Human Rights-Nov 2019
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November 2019
Caring Communities- Human Rights and Discrimination  

Parents, students and school staff all need to work together to create a school environment where everyone feels safe, accepted and respected – regardless of their race and national or ethnic origin, skin colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family status, disability, or genetic characteristics.
 Bullying is a persistent pattern of unwelcome or aggressive behaviour that hurts others physically and/or emotionally. For a situation to be considered a bullying incident, three indicators are usually present:
POWER – children who bully acquire their power through physical size and strength, by status within the peer group, and by recruiting support of the group
FREQUENCY – bullying is not a random act. It is this factor that brings about the anticipatory terror in the mind of the child being bullied that can be so detrimental and have the most debilitating long-term effects
INTENT TO HARM – children who bully generally do so with the intent to either physically or emotionally harm the other child
A person who shows bullying behaviour says or does something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse – even when it’s obvious that they’ve hurt a person or when they are asked to stop. The four types of bullying are physical, verbal, cyber and social emotional. 

Physical Bullying

Hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching, pushing, damaging property

Verbal Bullying

Name-calling, insulting others, teasing, intimidating others, making homophobic or racist comments

Cyber Bullying

Teasing or humiliating a person online using Social media, Cruel websites (e.g. posting photos of others on rating websites), Video games, Chat rooms, Instant message or texting.  Cyberbullying is constantly evolving and changing with new technology and social media sites. It can happen at any time of day or night and can reach a person even in the privacy of their own home.

Social Emotional Bullying

Lying about someone, spreading rumours, 
making mean facial gestures, playing mean jokes, mimicking others in a mean way or excluding someone. 

Social and emotional  bullying is one of the most harmful. It leaves victims feeling rejected or depressed – with no way out. It’s also difficult to recognize this type of bullying because it can be done behind someone’s back. 
You have the power to stand up for what’s right and stand up for each other. Someone showing bullying behaviour loses their control if they don’t have an audience watching them.

If you see bullying, you can stop it within 10 SECONDS of getting involved. You could try:
Saying something like, “leave him alone,” or “cut it out.”
Defending the victim
Directing attention away from the bullying
Getting support from friends to stand up against bullying
Reporting the bullying to adults
Don’t encourage bullying behaviour by:
Laughing, cheering or recording it
Forwarding bullying photos or texts
Visiting websites that target a specific person
“Liking” mean comments or photos on social media
Joining in on the bullying
You become part of the problem by watching bad things happen and not doing or saying anything about it.


Stand up for yourself. Be assertive, but not aggressive. Tell the person to stop bullying. Don't fight or plan any acts of revenge.

Be smart. Stick close to your friends and avoid being alone. Don’t delete messages, photos, texts or emails – they can be used as evidence.

Get help. Tell an adult what happened – try to provide as many details as you can. They'll be able to offer support and get involved in a positive way. It's normal to feel scared, angry or confused – you can ask for counseling or support with this.
The Ministry of Education ERASE program is a valuable resource for finding help or reporting bullying behaviour.  
These are a few signs that could indicate the need to check-in with your child and start a conversation.
Kids who are being bullied by others will often display a change in behaviour or emotions, like:

Not wanting to go to school or participate in extra-curricular activities

Anxious, fearful or over-reactive
Low self-esteem and making negative comments about themselves or a former friend

Regular complaints of stomachaches, headaches, and other physical symptoms without any particular cause

Less interest in school (i.e. drop in grades, development of learning issues)

Injuries, bruising, damaged clothing or broken items
Unhappy and irritable

Trouble sleeping, nightmares, bed wetting

Frequent crying

Threatens to hurt themselves or others

Significant changes in social life (i.e. no one is calling or inviting them out)
Choose an appropriate time to talk with your child – use open-ended questions, for example:
"What did you like the most about your day?"
"What was the most frustrating part of your day?"
Listen – let your child do the talking, encourage them to describe the bullying in as much detail as they can and document it
Make sure your child knows that it’s okay for them to feel the way they do
Paraphrase what you heard – this will help them feel understood and open to having help
Give them tips and tricks on how to handle bullying behaviour in a non-aggressive way
Show them how to get help

Is your child engaging in bullying behaviour?

If you suspect or have been told that your child is exhibiting bullying behaviour, you need to take it seriously and address the situation in a calm, open-minded manner. 

You should make it very clear that the bullying behaviour must stop immediately.

Kids who exhibit bullying behaviour may show signs that they are using power aggressively, such as:

Little concern for the feelings of others

Aggressive with siblings, parents, teachers, friends and animals

Bossy and manipulative to get their own way

Ask your child about their friends and what they do together

Find out if something is happening at school or at home that is causing them to act out

Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to open up

Paraphrase what you heard and have them take ownership over their actions

Set appropriate consequences

Greater Victoria School District Substance Use Philosophy and Goals
The Greater Victoria School District is committed to providing safe and healthy learning environments for all students. As part of our approach, we have been focusing on mental health and substance use topics to help us promote well-being in our schools.

Substance use is a complex topic that often highlights varied philosophies, myths, and a great deal of fear. The research shows us that early interventions, particularly around critical thinking and decision making, has an impact on delaying use in youth. As well, open dialogue with adults, intentionality around attachment, and a focus on the 

factors that contribute to substance use, as opposed to the actual substances, also prevent, delay and reduce substance use in our students.

Our goal is to create a more cohesive, systematized substance use plan focusing on social emotional learning, that includes our youth and schools, community partners, and families. We strive for a shared vision, common language and consistent messaging over time, in order to support positive youth culture and a healthy perspective on substance use and mental health. 

In B.C. the legal age for alcohol and cannabis consumption is 19 years old.
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