Skip to main content
Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
AP 358 - Harassment, Bullying and Cyber-bullying
Background

The Division believes in the importance of providing students with a safe and secure environment. Therefore, acts or threats of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment on or by any person will not be tolerated.
The Division supports the provision of training for staff that includes:
  • The means to recognize potential acts of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment on or by any person;
  • Procedures and practices that minimize or eliminate risks to students;
  • The appropriate responses of staffs and students to incidents of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment on or by any person.
Guidelines:
  • Safe and caring schools that promote healthy workplaces for teachers and healthy learning environments for children and youth is  a Division priority. Collectively, society shares the responsibility for creating positive learning environments that foster respect and understanding, and are free from acts of violence, threats of acts of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment.
  • Individual rights to freedom of information, thought, belief, opinion and expression, should be balanced with the rights and responsibilities of parents, students, guardians and the education community. These include the right to guide individuals in the responsible use of information and communication technology.
  • Cyber misconduct, including cyber-bullying, negatively influences student learning and teacher workplaces and is viewed as a significant workplace health and safety issue. Any response to cyber misconduct and/or cyber-bullying should focus on protection of students, teachers, and the school community. Refer to the Horizon School Division AP-140 Acceptable Use of Computers Procedure.
  • Appropriate conduct involves a set of rules for behaving properly. In an educational setting, examples of appropriate cyber conduct include:
    • Maintaining professional standards when communicating with teachers, students, parents, and administrators in accordance with the AP-140 Acceptable Use of Computers Procedure.
    • Maintaining the confidentiality of information about students, parents, teachers, or administrators.
    • Respecting the rights of others and behave in a manner that facilitates the orderly functioning of the school community.
    • Ensuring that appropriate safeguards and protection measures are in place prior to posting personal or professional data or information. Refer to the Horizon School Division procedure AP-181
  • Misconduct that originates from within the school or from the community-at-large, which ultimately has a negative impact on the school climate and/or culture, warrants immediate and decisive action by the school administration including the imposition of sanctions, when appropriate, on the offender(s).
Definitions:
  • Violence, Bullying or Harassment means the attempted, threatened, or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause injury, and includes any threatening statement or behavior that gives a person reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury within Division-operated facilities, on Division property, at any school-related activity or event and travelling to and from school. This includes any verbal or physical action taken which threatens or results in the inflicting of physical, emotional or psychological distress or bodily harm on a person. Also included is any behavior that has intent or effect to alarm, annoy or belittle a person.
  • A weapon is any object which is either designed or intended for use in threatening or inflicting body harm on a person.
  • Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior which is sexual in nature. It can include but is not limited to the following:
    • unwanted physical contact;
    • unwelcome remarks or compromising invitations;
    • verbal abuse;
    • display of suggestive pictures;
    • leering, whistling, innuendoes, jokes or other behaviors or gestures of a sexual nature;
    • demands for sexual favours.
  • Cyber-bullying is the use of information and communication technology to bully, embarrass, threaten or harass another. It also includes the use of information and communication technology to engage in conduct or behaviour that is derogatory, defamatory, degrading, illegal, and/or abusive. Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, which is intended to harm others. (Source - Bill Belsy - http://www.cyberbullying.ca/)
  • Zero tolerance means there will always be consequences for all acts of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment. It does not mean zero tolerance of the student who commits an act wherein one incident automatically means expulsion. It means that judgment and common sense will be applied to each situation.
  • Information and Communication Technology is equipment that includes, but is not limited to, any current or emerging stationary or wireless technologies or systems that can be used by individuals or groups for the purpose of communication, entertainment, data management, word processing, internet access, image capture/recording, sound recording and information transmitting, receiving or storage. Refer to the Horizon School Division AP-140 Acceptable Use of Computers Procedure
  • Safe Cyber Environment is an environment where teaching and learning takes place while accessing and utilizing all the educational opportunities, influence and potential of information and communication technology. Furthermore, it is a setting that is equitable and free from hazards and abuses directed at, or occurring from, users of information and communication technology.
Procedures

1.  Staff at all levels are expected to respond firmly, decisively, and without delay to behavior which causes or threatens to cause harm to others or is viewed as an act or threat of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment.

2.  All staff members are responsible for all students and all students are responsible to all staff members with regard to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment.

3.  It is important to note that while safety and security violations commonly revolve around students acting against other students, all staff members must be aware of two other dimensions of possible violations - students acting against teachers and teachers acting against students.

4.  Staff are directed to take particular note of the most common safety and security violations faced by students:
4.1.  Bullying and threatening;
4.2.  Physical violence;
4.3.  Harassment and mistreatment;
4.4.  Vandalism, theft and extortion;
4.5.  Sexual abuse;
4.6.  Cyber-bullying;
4.7.  Drug and alcohol offenses, and
4.8.  Possession of weapons.
5.  School expectations concerning student conduct with respect to violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment, and the possible consequences of serious or repeated misconduct, are to be communicated to students, parents and staff.

