Mobilizing parents and caregivers and encouraging their involvement is not only necessary but desirable during a crisis such as a bullying incident. We can plant these seeds throughout the year by creating opportunities for people to get to know each other. Social events attract many parents and caregivers while allowing them to discover each other and their community. They provide fertile ground for the emergence of leadership and involvement.
We can take advantage of a school social event to make a personal connection with parents and guardians who are new or traditionally excluded. We can also offer information about ways to become involved in the school’s bullying prevention plan and safe and inclusive schools initiatives. Though simple, such contact provides a familiar face at the school, potentially supporting the courage it takes to attend a meeting.
Of course, social events are also opportunities to transmit messages about a safe and inclusive school culture and respect for differences.
A school brings the community together around events with cultural themes, based on those cultural groups that are represented in their school. Students learn new cultural dances and perform them during the events. All parents and caregivers are interested and involved because their children are performing. At the same time, they have an opportunity to meet and socialize with other parents and caregivers. This kind of event also reinforces the notion of respect for different cultures.