Bullying:  Bill 13 - Accepting Schools Act:  This Bill has been passed by the Ontario Government and has direct implications on schools, Boards and parents.  Here are a few tips:

Newest tip:  I Am Safe Newsletter May 2013

info@kids-can.ca or

1 (613) 296-5245.

I am Safe: Bullying Awareness



Dean Richard

“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are

both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have

never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember


Bill Richard

One-stop parent guide to address bullying in Ontario’s public schools

Kate Dubinski

The London Free Press – April 26




Your child is being bullied at school – what do you do? Which school official do you start with and what

legislation is on your side? Or what if your kid is the one doing the bullying – what are the signs, and what

sort of conversation do you need to have?

A one-stop parent guide to address bullying in Ontario’s publicly funded schools has been jointly released by

the London and York Region anti-bullying coalitions, and it’s getting good reviews from experts. “There is a

lot of helpful information in there. It’s always good to have a parent’s voice out there,” said Peter Jaffe, a

Thames Valley District school board trustee, psychologist and anti-violence advocate. “No matter how wellintentioned

we are from a school board perspective, there’s concern that we’re not giving parents the whole

story. Parents trust other parents.”

The London Anti-Bullying Coalition was created eight years ago by moms whose kids were being bullied.

The London moms mentored those who eventually began the York Region Anti Bullying Coalition. “It gives

parents a guide that will empower them to advocate for their child,” said Corina Morrison, one of the

founders of London’s coalition. “It’s good to have a guide so you don’t have to be on the same hamster

wheel we were on eight years ago.”

The 34-page document outlines the profiles of a typical bully, victim and bystander, outlines legislation that

governs bullying in schools and tells parents where they should start – and what steps to take – if their kid is

being bullied. “The stories that have come our way have been overwhelming,” Morrison said. “We prepared

this guide because we envision a community that respects all differences, one in which every child and adult

experiences the fundamental human right to feel safe.”

The Thames Valley District school board supports the handbook. “Our priority is the safety of our students,”

said Barb Sonier, the superintendent in charge of safe schools. “Any resources that we can put in the hands

of parents that can help reduce bullying in our schools and our community is something we support.”

Find the guidebook:



or http://goo.gl/dQ7mX

Ten Tips for Administrators to Address Bullying in School

Bullying is one of the most serious issues facing educational institutions today. It can lead to school

violence, a more negative school climate, and potential legal actions from parents. As a school

administrator, you have the opportunity to address school bullying on all levels of a student's experience. By

leading your school or district in bullying prevention efforts, you can help create a safer, more positive

learning environment.

1. Focus on the social environment of the school.

To reduce bullying, it is important to change the climate of the school and the social norms with regard to

bullying. It must become "uncool" to bully, "cool" to help out students who are bullied, and normative for staff

and students to notice when a child is bullied or left out. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school

environment- teachers, administrators, counselors, other non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, nurses,

school resource officers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and school librarians) parents and students.

2. Assess bullying at your school.

Adults are not always very good at estimating the nature and extent of bullying at their school. Frequently we

are quite surprised by the amount of bullying that students experience, the types of bullying that are most

common, or the "hot spots" where bullying happens. As a result, it is often quite useful to assess bullying by

administering an anonymous questionnaire to students about bullying. What are the possible benefits of

conducting a survey of students? Findings can help motivate adults to take action against bullying.

Data can help administrators and other educators tailor a bullying prevention strategy to the particular needs

of the school. Data can serve as a baseline from which administrators and other educators can measure

their progress in reducing bullying.

3. Garner staff and parent support for bullying prevention.

Bullying prevention should not be the sole responsibility of an administrator, counselor, teacher-or any single

individual at a school. To be most effective, bullying prevention efforts require buy-in from the majority of the

staff and from parents.

