The Ontario Ministry of Education and Thinking Forward came to the same conclusion earlier in the decade: that bullying had become a major problem in our schools. It is an issue worth addressing not only due to the percentage of students that are directly affected, but the wide-ranging and long-lasting consequences for those who experience bullying, as well as the erosion of school cultures when bullying is taking place.

To ensure student success, the Ministry developed the Safe Schools Strategy. They published a helpful companion piece as a guide for the parents of students. You can read it by clicking here: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/multi/english/BullyingEN.pdf

There are a few sections that make this an invaluable resource. At the top of page 5 is a list of potential warning signs that your child may be being bullied. It is worth your time to familiarize yourself with. You may find these take an issue that seems so large and hard to get a handle on, and makes it very practical. I hope you and your family never have to experience these things exhibited in any of your children, but if you do, the following two sections provide direct and specific suggestions to help you know what you should do next, and how you can help your child in such difficult circumstances.

The Ministry has created certain expectations of Ontario schools regarding their actions to stamp out bullying, and those are outlined later in the guide as well. If you know anyone who is potentially facing a bullying situation, please share this and other resources with them. In any circumstance where bullying is present, please make sure to take some action to deal with it – remember that bullying is not a normal part of growing up.

As we at Thinking Forward are committed to making an impact in this area, please feel free to share other resources with us so we can pass them on, and we’ll all do our part to ensure the success of students across our great city.