6.  The onus is on the victim or witness to report incidents of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment as soon as is reasonably possible. Refer to AP-354 Violence and Threats

7.  Reported cases of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment shall be investigated by the appropriate school-based or system administrator in keeping with the AP-358 Bullying, Harassment and Cyber-bullying procedures. The investigative procedures shall include:
  • A review of the complaint, interview of the complainant and, if possible, interview of the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators, as well as any witnesses, and determination of whether to proceed on a formal or informal basis,
  • A decision by the school-based or system administrator to proceed with formal action would follow one or more of the following:
    • School-based discipline procedures;
    • Board policy and administrative procedures on suspension and expulsion;
    • Involvement of the police or other agencies if necessary.
 8.  As part of the investigation:
  • the victim and the alleged perpetrator shall be requested to provide a statement;
  • the victim and/or witness shall be made aware of their right to report the incident to the police;
  • school principals are authorized to report incidents directly to the police;
  • in case of students, the parent/guardian of both the complainant and perpetrator shall be advised of the reported incidents.
9.  Written records of the incident shall be retained by the investigator.

10.  Where necessary, student victims and perpetrators will be provided with counselling and support.

11.  Offenders may be asked to obtain external counselling.

Education
  • Anti-bullying principles form the basis for appropriate cyber-conduct and cyber-bullying prevention. Appropriate conduct should involve:
    • Modeling and demonstrating appropriate cyber conduct
    • Utilizing a whole school/whole community approach
    • Focusing on prevention, protection and intervention and, where possible, the imposition of sanctions for violations.
  • School Staff and members of the school community, including parents, are encouraged to pursue ongoing access to learning opportunities that provide current, relevant education about appropriate violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment prevention strategies.
  • Principles, processes and actions for effective violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber conduct, cyber-bullying and harassment education include:
    • The development and sharing of educational materials in partnership with stakeholders.
    • Disseminating educational materials about appropriate conduct to the school community.
    • Recognizing that educators, students, parents and the entire school community, have a responsibility in working to eliminate misconduct from the learning environment.
    • Establishing consequences for engaging in conduct that has negative affects the school climate and/or culture.
  • Preventative programs include:
    • Providing and sharing comprehensive and current information about appropriate violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment prevention measures. This may include data, facts and realistic examples of occurrences.
    • The development of strategies that will help school staff, parents and caregivers recognize and address misconduct in classrooms and school communities.
    • Sharing information about new and emerging information and communication technologies.

Roles and Responsibilities


Students shall:
  • Follow principles of appropriate conduct and adhere to principles of this document and the Horizon School Division AP-140 Acceptable Use of Computers Procedure at home, at school and anywhere outside the school.
  • Advise the appropriate adult if they observe/know about another person who is the victim of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment or are experiencing any of these acts themselves.
  • Actively participate in and contribute to activities that discourage violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment.
Parents and Guardians are encouraged to:
  • Discourage violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment behaviour at home.
  • Familiarize themselves with information and communication technology and websites used by their child.
  • Have an acceptable use agreement for the use of information and communication technology at home.
  • Keep computers and other information and communication technology devices in an open, common area and have filter software installed.
  • Become familiar with the Horizon School Division AP-140 Acceptable Use of Computers Procedure.
  • Actively participate in and contribute to activities that discourage violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment.
  • Maintain open communication with children about appropriate cyber conduct and/or cyber-bullying and treat any report(s) of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment as a serious matter.
  • Become familiar with, and be alert for behaviour that indicates a child may be the target of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment.
  • If a child is the target of a violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment, assist him/her in determining the best response. Consult with the school Division’s Bullying, Harassment and Cyber-bullying procedure and contact the school administrator for assistance if necessary.
School Staff shall:
  • Model exemplary conduct.
  • Adhere to their Professional Code of Ethics, and the school Division’s appropriate AP-358 Bullying, Harassment and Cyber-bullying procedures.
  • Participate in Professional Development sessions to familiarize themselves with violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment prevention processes, actions and responses related as part of P.D. and in-service opportunities.
  • Assess and appropriately respond to incidents of violence, intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying and harassment among students or between student(s) and school staff.


Thank you to the Canadian Teachers Federation for sharing resources used in the development of this document.
Thank you to Saskatchewan Rivers School Division #119 for sharing resources used in the development of this document.


Reference:  Section 85, 87, 109, 148, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 175, 231, Education Act
Human Rights Code Act
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Canada Criminal Code
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
STF Code of Ethics
Ministry of Education: Bullying Prevention – A Model Policy 2006

July 10, 2012