Building a warm and caring school
By Amanda and Nora
Students at Mutchmor Public School work hard to build our school towards our Big Five—the five ways we build our warm and caring school:
- Do your best every day, with whatever you’re learning.
- Be creative.
- Stay active and eat healthy.
- Be yourself.
- Take care of others.
Sharing tips on bullying
As part of our work to make our school safe and happy for everyone who comes here, we talk about bullying. Bullying for us is a hurtful, purposeful, repetitive act (it is not an accident and it happens more than once). We know that there are different types of people when bullying happens: the bully (the person who does the bullying), the target (the person who is harmed by the bullying) and the bystander (a person who watches, ignores, or encourages bullying).
We have found there are four types of bullying.
- physical bullying, which is stealing, damaging someone’s property, hurting the target’s body by pushing or shoving them, or getting in their way.
- verbal bullying: saying something mean or mocking someone else.
- social bullying: gossiping about someone or excluding someone from a group.
- cyber-bullying, which is bullying online by posting comments or pictures on Facebook, email, cell phones, games.
We wanted to know what we should look for to help our friends. You should look for these things in your friends (or kids):
- Your friend is sad or depressed.
- Your friend has an injury and she doesn’t have a reason.
- Your friend has lost belongings.
- Your friend’s behaviour changes, like they are really tired or they don’t want to come to school.
- Your friend is acting cranky and they don’t want to talk about it.
If this is happening to your friend, you should report it to an adult with whom you feel comfortable.
When bullying happens, we are all learning about what we can do to help stop it. There are other things that you can do when you see it happening in the schoolyard. You can:
- Tell the bully to stop.
- Tell the target to walk away.
- Tell the target to ignore the bully.
- Ask the target to talk to you about it.
- Tell a teacher or an adult.
- Follow up with the adult to see what has been done.
- If you or your friend is getting bullied online, print it out right away and show an adult.
Most of our days at Mutchmor are lots of fun, but with so many people here, it’s not always perfect and we shouldn’t pretend it is. It’s important for all of us to know what to do when things don’t go well. Together, we’ve taken an oath to stop bullying. The more we talk about it and the more we understand that bullying is not a normal part of growing up, the more we can change our ways.
Amanda and Nora are in Ms. Ward’s Grade 5 class at Mutchmor Public School.
Note from Principal Heather Mace: This article is written as part of our school’s ongoing work on building positive character in our students and giving them the tools to deal with situations when they arise. One of the programs our school is exploring is the WITS program. Parents can learn more about how to use this program with their kids at http://www.witsprogram.ca/families/.
For more information about bullying programs, you can visit the OCDSB’s Anti-Bullying webpage at http://www.ocdsb.ca/com/SupportingourYouth/Pages/Anti-Bullying.aspx.