Bullying Prevention & Intervention
Bullying Prevention & Intervention
The Niagara Catholic District School Board recognizes that bullying is a serious issue that has far-reaching and lasting consequences for the students involved and the entire school community. Providing students with an opportunity to learn and develop in safe and accepting schools is a responsibility that the Niagara Catholic takes seriously.
Every school in the Niagara Catholic District School Board is required to follow the Niagara Catholic Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. Safe and accepting school teams work to make sure that schools are safe and welcoming for all.
Each year students have their say on how to make their schools safer and more inclusive through a survey by the Niagara Catholic District School Board research department.
The Education Act defines bullying as aggressive and typically repeated behavior where:
The pupil intends or should know that their behavior will cause harm, fear, or distress to another individual, including:
- Physical, emotional, social, or academic harm
- Harming the person’s reputation or property
- Creating a negative environment for the person at school
It also defines bullying as behavior that occurs when there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the individuals including:
- The size, strength, and age of the students
- The ability of students to understand the behavior-based on grade level and learning ability (replacing intelligence)
- Peer group status
- Socio-economic status and family situation
- Ethnic origin, race, or religion
- Physical or mental limitations
- Sexual orientation, gender expression or identity
Types of Bullying
- Physical bullying includes hitting, shoving, stealing, or damaging property
- Verbal bullying includes name-calling, taunting, or sexual, racial, cultural, or homophobic/transphobic comments
- Social bullying involves excluding someone from a group, spreading gossip and rumors, or manipulating the social order
- Cyber-bullying is bullying by electronic means including:
- Creating an online presence that impersonates another person
- Impersonating another person as the author of content or messages posted online
- Sharing or posting material about one individual in a way that can be accessed by others
How bullying incidents are handled at school – Progressive Student Discipline
Niagara Catholic takes all incidents of bullying seriously. We use a model of progressive student discipline to maintain the dignity of all students. Through the Board’s Progressive Student Discipline Administrative Operational Procedures, we are committed to reinforcing appropriate student behavior, not simply punishment. Consequences are given based on the student’s actions and are within the expectations set out in in the Education Act.
Safety at school is a key priority for Niagara Catholic. As part of our commitment to ensuring our schools are safe and accepting for everyone, we encourage parents to contact their child’s teacher if their child reports a bullying incident at school.
We encourage parents to talk about bullying issues at home, and encourage their children to speak up when they are being bullied or to speak up for someone when they see it happening to someone else. By having these open conversations, students often feel more confident asking for help either for themselves or someone else. Reassure your child that it is okay if they want to confide in another trusted adult for help – the focus is on supporting the child’s well-being – and reporting bullying is the right thing to do.
Communication is key, so please ask your child’s teacher or principal what they know about the situation at school. They, and the classroom teacher(s) will deal with any issues as they occur.
For more information visit the Canadian Safe School Network.
The following websites provide resources to help parents and students:
- Connect Safely
- Media Smarts
- PREVNet - Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network
- RCMP Centre for Youth Crime Prevention
- ChildNet – Parents and Carers
If a student is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs immediate support, call 911.
Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) Niagara
COAST Niagara is a 24/7 mobile crisis outreach and intervention service for individuals aged 16 years and older offering phone counselling and, if necessary, on-site intervention at home or in the community by mental health professionals with specially trained officers from Niagara Regional Police Service. Call 1-866-550-5205 ext. 1
The following resources are also available to students and families:
- Pathstone Mental Health services children and youth in Niagara in need of mental health supports. Walk-in services are available at the times and locations posted, and crisis services are available immediately at 1.800.263.4944
- Black Youth Help Line specifically responds to the need for a black youth specific service. It promotes access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (1-833-294-8650)
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Available 24/7 and toll free in both English and French. (1-855-242-3310)
- LGBT Youth Line offers support to LGBTQS2S+ youth. Access the website for online chat, telephone support is available at 1-800-268-9688; or by text at 647-694-4275.