4. Form a group to coordinate the school's bullying prevention activities.

Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best if they are coordinated by a representative group from the

school. This coordinating team (which might include an administrator, a teacher from each grade, a member

of the non-teaching staff, a school counselor or other school-based mental health professional, a school

nurse, and at least one parent) should meet regularly to digest data from the school survey described in

Strategy 2; plan bullying prevention rules, policies, and activities; motivate staff, students, and parents; and

ensure that the efforts continue over time. A student advisory group also can be formed to focus on bullying

prevention and provide valuable suggestions and feedback to adults.

5. Train your staff in bullying prevention.

All administrators, faculty, and staff at your school should be trained in bullying prevention and intervention.

In-service training can help staff to better understand the nature of bullying and its effects, how to respond if

they observe bullying, and how to work with others at the school to help prevent bullying from occurring.

Training should not be available only for teaching staff. Rather, administrators should make an effort to

educate all adults in the school environment who interact with students (including counselors, media

specialists, school resource officers, nurses, lunchroom and recess aides, bus drivers, parent volunteers,

custodians, and cafeteria workers).

Continued on the following page

Ten Tips for Administrators to Address Bullying in School (Continued)

6. Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying.

Although many school behavior codes implicitly forbid bullying, many codes do not use the term or make

explicit our expectations for student behavior. It is important to make clear that the school expects them to

be good citizens, not passive bystanders, if they are aware of bullying or students who appear troubled,

possibly from bullying. Developing simple, clear rules about bullying can help to ensure that students are

aware of adults' expectations that they refrain from bullying and help students who are bullied. School rules

and policies should be posted and discussed with students and parents. Appropriate consequences also

should be developed for not following the school's rules.

7. Increase adult supervision in hot spots where bullying occurs.

Bullying tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not vigilant. Once school personnel

have identified hot spots for bullying from the student questionnaires, look for creative ways to increase

adults' presence in these locations.

8. Intervene consistently and appropriately in bullying situations.

All staff should be able to intervene effectively on the spot to stop bullying (i.e., in the 1-2 minutes that one

frequently has to deal with bullying). Designated staff should also hold sensitive follow-up meetings with

children who are bullied and (separately) with children who bully. Staff should involve parents of affected

students whenever possible.

9. Focus some class time on bullying prevention.

It is important that bullying prevention programs include a classroom component. Teachers (with the support

of administrators) should set aside 20-30 minutes each week (or every other week) to discuss bullying and

peer relations with students. These meetings help teachers to keep their fingers on the pulse of students'

concerns, allow time for candid discussions about bullying and the harm that it can cause, and provide tools

for students to address bullying problems. Anti-bullying themes and messages also can be incorporated

throughout the school curriculum.

10. Continue these efforts over time.

There should be no "end date" for bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention should be woven into

the entire school environment.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my

mother would say to me, “ Look for the helpers. You will always see

people who are helping”.

Mr. Rogers

When I was a boy and I

would see scary things in

the news my mother

would say to me, “ Look

for the helpers. You will

always see people who

are helping”.

Mr. Rogers


Sticks and stones: Defeating the culture of bullying and rediscovering the power of

character and empathy

Emily Bazelon, Random House

Sticks and stones




who has been praised for her

honest coverage of a teen suicide case in Massachusetts, 2010, where six students were

accused of causing the suicide through bullying and were criminally charged. The small town

became a media sensation, and the term ‘bullicide’ was coined. Bazelon came to investigate and

discovered a different story to that being spread by the media. This book is an expansion of her

reports. She examines bullying and defines what behaviour constitutes it and what does not, from

the playground to cyberspace. The stories of three children, two bullied and one bully, are

portrayed, mainly to discuss appropriate adult intervention. Bazelon also showcases two schools

that have reduced bullying and examines their successful strategies. The book has been praised

as compassionate though some critics question her amount of empathy for ‘bullies’.

New Report Recommends Best Anti-Bullying Practices

The American Educational Research Association issued a new report Tuesday recommending

best practices and policies for schools and colleges to address bullying.


