Developing a Healthy School Culture

Ontario law requires schools to develop a bullying prevention plan with coherent and constructive intervention policies and procedures. The following framework in four parts (not necessarily presented in a linear order or by importance) can help to establish a holistic plan for bullying intervention and prevention.

1. Reflection

Encourage all members of the school community to reflect on how they use power in school, and on the link between responsibility and power (whether it is used positively or negatively).

2. Attitude change and skill development

Encourage values and attitudes that foster compassion, respect for differences and basic rights, as well as the wellbeing and self-fulfilment of students (and of everyone). Foster the development of skills and abilities needed to ensure that adults are able to model healthy communication and to intervene sensitively, respectfully and effectively, as well as the development of a wide range of social skills among students enabling them to resist bullying and to develop healthy relationships in all areas of their lives.

3. Development of school systems

Develop a whole school policy, including a set of coherent and comprehensive protocols and procedures to support and uphold efforts aimed at preventing bullying and intervening in bullying incidents. A code of conduct containing a clear definition and description of bullying is a key element of such a policy.

4. Strategies for action

Develop and implement an array of short-, medium- and long-term activities, initiatives, measures and approaches that facilitate and reinforce daily practices and behaviours (among all members of the school community) imbued with the values associated with bullying prevention.