Go to the About This Course page to learn what each of the faces represents. Please read the scenario below and click on the response that seems most appropriate. Note that there is no perfect answer provided, and each response offers feedback and a learning opportunity. Please see COPA’s recommended response.

What Role Can the School Play in Responding to Bullying?

SCENARIO: Your child often comes home and chats with you, telling you stories about their day at school. Lately, you've begun to notice your child making negative references to a couple of Aboriginal students in their grade. You inquire more closely, and you are disturbed to discover that your child and many of their friends share racist opinions and attitudes about these students, and don't want to spend time with them. You are concerned that perhaps the school's culture is encouraging these negative attitudes leading to bullying behaviour. You decide to approach the school.

1You talk to your child about the definition of bullying, the value of diversity and the importance of respecting differences, and everybody’s rights and being inclusive of all students. You enable your child to see and understand their responsibility in causing the bullying. You discuss with your child ways of repairing the harm and hurt they have caused for the targeted students.

You have communicated clearly and respectfully with your child about your values and your expectations of them.

Your child may have ideas about how to repair this situation and how to be accountable for the exclusion in which they have participated. This is an opportunity to support them in coming up with those ideas.

While you are supporting your child in reflecting upon their attitudes and values, and in taking action to repair the damage they have caused, the other students who witnessed or supported the bullying have not had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Furthermore, the school culture that is supporting these beliefs and attitudes goes unchallenged.

2You talk to the teachers in your child’s grade level about your concerns and encourage them to find strategies to ensure the safety and inclusion of all of the students in your child's grade.

3You invite the teacher to accompany you when you approach the principal to discuss your concerns and to explore the possibility of developing a whole school bullying prevention plan. The plan would encompass intervention with the two targeted Aboriginal students in your child's grade, students who were witnesses, and those who initiated or supported the bullying, as well as ways of creating a more welcoming school environment for these students (and everyone).

Explanation of the recommended response.