Research has shown the best solution to eliminating bullying is the whole school approach.
The WITS program in the Greater
Victoria School District in B.C. has adopted
a mantra that has yielded effective results:
“Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, Seek
help.” This model is different because it
reaches outside of the classroom and into
homes and communities.
In Ontario the Fourth R program
developed by Dr. David Wolfe is bringing
the missing component into secondary
schools: Relationships.This classroombased
curriculum emphasizes good
decision-making skills to promote
healthy relationships. The program has
reduced violence and bullying, unsafe
sexual behaviours, and substance
use. Focusing on engaged teachers,
active students, involved parents and
community, students have more positive
influences and role models to show
them how to make productive decisions.
The Boomerang Project trains educators
to use leadership and group-development
in peer-mentoring initiatives. Their highand
middle-school transition programs,
Link Crew and WEB, have reached out to
3,000 schools to make them a safe place
for students to learn. There are 277 Link
Crew schools and 34 WEB schools in
Alberta, B.C., New Brunswick and Ontario.
Edutopia was developed by the George
Lucas Educational Foundation based in
California. One of its many strategies is
Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The key to
SEL’s success is the focus on readying kids
to be healthy, happy, successful members
of society. These programs can be 12 to 18
months. The investment has paid off in the
Ontario schools that have implemented
Vancouver-based writer Michelle Eades is interested in social issues of children.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, August/September 2012.