As part of the S@S initiative, the Professional Learning Module on Bullying Prevention on this website as well as the print equivalent entitled "Creating Safe Schools: A Bullying Prevention Module for Teachers", offer our approach to creating a safe and respectful classroom and school culture. Empowerment-based, pro-active whole school and classroom initiatives as well as individual interventions shared there help establish positive power relations between all sectors of the school community. They constitute a visionary and pragmatic antidote to the abusive power dynamics inherent in all bullying relationships. Our S@S documentary Taking Bullying Seriously enlivens our bullying prevention component with stories and testimonials about bullying and its prevention shared by students, teachers and youth leaders.
S@S is reflective of COPA’s human rights-based approach to violence prevention from its inception in 1995. Resources created for this initiative—such as the Professional Learning Module on Equity and Inclusive Education on this website, as well as the print equivalent "Promoting Equity and Inclusive Education in Schools: A Teacher’s Guide", and the powerful documentary Hear Me Out—explore the impact of discrimination and exclusion at school. These tools offer practical strategies for interrupting inequity and helping nurture a school culture founded on principles of inclusion and respect for differences.
The S@S Professional Learning Module "Parents and Caregivers: Partners in Prevention", as well as the print version entitled "Building Safe and Inclusive Schools: Partnering with Parents and Guardians", explore practical applications of the Ministry’s Parent Engagement Policy, drawing out its connections with the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. COPA’s innovative multimedia resource entitled We All Belong and the website Habitat for Learning bring this policy initiative alive for parents and caregivers in an accessible format. The Circle of Caring, COPA’s multimedia resource for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and for schools, adds to this rich array of tools offering inspiration from Ontario’s Aboriginal parents, caregivers, Elders and leaders, and constructive ways to take policy into the classroom.
At the heart of our collective efforts is our intention to create the conditions necessary for all students to flourish and reach their full potential. Acknowledging, examining and sharing our power as adults encourages students’ agency and helps facilitate their empowerment. Students who feel empowered are more likely to engage with their school life and learning leading to the development of positive character attributes such as responsibility, empathy and respect.
This stimulating and forward-thinking social and professional context supports all of us in the field of education who are passionate about helping nurture classrooms and schools where students’ diverse voices are at the centre of all we do.