Prevention of Bullying in

Schools, Colleges and Universities


includes 11 briefs addressing topics such as gender-related

harassment, legal rights related to bullying, and school climate. The AERA task force that wrote

the report was asked to identify the causes and consequences of bullying, highlight training

opportunities for faculty and staff, evaluate the effectiveness of current bullying prevention

programs, and asses the connections between legislation and current bullying research and


"Bullying — a form of harassment and violence — needs to be understood from a developmental,

social, and educational perspective," the report reads. "The educational settings in which it occurs

and where prevention and intervention are possible need to be studied and understood as

potential contexts for positive change. Yet many administrators, teachers, and related personnel

lack training to address bullying and do not know how to intervene to reduce it."


Read more:



Humour Styles and Bullying in

Schools: Not a Laughing Matter

There is a clear link between children’s use

of humour and their susceptibility to being

bullied by their peers, according to a major

new study released by Keele University.

What the study shows is that humour clearly

plays an important role in how children

interact with one another and that children

who use humour to make fun of themselves

are at more risk of being bullied."

Funded by the Economic and Social

Research Council and supported by the

University of Strathclyde and Oxford

Brookes University, the research examined

the links between how 11-13 year olds use

different styles of humour and the problem

of bullying in schools.

The findings reveal that children who use

self-defeating forms of humour – eg. Selfdisparaging

language / putting themselves

down to make other people laugh - are more

likely to be bullied than those who use more

positive forms of humour.

The study also found that peer victimization

led to an increase in the use of selfdefeating

humour over time, showing that

victims of bullying are often trapped in a

vicious cycle, where being bullied deprives

them of the opportunities to practice positive

humour with peers and leads them to rely on

self-defeating humour, perhaps as a way to

get others to like them.

Dr Claire Fox, lead researcher from Keele

University, said, “What our study shows is

that humour clearly plays an important role

in how children interact with one another

and that children who use humour to make

fun of themselves are at more risk of being

bullied. We know that this negative use of

humour is a nurtured behavior, influenced by

a child’s social environment rather than

genetics. This makes the behaviour easier

to change, so we hope the next step for this

study is to see whether it is possible to

‘teach’ children how to use humour to

enhance their resilience and encourage

them to not use negative forms of humour.”

The two year study involved 1,234 children

who were questioned at the beginning and

end of each school year. Researchers

measured three types of bullying and

victimization: verbal, physical and

relational/indirect (e.g. social exclusion,

spreading nasty rumours) and used selfreports

and peer nominations to draw their

conclusions. Each child was also assessed

in relation to their number of friends, humour

styles, symptoms of depression and

loneliness and self-esteem.

For more information visit:


or Kate Dawson


35% Discount

For a limited time Hazelton is offering the Olweus Bullying Prevention

Program core and supplemental materials at an incredible 35% discount.

This includes the OBPP School wide and Teacher Guide, two resources

rarely offered at a discount and never at a price this low.

Simply use the Promo Code Yes35 when placing your order.

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Based in Ottawa, Canada, Kids-Can

serves Canada from Coast-to-Coast. We

are pleased to be associated with:


Hazelden Publishing



The Olweus Bullying Prevention







Clemson University


For more about KIDSCAN we invite you

to visit us at www.kids-can.ca.

You can also find more at


You can reach us at info@kids-can.ca or

by calling +1 (613) 296-5245.

will bring parents and others up to date on the current nature of bullying in

schools. Emily Bazelon is an attorney and senior editor at






  • the school Principal or a trusted adult
  • PREVNET (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence): PREVNET.ca
  • Teenmentalhealth.org
  • kidshelpphone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Mygsa.ca
  • Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO): www.pleo.on.ca   
  • Children's Mental Health Ontario: www.kidsmentalhealth.ca
  • Open doors for Lanark children and Youth:  www.opendoors.on.ca Distress line at 1-800-465-4442
  • www.stopsuicidenow.com
  • Child & Youth Wellness Centre of Leeds & Grenville www.cywc.net 1-613-498-4844
  • Parents for Education.ca
  • YouTube



Stu Schwartz, aka Stuntman Stu, battles bullies one school at a time


Stuntman Stu was bullied as a kid, and tweeted on his morning show he was going to go to every school in Ottawa and preach No More Bullies. And so he is.

