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Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

November 16-20, 2020 is Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. As a Catholic school community, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is committed to fostering safe and inclusive learning environments by addressing bullying and working towards prevention.

Bullying is a major problem for Canadian children, as research indicates over 1,100,000 students are bullied at least once, each and every week. Many more children witness bullying and know that it is going on. Bullying is a relationship problem, and it is very difficult for children who are being victimized to remove themselves from the dynamic. Once a bullying relationship is established, attempts to make the bullying stop on their own are usually unsuccessful and may make the bullying worse. Adult intervention is needed to correct the power imbalance.

The use of online devices has increased for many children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the need to better understand cyberbullying.

Students, school staff, and parents are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being. Learn more about the Board’s Bullying, Prevention, Intervention and Follow-Up Plan.

For parents, PREVNet has created a website that answers questions about cyberbullying and keeping children and youth safe online. Please click here to learn more.

Students who are experiencing bullying are encouraged to seek support from a trusted adult at Kids Help Phone Line at 1-800-668-6868. Youth in crisis can contact COAST Hamilton at 905-972-8338.

Prayer of the Bystander

The following prayer was written by Ally Shikaze, a former Bishop Tonnos student, and was the winning submission in the 2011-2012 Bullying Awareness Prayer Writing Contest.

Today, dear God, a child sighed
A child hid, a child cried
Today, Dear God, a person like me
Was broken by the pain of others’ cruelty.

A push, a word, a condescending look,
A single action was all it took
For a person to feel the pain so strong
And yet others acted like nothing was wrong.

I pray, dear God, that I may be
A person who sets others’ free
Who reaches out to those in pain
To ease the overwhelming strain.

A silent bystander I shall not be,
Please Lord, I ask that you help me
To protect, to do what is right and good
To stand up for others as we all should.

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week