Our ABAV plan, approved by the OES Governing Board in October, includes a corresponding school life and values orientation that identifies many values that we cultivate at the school: kindness, participation, active listening, organization, mutual respect, resilience, truth and many more. To help animate the values, students are invited to practice one of them each week. Certificates are given to students who consistently demonstrate the values we discuss at weekly assemblies. We are developing a values tree on which leaves with names + word of the week are posted. The tree will be visible in our central hallway and we hope to inspire the students to get their name on the tree. The ABAV Plan, therefore, is designed to provide a balance in the school between encouragement and enforcement of our expectations for student behavior.
Guidelines for troubleshooting issues of conflict, bullying, and violence with children:
- See/know the problem (child acknowledges the problem)
- How, Why and What (5 point scale: calming down + level of seriousness)
- What happens next; adult gives advice (directions for steps 4 and 5)
- Solve/fix the problem (apologize, forgive, and understand role – accept responsibility)
- Make it right (consequence & opportunity to put a solution in place and practice it)
The role of the adult is to think for the child, especially at Level 4 and 5 rather than engage in their high state of stress (“stay out of the cage”).
Avoid argument; give directions.
|Level of Seriousness||Calming Down|
|5. report to office||⇄||5. very angry/defiant|
|4. lose recess time||⇄||4. angry/arguing/stress|
|3. fix on the spot||⇄||3. upset/mild stress|
|2. talk it out||⇄||2. even/little or no stress|
|1. help “be cool”||⇄||1. happy/positive/cool|
Mandate: To adopt and follow the action plan as established by the principal and in alignment with Law 19. To integrate anti-bullying methods, in conjunction with our beliefs (TRIBES – Community circles and agreements) and in alignment with our community focus.
Violence: “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 2012
Bullying: “Any behaviour, spoken word, act or gesture, whether deliberate or not and of a repetitive character, expressed directly or indirectly, including in cyberspace , in a context characterized by a disparity in the balance of power between the concerned persons, having the effect of engendering feelings of distress, injury, hurt oppression or of being ostracized;”Art.13, LIP 2012
Actions: The actions to be taken when a student, teacher or other school staff member or any other person observes an act of bullying or violence. When a student witnesses an act of bullying or violence the student is expected to intervene where there is no additional threat of harm. Regardless of whether students intervene or not, they must report the incident to an adult at school and an adult at home. Intervention strategies will be discussed with bystanders when the principal or their delegate meets with the bystanders (when deemed appropriate). When a teacher or other staff member witnesses an act of bullying or violence they must intervene immediately if there is no threat to their personal well-being.
Consequences: a variety of consequences can be applied. Note that in all cases parents are informed and Restorative Practice is included. Depending on the context, a range of consequences are applied. In every situation, an apology by a perpetrator is expected and actions aligning with restorative practice follows. Out of school suspensions may occur given seriousness of violence or threats.
Confidentiality: All detailed data base reports are exclusively accessed by the principal or the teacher producing a report. Reports on perpetrators are not available to the parents of a victim with the exception of the details shared (verbally) by the principal or a teacher. Student information will not be transmitted via social media or by fax. Senior management will only see information as required and as the information pertains to particular cases requiring WQSB intervention. Students are encouraged not to share the details of mediation and consequences with peers. Complainant’s reports are contextualized and are not used a mean of eliciting information form perpetrators nor witnesses. However, the principal may use the summary of information provided as means of relating the context to the perpetrator while maintaining the confidence of individual parents and/or students providing reports.
Victim of Bullying: The student will meet with the appropriate individual (teacher they are closest to, principal or their delegate) to discuss the situation and to learn further information about bullying incidents. Students will be guaranteed confidentiality to ensure they feel safe about discussing the incidents and are not anxious about possible retaliation from the student who is bullying them. Students are informed about the follow-up that will occur with the individual(s) involved. Parent(s) will be informed of the situation. Student input is sought as to measures that could be implemented immediately to support the student. Follow up includes meeting with victims to ensure that the bullying has stopped. Victims are encouraged to report any future incidents and is reminded to tell an adult at school or an adult at home. If additional resources to support the student are deemed appropriate the principal or their designate will ask the parent(s) to follow-up (counselling etc.)
Witnesses: The principal or teacher designate will meet with the witnesses individually or in a group depending on the circumstances. When students actively support the child who bullies, the principal or designate meets with each student to discuss their behavior and the consequences that will be imposed for their active role in supporting a bullying situation. Future expectations for the student will be discussed and the student is informed that their parent(s) will be informed.
Witnesses are encouraged to be pro-active by verbally intervening: “that’s enough,” will be the working phrase for interventions.
Perpetrators: The perpetrator will be met with after a discussion has been held with the victim and the bystanders to ensure that the intervening adult has an accurate understanding of the situation. The perpetrator is informed of their knowledge of the incident, that the rules have been broken and what the consequences will be. The perpetrator is given the opportunity to explain from their perspective. The perpetrator is informed that their parent(s) will be informed. The perpetrator is asked how they will ensure that this does not happen again. The principal or teacher delegate will inform them that should any future incidents occur that the consequences will be more severe. Regular follow-up with the perpetrator occurs to ensure the bullying has stopped. Appropriate staff members are informed to ensure the perpetrator is closely supervised and their behavior redirected when appropriate.
Shared values (Analysis of situation: priorities): prescribe the restorative function of the principal: action must be taken by the principal to deal with the perpetrator and his or her parents, and specify the form and nature of the undertakings they must give in order to prevent any further act of bullying or violence (article 75.2 QEA).
Practices to Enhance Onslow (Pending introduction to staff and community): Playmakers is an organized group of Cycle 3 students working with a teacher to animate simple playground games, thereby, reducing the opportunities for students to fill unstructured time with unregulated pursuit which can lead to violence and bullying. A correlational effect includes learning how to accept conventions f winning/losing without confrontations. The Playmakers program is a long term investment, much like Big Brother / Big Sister campaigns, whereby the culture of the school shifts toward positive relational outcomes, a better play environment that is less open to acts of violence or bullying.
Big Brother / Big sister campaign: A “big brother / big sister” program may help establish more community based relational approaches that will target specific individuals based on what the older students can or needs to do and the younger students who needs to know that he/she is connected to an older peer that can support or advise them.
Relational values: adults work WITH young people, respect is the core value, dignity, safety and trust are essential, strengths are valued and promoted, accountability and responsibility are expected and mutual.
Responsive values: adults are intentional in what they do, development needs drive actions, behavior and its meaning is best understood in context, pain based behavior requires a response of compassion and kindness, the inside world is as important and the outside behaviors, young people experience problems – they are defined by their strengths not their problems.
Restorative values: forgiveness and tolerance are modelled by adults and fostered in youth, reconciliation in relationships and relatedness is consistently advocated, adults work with youth to support them in being accountable and responsible, opportunity to practice growing forward and using strengths empowers youth.