Photograph by: Chris Mikula, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Young Stu Schwartz was impeached as Grade 8 student council president for failing to deliver on his promise — “Hey kids, pop and chips!” — to bring vending machines to his school. After his shameful downfall, the daily torment began.

The 13-year-old was roughed up after gym class, bashed into lockers, had his textbooks kicked out of his hands.

He was called: “Fag. Loser. Jew boy.”

He struggled to get by by playing the class clown, but he hated school, and many days he did not want to go.

After two years of suffering, Schwartz, near tears, pleaded with his principal to make it stop. Schwartz grew up to become Stuntman Stu, an Ottawa institution. A sought after radio announcer, of late with Majic 100’s morning show, he is also the voice of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place, and emcee and auctioneer for many charities.

The bullying was a stinging memory he kept to himself.

Then one day last September he read a story in the Citizen about a Grade 12 student who was driving with two friends near Nepean High School in Ottawa’s west end. They were throwing eggs at Grade 9 “frosh” when the driver’s vehicle hit the back tire of a student walking his bike.

“It triggered some pretty strong emotions for me,” Schwartz says now. “I talked about it on the morning show. I told listeners that I had been bullied and I was sick of the whole thing. Parents started calling in upset, too.”

After the show, he kept his outrage going on social media. Around lunchtime, he tweeted, “I’m so fed up with this, if I have to go out to every school in Ottawa and preach No More Bullies I will.” He wrote the Twitter hashtag #nomorebullies. Then he scrawled the same three words on his hand, took a picture, and circulated it on Twitter.

The No More Bullies tour was born.

Last Tuesday, Schwartz, along with the Majic 100 morning show’s Trisha Owens and Angie Poirier, presented No More Bullies to Grade 7 and 8 students at Notre Dame Catholic High School.

It was the team’s sixth presentation. They have fielded more than 500 requests to speak to mostly area schools about bullying. Most requests come from Majic 100’s listener base, parents and teachers concerned about the consequences of bullying that they witness daily among children.

Schwartz is among many high profile Ottawans reacting to the documented swell of bullying incidents at schools, as well as to the tragic October suicide of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, an A.Y. Jackson Secondary School student who was viciously bullied.

But as Schwartz realizes, just telling his own story is not enough.

The Majic 100 morning show team added experts from Youth Net, a mental health program for youth housed at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and the Red Cross, to their tour. City councillor Allan Hubley, in a recorded interview, speaks about his son Jamie. University of Ottawa student Scott Heggart joined the tour to talk about feeling suicidal in Grade 7 when he realized he was gay and his experience of “coming out” to classmates in Grade 11.

The Majic 100 team plans to dedicate most Tuesday mornings to visiting schools.

In general, Ottawa is celebrity poor, so having No More Bullies appear at your school is a bit like having the local equivalent of Ryan Seacrest or Perez Hilton show up.

Schwartz asked the students to shout out the names of their favourite Senators (Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Chris Phillips) before performing a rousing, goal scoring play-by-play naming all three.

Ten students were also called to the auditorium stage, and each given a piece of paper.

Angie Poirier asked the students to crumple up the paper, throw it on the floor and stomp on it. They were then urged to open it up and try to smooth it out.

“You’ve treated that paper pretty badly, haven’t you?” she said, pointing out the wrinkles and scars.

Now imagine if that paper was a person, she said.

“No matter how hard you try to smooth it over after the fact, the jabs and insults will remain on the person forever.”

That was a key message. The wounds you inflict today turn into scars.

