. Matthew School Community has a role with respect to preventing bullying behaviour. The following are expected preventative measures:

​A)    Students are expected to:

  • ​​​Participate actively in school-wide and classroom anti-bullying initiatives (e.g. care-partner concept, peer mediation program, anti-bullying posters, etc.) and social skills programs (Second Step).
  • Model appropriate behaviour by accepting and respecting each other and by showing empathy towards one another.
  • Be aware of key locations where bullying may occur.
  • Be aware of the influences that the media (television, internet, video games, magazines, etc.) can have on people.
  • Talk to parent(s)/guardian(s) about personal experiences at school.

B)    School Staff Members are expected to:

  • ​ ​Implement and teach school-wide and classroom anti-bullying initiatives (e.g. care-partner concept, peer mediation program, anti-bullying posters, etc.) and social skills programs (Second Step).
  • Teach and model Christian virtues especially acceptance, compassion and empathy.
  • Be visible, approachable and attentive supervisors.
  • Be aware of warning signs in students and of key locations where bullying may occur.
  • Promote self-confidence and self-esteem by praising positive behaviour and recognizing students for their good deeds.

C)    Parents/Guardians are expected to:

  •  ​Learn about the topic of bullying by accessing school resources and available services in the community and by attending anti-bullying information sessions.
  • Be attentive to their child's behaviour and influences (e.g. friends, television, internet, video games, magazines, etc.) in and out of school.
  • Teach and model Christian virtues especially acceptance, compassion and empathy.
  • Empower their child by promoting self-confidence and self-esteem.

D)    Bus Drivers are expected to:

  •  ​Learn about the topic of bullying by accessing school resources and by attending anti-bullying information sessions.
  • State expectations for behaviour at the beginning of the year (rules, consequences, seating plan, etc.).
  • Get to know the students on the bus. Praise positive behaviour and recognize students for their good deeds.
  • Communicate with parents and school administration.


    RESPONSIBILITIES OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE ECOLE ST. MATTHEW SCHOOL COMMUNITY

     
    Each member of the École St. Matthew School Community has a role with respect to bullying. The following are expected responses after or during an incident of bullying:

     A)  The Bully is expected to:
     
  • Tell the truth. Take ownership for his/her behaviour and accept the consequences.
  • Reflect on his/her own behaviour and the effects it has on others.
  • Make restitution which might include apologizing and making amends.
  • Develop a plan of action with the guidance of an adult to prevent future incidents. 

B)    The Target/Victim is expected to:

  • ​ Ignore the bully and walk away.
  • Speak up, tell the bully to stop and seek support from bystanders.
  • Avoid retaliation. Never use violence to deal with the bully.
  • Report all acts of bullying to an adult and seek guidance.  

C)    The Bystander/Witness is expected to:

  •  Intervene if possible (i.e. speak up for the victim, get the victim out of the situation, or get help).
  • Report all acts of bullying to an adult.
  • Comfort the victim and show compassion.
  • Avoid encouragement of the bully (i.e. watching or laughing during an act of bullying). 

D)    School Staff Members are expected to:

  •  Be present and visible, intervene and model appropriate behavior by accepting all individuals without condoning inappropriate actions.
  • Take all reported incidents seriously and keep anecdotal records.
  • Debrief students (bully and victim) and determine if the incident is one of bullying.
  • Develop a plan of action which might include problem solving, parental involvement, guidance to students and completion of a Bullying Incident Report.
  • Follow through with consequences and monitor the situation. 

E)    Parents/Guardians are expected to:

  • ​ Listen to their child (the victim), take all incidents seriously and inform the school if bullying is suspected.
  • Work with and support school personnel to resolve identified incidents of bullying whether child is victim or bully.
  • Reassure their child (the victim) that it is not his/her fault and that he/she has a right not to be bullied. Conversely, talk to their child (the bully) and make it clear that you do not tolerate bullying behaviour and that you will follow through with consequences and monitor the situation.
  • Model appropriate behaviour by accepting all individuals without condoning inappropriate actions.

F)     Bus Drivers are expected to:

  • ​Be alert, intervene and model appropriate behaviour by accepting all individuals without condoning inappropriate actions.
  • Take all reported incidents seriously and keep anecdotal records.
  • Communicate incidents to the school and to the parents.
  • Develop a plan of action with school personnel which might include parental involvement.
  • Follow through with consequences and monitor the situation.
     
    INTERVENTION
     
    At École St. Matthew School, we believe that all interventions in an act of bullying must respect the dignity of both the victim and the bully, reflect justice and love, and focus on forgiveness. Given all best efforts to prevent bullying, incidents will occur. When an incident of bullying has been determined, any of the following interventions could occur:


  • Review of school expectations, problem resolution with students involved, restitution, and close monitoring of the situation
  • Completion of a Stop Think Action Plan and/or Action Plan
  • Communication with parents
  • Temporary removal of privileges
  • Completion of a Bullying Incident Report
  • Temporary exclusion of student from class (in school suspension)
  • Assistance from school counselor, division student service personnel or other outside agencies
  • Involvement of police (information, resources, community liaison, etc.)
  • Out of school suspension
  • Alternative programming

    Bullying incidents will be dealt with in a serious and timely manner by staff on an individual basis depending on the age of the child, the number of incidents and the nature of the behaviour

    ACTION PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION, REGULAR REVIEW AND EVALUATION OF THE ECOLE ST. MATTHEW SCHOOL ANTI-BULLYING RESOLUTION
     
    The purpose of creating and teaching an anti-bullying resolution is essentially to reduce, resolve and hopefully eliminate bullying incidents at St. Matthew School. The following strategies will be used to implement our anti-bullying resolution and determine its effectiveness:

      A) Communicate:
     
  • The school administration will review the details of the anti-bullying resolution at the beginning of each school year with parents/guardians, staff members and bus drivers.
  • Teachers will review the details of the anti-bullying resolution at the beginning of each school year with their students.
  • Teachers will implement and teach school-wide and classroom anti-bullying initiatives (e.g. care-partner concept, peer mediation program, anti-bullying posters, etc.) and social skills programs (e.g. Second Step.) throughout the year.
  • The school administration will include anti-bullying information in the school newsletter once a month.
  • The school library will have anti-bullying resources available to parents/ guardians, staff members and bus drivers.
  • The school administration will strive to offer adult anti-bullying related information sessions at the school throughout the year. 

    B)  Integrate:


  • Anti-bullying initiatives and social skills programs will be incorporated within school routines, relationships with one another, assemblies and extra-curricular activities.
  • Anti-bullying strategies will be incorporated in all Required Areas of Study on a regular basis.
     
    C)  Monitor:
     
  • School staff will observe student interactions on a daily basis.
  • School staff will monitor the number of repeated bullying occurrences.
  • School staff will monitor positive bullying resolutions. 

     D)  Evaluate:
     
  • The school administration will seek ongoing feedback concerning the anti-bullying resolution from students, parents, staff and bus drivers.
  •  The school administration will conduct a school climate awareness survey (every second or third year) to determine areas of success as well as areas of growth.
  • A committee (parents, students, staff, and bus drivers) will review the anti-bullying resolution every three years.

     

"In each individual, especially in the poor, the weak

and those who suffer or are unjustly treated,

love knows how to discover the face of Christ,

and discover a fellow human being to be loved and served."

Pope John Paul II