Parent Links‎ > ‎

Bullying Awareness and Prevention

Note: The Assumption Catholic School Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan can be found at the bottom of this page.
SOURCE: The following information was taken from a bullying prevention and intervention pamphlet produced by the OCSB. Click here to download the pamphlet.

What is Bullying? 
Bullying is defined as repeated aggression in which there is an imbalance of power between the child who bullies and the child who is victimized. (Juvonen & Graham 2001; Olweus, 1991, Pepler & Craig 2001) 

What can bullying look like? 
  • Social & Emotional - insults, name calling, put downs, ostracizing & exclusion, sexist, racist and gender related comments, harassment, threatening gestures, rumours, humiliation
  • Physical - kicking, punching, pushing, spitting, vandalism, stealing, intimidation 
  • Cyber & Social Media - use of email, text or social media postings to target others 
Is my child being bullied? 
Signs and Symptoms: 
  • Onset of anxiety related to travel from home to school. Refusal to go to school 
  • Frequent complaints of physical illness during the school year 
  • Decline in grades or decreased interest in school 
  • Missing or damaged personal belongings 
  • Unwillingness to talk about what’s wrong 
  • Change in sleep, eating patterns and / or interests 
  • Suddenly avoiding computer or cell phone 
  • Distressed appearance when receiving emails or texts 
  • Evidence of self-harm 
  • Avoiding the use of technology in public 
Is My Child Bullying Others? 
Signs and Symptoms: 
  • Little concern or empathy for others 
  • Does not take responsibility for actions 
  • Aggressive with siblings, peers, parents and adults 
  • Unexplained extra money or possessions 
  • Secretive of activities and whereabouts, including use of technology
  • Quick to anger 
Is My Child a Bystander? 
The bystander can play a crucial role. Some bystanders promote bullying through laughter, cheering and verbal comments. Some watch and do nothing. Some hear and do nothing. Bystanders can directly intervene. They can come to the victim’s defence. They can redirect the situation. They can rally support from peers. They can report the bullying to adults. Children and adults should stop, think and plan their personal response to bullying. Your actions count. 
How is My Child’s School Addressing Bullying? 
  • Incorporating bullying prevention and intervention programs 
  • Creating positive school climates 
  • A School Code of Conduct that includes progressive discipline and individualized student support and consequences 
  • Ongoing professional development and resources for educators 
  • Access to school board professional staff
How do we approach bullying from a faith-based perspective? 

Focus on Catholic Graduate Expectations and Gospel values. A Responsible Citizen who:
  • CGE7a acts morally and legally as a person formed in Catholic traditions; 
  • CGE7b accepts accountability for one’s own actions; 
  • CGE7c seeks and grants forgiveness; 
  • CGE7d promotes the sacredness of life; 
Religious education, family life, and other curriculum
  • Fully Alive Grades 1-8 Program The Fully Alive Family Life Program from Grades 1-8 addresses many areas of personhood and development including handling conflict and bullying, stress, family relationships, emotions and feelings and responsibility. 
  • The Fourth R - Programming from a Catholic Perspective (Gr. 7 - 10) A curriculum that promotes positive, safe youth relationships in collaboration with parents, schools and communities. 
  • Whole School Approaches which could include: WITS (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help (Grades K-6) A literacy-based program that brings together schools, families and communities to help elementary school children deal with bullying and peer victimization 
  • Restorative Practice Restorative practice seeks to develop and maintain positive relationships and a strong sense of community in our schools. The keys skills being developed in our community are active listening, facilitating dialogue and problem-solving, listening to and expressing emotion, and empowering individuals to take ownership of problems and solutions. 
Where Can I Turn?
Parents, schools and community partners work together to help both the victim and the bully. If you are concerned you can: 
  • Speak with your child’s teacher 
  • Contact the school principal 
  • Speak to a counselor or health care professional 
  • Become familiar with the OCSB Safe School Policy 
What can I do? 
It is important to listen to your child and assure him/ her that reporting is not tattling. Remember to work together with your school to implement a plan. Strategies to teach your child: 
  • Talk to an adult whom you trust 
  • If you don’t feel you are being heard tell another trusting adult 
  • Do not be alone in places where you do not feel safe 
  • Walk away 
  • Be assertive; not aggressive 
  • Call Kids Helpline 1-800-668-6868 or visit website at
 “When peers do have the courage to step in, bullying behaviours stop 57% of the time within 10 seconds.” (Dr Wendy Craig & Dr. Debra Peplar, 2007)

How can I learn More? 
Whom can I contact? 
Please contact your school Principal with any concerns. Further information can be found in Bullying, We Can allStop It, a downloadable publication for parents by the Ontario Ministry of Education.