Vision and Mission
Chelsea Elementary School staff and parents are committed to providing a safe, caring and harmonious environment that fosters respect for all members of the school community. The values that underpin this include understanding, encouragement, acknowledgment, inclusiveness. Our ultimate goal is to work together to foster personal growth and the common good.
- That Chelsea school be a place of mutual respect and inclusiveness
- That all students and staff are, and feel, safe and secure at school
To pre-empt and respond to acts of bullying and violence, and promote a respectful, inclusive and nurturing school culture, the committee will each year develop strategies and actions to:
- Promote a ‘whole-school’ bullying prevention / intervention program – one that is sustainable, geared to all students, and results-based
- Enhance communication, awareness and transparency with respect to the reporting of all incidents of violence and/or bullying and, conversely, constructive and compassionate behavior that supports mutual respect and inclusiveness (bearing in mind that exclusion can often be non-aggressive and unintentional
- Celebrate accomplishments and exploit the positive social elements of school life
Anti-Bullying and Violence Prevention Policy
Part A: What is Bullying?
Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, provides this commonly accepted definition for bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. The definition of “bullying behaviours” at Chelsea Elementary School is: “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”This definition includes three important components:
- Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Part B: Types of Bullying
Bullying can take on many forms:
- Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and name calling;
- Bullying through social exclusion or isolation;
- Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting;
- Bullying through lies and false rumors;
- Having money or other things personal property/belongings/possessions taken or damaged by students who bully;
- Being threatened or being forced to do things by students who bully;
- Racial bullying;
- Sexual bullying, harassment, unwanted advances, inappropriate touching; and
- Cyber-bullying (bullying behavior via cell-phone, Internet, etc…).
Part C: What is Violence?
Chelsea Elementary School defines violence as “Any use of force – verbal, written, physical, psychological, or sexual – against any person, by an individual or a group, with intent to directly or indirectly wrong, injure or oppress that person by attacking his or her integrity, whether psychological or physical well-being, rights or property.” Art.13, LIP 2012Section C. School Community Responsibilities
Part D: School Community Responsibilities
At Chelsea Elementary School, there is a culture where effective programs and policies are communicated to all students and staff and the message that bullying-type behaviours and violence will not be accepted or tolerated.
Responsibilities of staff
- To act as appropriate role models for all staff and students;
- To take every precaution to ensure that students are supervised at all times;
- To reinforce the message that bullying and violence are not accepted or tolerated;
- To be observant of the signs of distress or suspected incidents of bullying or violence;
- To treat all reports or observed incidences of bullying or violence seriously by reporting them immediately to the appropriate administrator or to any staff member;
- To providing and fostering an environment where students feel they can speak to staff about their concerns.
Responsibilities of students
- To behave appropriately, respecting individual differences and diversity – to take a stand against bullying and violence;
- To participate in anti-bullying and anti-violence peer and counseling groups;
- To attend anti-bullying and anti-violence information/training and support workshop/assemblies;
- To report and inform (parents/guardians, school staff, friends) if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied, or incidents of violence –whether it occurs at school away from school;
- To help someone who is being bullied or subjected to violence by taking a stand – reporting and supporting;
- To stand up and help someone who is being bullied or subjected to violence.
Responsibilities of parents
- To watch for signs that their child may be the victim of bullying or violence;
- To watch for signs that their child is exhibiting bullying or violent behavior;
- To speak to the teacher or the administrator if their child is being bullied or subjected to violence, or if they suspect that this is happening;
- To seek advice from the Administrator if they suspect that their child is bullying others or being violent;
- To encourage open conversations with their child if they are bullied or suspect others are bullying or being subjected to violence.
- To encourage their children to tell a responsible adult if they are bullied or subjected to violence. Students can expect that their concerns will be responded to by the school staff and that they will be provided with appropriate support (for both the victims of and those responsible for the behaviour).
Part E. Procedure for Reporting All Violence or Bullying-Type Behaviours
If someone witnesses what they believe to be violence or bullying-type behaviours towards a member of our school community, they can use the following steps as a guideline for action:
- It is important to report any incidence of bullying. All students, staff and parents MUST report any incidents of bullying or violence.
- Document (in writing or via email) all incidents of bullying behaviours/violent behaviours and describe:
- a) what happened,
- b) between who,
- c) where it happened,
- d) when it happened,
- e) why it happened.
- Bring the incident report to the attention of a teacher or principal.
- Reported incidents are investigated first by the Administration. The alleged student(s) committing the violence or bullying-type behaviour and the victim(s) are interviewed separately.
- All potential witnesses are interviewed by the Administration.
- All communications with Administration and staff are confidential. Names of any victims/witnesses are never released.
- Victims and/or parents are asked their perspective and their opinion on potential interventions by school staff before interventions take place.
- If any degree of bullying or violence has occurred the following action will be taken:
- Support/consequences will be given as is appropriate to both the victim and the student(s).
- Students, in particular senior students, involved in our mentoring program and teachers, can be asked to assist in countering bullying and violence.
- All staff/students have a responsibility to maintain the safety and welfare of fellow students. This means we must all take this policy document seriously.
Part F: Follow-Up
- We will support the victim by:
- Offering immediate support and the opportunity to talk about the experience with Administration.
- Informing the victim’s parents/guardians (while also respecting the privacy of the student committing the violence).
- Offering continuing support as needed.
- Incidents or reports of bullying or violence will be documented.
- Taking one or more of the steps described below to prevent the reoccurrence of bullying or violence.
- We will try to prevent a recurrence of bullying or violence in the following ways:
- Our school provides a range of effective programs to ensure a safe and secure environment promoting personal growth and excellence in all students. Our goal is to develop confidence and self-esteem to empower students to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. As part of this, an anti-bullying and anti-violence message is consistently communicated to students. Conducting an initial investigation as outlined in Part E.
- Ensuring just and strict school consequences for student(s) committing violent or bullying- type behaviour. The following are the disciplinary steps the school’s Administration will follow:
- Official warning to stop offending (verbal and written) to the students and parents.
- A student may be automatically suspended from school if the act of bullying or violence is considered severe regardless if there have been previous issues.
- In the case of a serious incident of bullying or violence, parents of both the victim and the student(s) committing the violence or bullying-type behaviour are notified. The parents of both the victim and the student(s) committing the violence or bullying-type behaviour are informed of the allegations and are also informed about the student’s responses to these allegations (verbal and written).
- If a student does not stop engaging in violent or bullying behaviours after warning from school staff, the student may be suspended from school.
- Students who are violent or bully others may face one or more of the following consequences:
- Involvement in mediation
- Parents will be contacted by the school
- Recommendation for an out-of-school assessment
- Referral to Gatineau Police
- Privileges will be withdrawn (e.g. prohibiting attendance at school activities, schoolservices); and sanctions outlined in the School’s Discipline Policy such as detention and suspension.
Note: The school will also refer to the Western Quebec School Board’s “Safe Schools Policy”.