LKDSB hopes for meaningful takeaway from Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

(© Can Stock Photo / Lopolo)

The local public school board hopes students and community members are better equipped to identify the different forms of bullying and how to report it.

The Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) recently observed Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. The province-wide campaign started on Monday.

LKDSB System Coordinator for Safe Schools Mark Houghton said the focus this past week was on the different types of bullying, and to remind the school communities of prevention methods and reporting strategies.

Although Houghton said the school board hasn’t noticed an increase in bullying overall, he said there have been more instances of online bullying.

“We end up being very reactive to those types of things. Those are the types of things that we’re always finding out, usually after the fact, depending on what the social media platform is that it occurs on.”

Especially in those types of cases, Houghton said help from community partners and trusted adults is what helps in the reporting method.

“The sooner we can follow up on those sorts of activities, the more success we have on the intervention side,” he said.

Students who are being bullied are encouraged to speak with a trusted family member or staff member in order to report it. However, other supports are available

“There’s online pieces and phone mechanisms in place for people to report as well, outside of that idea of the trusted adult in the home or in the school,” said Houghton. “We work with our families and our community partners as well to build that relationship because a lot of our community partners, both in Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent, support these initiatives as well.”

A couple of the online pieces and phone mechanisms Houghton referred to include the bullying intervention hotline at 1-800-668-6868 and kidshelpphone.ca.