Contributed by Ian Cook (Teacher Candidate)
One of the main reasons I want to become a teacher is not just to help children learn and grow as students, but also to try and put a stop to bullying. Bullying is something I feel very passionate about, because I have been on both ends of the spectrum, as both bully and victim. I know how harmful and damaging bullying can be, and that is why I want to do everything in my power to stop it once and for all.
I have done research on an organization that was founded in British Columbia, and is called ERASE Bullying. ERASE stands for: Expect Respect and A Safe Education. It is a comprehensive prevention and intervention strategy that is hoping to make British Columbia a leader in addressing and preventing bullying. This blog will focus on the ideas of ERASE Bullying, giving a brief overview of what they are all about, and some of their strategies for preventing bullying.
“Bullying isn’t just a child’s issue; it’s a school and community issue, and must be addressed with a school and community solution.”
The quote above is taken from the website for ERASE Bullying. I think it perfectly sums up the first step in preventing bullying; understanding that there are many factors to why bullying occurs, and it is up to the school and community to try and find a solution for it. When I was growing up and being bullied I always felt as if it was me against my bullies. I felt that I needed to do something about them and that I was alone in trying to protect myself from both physical and mental harm. ERASE Bullying attempts to eradicate this thinking with their 3 C’s. These 3 C’s are ideas on how to create a safe school community, and ensure that no student will ever feel alone.
The 3 C’s
Connectedness: Making students feel valued and appreciated. Students should feel that peers
and adults in the school care about their learning and well-being, and want them to succeed.
Climate: Focuses on the relationships within the school community,
between students and adults. This stems off of connectedness, and narrows in on how connected the students’ feel to each other within the school, as well as how connected the school is to the community as a whole.
Culture: Shared beliefs, values, and priorities of people within a school
community. If one wished to change their school culture, it would take around three to five years to be in full effect.
The 3 C’s effectively summarize what a school community must do in order to take a step in the right direction in regards to preventing bullying. It is important that we understand the role we all play, whether being a student, educator, parent, or part of the school community. Everyone is important in putting an end to bullying, and it is not just up to one person, but the community at large.
ERASE Bullying has a plan that involves ten key elements, which will ensure bullying goes on the decline and hopefully is prevented in all schools. These ten elements can be found at the link below, as well as more information regarding ERASE Bullying.
10 elements of the plan:
Although this program is only being implemented in British Columbia, I believe it has potential to be adopted by other provinces across Canada, and hopefully make its way to Ontario. The ten key elements can easily be executed in schools anywhere. This plan gets everyone involved and ensures everyone in the community has a role to play to prevent bullying. It is important to remember that no student should feel alone against bullying, and that it takes an entire community to stop it. We must all take action against bullying and know what our role is in the matter. As a teacher candidate, I know that my role is to form strong relationships with the students, as well as ensure that the classroom is welcoming and supportive of a safe and welcoming community.
To find out more about what role you can play in bullying, or to further educate yourself on ERASE Bullying, please visit the website at: