Bullying is not just a bad dream which will be over when you wake up. It is a nightmare which will go away only if we all open our eyes to this reality and choose to look out through all the windows.
School Boards, along with the State boards and Ministry of Education, must demonstrate that bullying prevention is a board-wide priority and they need to provide the required support and resources for schools and offer community wide bullying prevention programs including reporting systems, tracking systems and character education.
As parents, if our child is getting bullied or our child is the one who is responsible for the bullying, either way, we have a huge role to play and cannot evade our responsibility. We need to step back and look at ourselves; making sure we are serving as positive role models in being the best parents that we can be.
Our children might be innocent bystanders today, but tomorrow they could become the victim/target. We need to encourage them to speak up and report bullying when they see it or if it happens to them; reinforcing good character values.
Finally, the police. The police are the lynch pin to creating a safe community. The police have relationships with students, parents, teachers and the community. When the police demonstrate that bullying is not acceptable in their communities, it sends a clear message to everyone that the police are proactive.
Principals, teachers, parents, students and adults shape the school and community climate and are all responsible for serving in creating a respectful, safe environment. We all need to make a paradigm shift and start working together as a community and understanding that if bullying happens everywhere, it needs to be addressed by everyone. It’s a collective responsibility which we all must learn, to speak up and report bullying. Don’t be part of the problem; be part of the solution.