That’s why a 37-year-old man was in front of 250 students describing events of 25 years ago.

Schwartz told the students that only reluctantly did he name his tormentor to the principal. The principal confronted the bully and asked him why he’d been harassing Schwartz. He says he’ll never forget the answer.

“The bully said, ‘I don’t know.’ I’d been tormented for two years and that was his answer. ‘I don’t know!’”

The students were attentive and engaged, and sometimes near tears, especially when Hubley’s interview was played and he spoke of Jamie, “different on the outside, beautiful on the inside,” and in near whisper, said “that’s my boy.” There was hushed silence, too, when Heggart described wanting to kill himself when he was exactly their age.

By the time the show was over, Schwartz had the students shouting “No More Bullies” before racing out of the auditorium with bands emblazoned with the same rallying cry on their wrists.

Afterward, Notre Dame chaplain Maureen Dufour explained that the presentation was a complement to the many strategies the school uses to combat bullying.

“Every school can’t do enough in terms of upping the ante about being vigilante about bullying.” She noted that cyberbullying is a significant problem that regularly draws police to many area high schools, including Notre Dame.

That said, she was concerned about the presentation’s emphasis on suicide as a consequence of bullying, especially for middle school students.

“When your message focuses on the extreme end of the consequences, you might miss that piece about what to do when you are first bullied and you start to feel depression,” she said. She said those concerns were validated in the days following, when she “debriefed” students in all 11 classes who attended the presentation.

“It was right there, the worry that if they are bullied it will lead to suicide. Three students had enough courage to bring that up and ask about it,” she said. So she focused on the continuum of feelings, and on getting help immediately.

But she said the most powerful aspect of the presentation was Stuntman Stu, himself. He had “come through it, and rose above it,” not only to become a public figure, but to want to help others “work through it.”

Schwartz is hopeful No More Bullies will make a difference, if only to a few students.

“I have two young kids, and I never ever want them to go through what I suffered.”


What to do with a bully:

Distract, disrupt, offer him some junk food.

Erin deJong, of the Red Cross, told Notre Dame students there are many strategies for “bystanders” to stop bullying.

She said they could “distract” or “distrupt” a bully, and that might mean offering them food, or telling them what they’re doing “isn’t cool.”

She also encouraged them to “report what you see.” And “by all means, support the victim.”

Maureen Dufour, Notre Dame chaplain, said students said afterward that this advice was extremely helpful and hopeful.

She also encouraged them to get help through the Youth Services Bureau, and their crisis line.

Faron Gogo, the Youth Engagement Co-ordinator for Youth Net, housed at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, described to the students the many consequences of bullying, from anxiety and depression to self-harm and suicidal thoughts. She also talked about the stigma of seeking help. She asked students whom they might tell if they were being bullied. A friend was the number one choice.

“Who do you think the second most likely person is that you would tell?”

The students suggested a parent, teacher or counselor.

“The second highest is ‘no one.’” Many students tell no one.



The Youth Services Bureau crisis line is (613) 260-2360. www.ysb.on.ca




Survey details impact of bullying:

A survey, commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and released this week from Harris/Decima reveals the extent, and harmful effects, of bullying. It showed:

— Half of Canadian adults polled were bullied as a child or teen.

— Nearly a third of those think the abuse they suffered caused lasting harm.

— 89 per cent think bullies pose a serious threat to the long-term well-being of children and teenagers.

— 95 per cent of adults surveyed believe people have a responsibility to take action to reduce bullying.

— 85 per cent feel that providing children and teenagers who abuse others with a volunteer mentor is an effective way to reduce bullying.



