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My child is being bullied at school. Does the school have to help?

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My child is being bullied at school. Does the school have to help?
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Ontario Ministry of Education
Ontario Ministry of Education
Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health

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My child is being bullied at school. Does the school have to help?
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Reviewed: 
December 15, 2020
Answer

Schools in Ontario must take bullying very seriously. School boards have to:

  • train teachers and staff about bullying
  • teach students about bullying
  • have programs and policies to prevent bullying
  • create safe school environments
  • intervene quickly if bullying starts
  • give help to students who have been bullied
  • help bullies improve their behaviour

Teachers and school staff must take all bullying seriously and respond to it quickly and sensitively. And principals must use progressive discipline. Progressive discipline means that if a student keeps repeating inappropriate behaviour, then the level of discipline should gradually increase. For example, if a student gets a detention for bullying but they continue bullying, then the principal may consider suspending the student. The goal of progressive discipline is to help a student improve their behaviour, keeping in mind that each student and situation is different. But each school deals with bullying in slightly different ways.

Effects of bullying

Bullying is a serious issue. It can have lasting effects. Children who are bullied or who bully others can have emotional, behavioural, and relationship problems.

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