Safety is essential to good learning. Every student deserves to feel and be supported in school, on the school grounds, in school buses and at school events and activities. Everyone from all walks of life in communities across Ontario share this common goal.
At HWDSB, we are committed to making all schools caring and accepting places to learn. We know that bullying exists in our schools and community – and want to do all that we can to prevent it and intervene effectively. Students learn and teachers teach more successfully when schools are safe.
Parents and children should never feel alone or suffer the consequences of bullying in silence. Please tell a teacher, vice-principal or principal at your child’s school immediately if you have a concern.
What is bullying?
Bullying is typically a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause), fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying sometimes may also occur in a single event or occurrence.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention resource contains valuable information for families and students. The resource addresses topics such as what is bullying, what families can do about bullying and much more.
What should I do if my child is bullied?
- Listen to your child; assure them that they have a right to be safe.
- Know the facts about what happened and when.
- Explain to your child that reporting takes courage and protects others.
- Please tell your child’s teacher, trusted school staff or the principal or vice-principal.
- Remain calm so that you can support your child and co-plan a course of action.
- Stay on course. Watch your child’s behaviour. If meetings with staff don’t stop the bullying, talk to the principal. Follow up on the steps agreed to at the meeting.
- If bullying occurs during sports or activities, speak to the instructor or coach.
- Contact police if bullying involves criminal behaviour (e.g. sexual assault, use of a weapon), or threats outside of school.
- Please tell your child’s teacher, vice-principal or principal immediately.
- If reporting bullying to staff is uncomfortable, students can use the free and anonymous HWDSB Helps service to share a tip about bullying, mental health, substance use and more. Tips are sent to school staff. This is not a crisis line or counselling service. Click here to learn more.
- Text 905-963-0066. Standard rates apply.
- Download the HWDSB Helps app for iOS and Android.
- Web chat at bit.ly/HWDSBhelpswebchat
Community Crisis Supports
- COAST Hamilton: Mental health crisis line (905) 972-8338; coasthamilton.ca
- Kids Help Phone: 24/7 counselling for youth, crisis line 1-800-668-6868; kidshelpphone.ca
- In case of emergency, call 911.
In today’s digital age, ensuring the online safety of students is an integral part of HWDSB’s commitment to well-being. The internet is a valuable resource, but it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks that come with it.
CyberTip.ca offers valuable information and guidance on how to keep your child safe while using the internet. It provides tips and resources to help you and your child navigate the online world responsibly.
Pink Shirt Day
Policies and Procedures
- HWDSB Bullying Prevention and Intervention
- HWDSB Bullying Prevention and Intervention Procedure
- HWDSB Code of Conduct Policy
- HWDSB Code of Conduct Procedure
- HWDSB Student Behaviour and Discipline Policy
- HWDSB Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour Procedure
- HWDSB Suspension Expulsion and Programs for Long-Term Suspended or Expelled Students Procedure
Safe Schools Review Panel/Action Plan
On April 6, 2021, staff presented the Safe Schools Action Plan to the Program Committee as part of the Positive Culture & Well-Being Priority. Work is now underway to shape and implement this action plan through collaboration with students, families and community partners.
- September 2021 Progress Report
- November 2021 Progress Report
- March 2022 Progress Report
- June 2022 Progress Report
On October 28, 2019, the Board of Trustees approved a staff report that calls for the formation of a Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention & Intervention Review Panel to provide the Director of Education, Manny Figueiredo, with independent feedback and recommendations on how to prevent, intervene, report and respond to bullying.