Additional tips for parents and students are available from CAMH (Centre For Addiction and Mental Health) www.camh.net such as the following:


  • When a parent has bipolar disorder...What kids want to know
  • When a parent dies by suicide...What kids want to know
  • When a parent has experienced psychosis...What kids want to know
  • when a parent is depressed...What kids want to know
  • Moving beyond STIGMA
  • STIGMA understanding the impact of prejudice and discrimination
  • When a parent drinks too much alcohol...What kids need to know


Another source is OSSTF (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation) and a resource list this union has put together entitled "Still Not Laughing, Challenging Sexual Harassment in Our Schools" www.osstf.on.ca


The Pyschology Foundation of Canada has published a guide "Kids Can Cope: Parenting Resilient Children at Home and at School" at www.psychologyfoundation.org or www.kidshavestresstoo.org



From the toronto Star September 6, 2012:


How parents can take on bullying

Published on Wednesday August 08, 2012


Stu Auty

STEPHANIE LAKE/FOR THE TORONTO STAR “If we help children understand who they are — if they are good at music or kind or athletic — that provides the underpinning of self-confidence," says Stu Auty, president of the Canadian Safe School Network.
Sharon Aschaiek

Approximately one in five schoolchildren is bullied.

That’s the finding of a Public Health Agency study, The Health of Canada’s Young People: A Mental Health Focus, conducted in 2009 and 2010. Among the more than 26,000 kids it surveyed in 436 schools across the country, 22 per cent reported being victims of bullying.

But the good news is that parents can help protect their children against bullying at school. First, parents and kids need to understand the different forms bullying can take — ongoing verbal, physical and sexual aggression have been the most common ones. But the increase in recent years of cyber bullying — harassment through email, chat rooms or social media — creates a whole new set of problems.

“With electronic bullying, it never goes away — the comments live on the Internet forever,” says Wendy Craig, a contributor to the study and scientific co-director of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), a group of Canadian researchers, NGOs and governments focused on stopping bullying. “It’s like they re-experience the episode every time they see the link or as more and more people tell them they’ve seen it.”

Craig says one of the most important ways parents or caregivers can protect their kids against bullying is by helping them develop strong social skills.

“A child is more likely to be victimized if they are alone. Friends act as protectors. So, you want to actively support your child to build a peer group with prosocial values,” Craig says.

Another important way to prevent kids from being targeted by bullies is helping them build their self-esteem, says Stu Auty, president of the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN).

“If we help children understand who they are — if they are good at music or kind or athletic — that provides the underpinning of self-confidence. So, if a bully says they’re too short or they don’t have friends, they won’t believe it because they know what they’re about,” says Auty, whose organization develops safe-school resources, administers research and hosts conferences and professional development events for educators. The CSSN also responds to hundreds of calls for help from parents of bullied children.

Parents also need to cultivate strong and positive relationships with their kids. “Kids need adults with whom they feel comfortable and have a trusting relationship so they can confide in them,” Auty says.

Parents who suspect their child is being bullied should look out for telltale signs such as resistance to attending school, declining grades, decreased social interaction and a shift in mood to greater anxiety, anger or hostility, Craig says.

Getting kids to open up about their experiences of being bullied can be tricky because it’s emotionally painful, and because they may be scared of retribution if the bully finds out he or she has been exposed, she says.

“One of best times to talk about this issue is in the car, when they don’t have to make eye contact with you,” Craig suggests. They may disclose more information because they feel less self-conscious.”

Once parents learn the nature of the problem, they can coach their child to respond accordingly. Depending on your child’s personality, this may include asking the aggressor to stop or walking way, but it should also involve telling a teacher about what’s happening, Craig says.

Parents should also liaise directly with their child’s teacher to find out more about the bullying incident, how the teacher handled it, and what will be done to prevent it from happening again. “You also want to ask how you can support the teacher in these efforts, and to keep touching base to ensure everything is going well. That vigilance and teamwork will make a difference,” she says.

If your child’s teacher isn’t helping to stop the bullying, don’t give up, Auty says.

“Go up the food chain, to the vice-principal, principal, your school trustee and the school board chair, if needed,” he says. “You’ll find over time the situation will be looked after.”