Tag Archives: Anti-Bullying Strategies in Public Education

Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools: A 25 Year Teacher’s Perspective, Conclusion, Peer Mediation, Part 4

Part 4.  Peer Mediation: The Anti-Bullying Strategy of the Future

Laureen Harper, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife, recently named Peer Mediation as the Canadian Anti-Bullying Strategy of the future.  She presented this strategy after an inquiry into preventing Bullying and Cyber Bullying in Canada, and thus preventing teen suicides.

So, Just what is Peer Mediation?

Just what is Peer Mediation, and how does it work?  I first encountered Peer Mediation about six years ago, when I was a Teacher On Call in the first District I ever worked for.  One lunch hour, I was teaching at the same school of the very first Principal to implement an Anti-Bullying Program in my District, 25 years ago.  You will remember from Article 1, 25 years ago I went to this Principal to get the first Anti-Bullying Program, with the goal to eliminate Bullying in my classroom.  Unfortunately, my school and many others did not choose to implement this program.  But this particular Principal never stopped in his drive to eliminate Bullying.  Not only was he the first Principal to implement Anti-Bullying in our school district, but he was also one of the first Principals to implement Peer Mediation.

Arriving at his school at lunch hour, unbeknownst to him, I saw how his Peer Mediation program worked first hand.  I arrived when his students were still outside, playing out on the playground.  (You will remember in Article 1 that the playground is often where Bullying occurs.)

As I approached the school’s entrance, I noticed two or three students who were wearing brightly colored blue and black jackets.  I realized later that this identified them as the Peer Mediators, and the Problem Solvers.  I remember being simply amazed when I observed two other younger children run up to them, very agitated and upset.  When these children found their Peer Mediators, they quickly told them about a problem they’d had with another student, who had been Bullying them on the playground.

To my amazement, these mediators listened calmly and carefully, valuing and even clarifying what the children said.  I was astonished at their level of maturity and skill, with being so young.  (I think these children were in about Grade 5.  Grades 5-7 intermediate students are the ones chosen to be Peer Mediators.)

Resized 3 Responsible Children

Coming out of nowhere, I suddenly noticed the school Principal, and he stood quietly watching in the background.  The mediators soon noticed him too, and they turned and began to tell him about what had happened.  He stopped them, gave them a quick word of encouragement, and said, “You know what to do!  Go on, go and find him!”  So off they went, with renewed confidence and ease, to find the “Bully,” and then to problem solve with all of the children involved.  All in a quick instant, a problem that at 1:00 pm would have taken the classroom teacher 10-15 minutes of teaching time to solve, had already been to be taken care of.

Problem Solving Strategies, a Part of Peer Mediation

I don’t know what exactly happened next, because I had to sign in for work.  But I believe that these children had already been trained in many of the Problem Solving Strategies that I discussed in Part Three of this Article.  Summarized here, they are: respectfully discussing feelings and reactions; calmly getting to the truth of what happened; gently encouraging empathy; and finally sharing appropriate apologies.

Rules, Consequences and Rewards Too!

I am fairly sure that this school would also have had a well-established set of Rules, Consequences and Rewards, which the Peer Mediators and the whole school would have known about.  Ultimately, if the incident were really serious and frequent, I’m sure the Principal himself would have been talking with the child who had Bullied, and if necessary, beyond an apology, more serious consequences would have been applied.

Add Peer Modeling and Peer Mentoring

Subtly, during Peer Mediation, the powerful tools of Peer Modeling and Peer Mentoring are also at work.  In Part 2 of this Article, I described the wonderful work of another very special School Professional, a School Counselor at the great school I was working at this Spring.  This Counselor had amazing successes when through the School’s Student Council he implemented the Anti-Bullying Program of Pink Shirt Day.  His success rate implementing Student’s Council Peer Modeling and Peer Mentoring was simply amazing.  I remember I was astonished that on Monday’s Pink Shirt Day everyone in my classroom arrived wearing pink; and almost every one of my students wore a Pink T-Shirt.

A School Counselor on Peer Mediation

Speaking about this Counselor, just before I left this placement, I spoke briefly with him about Peer Mediation.  I asked him if he’d heard about Peer Mediation before, and he said he had.  He told me that there was a school in his district using Peer Mediation, and it was working very well for that school.  We talked about the upcoming layoffs of Special Education Assistants at his school, who were the lunch and recess time supervisors there.  We concluded that his school would benefit greatly from implementing a Peer Mediation Program, and he was very interested in facilitating this.

Resized Two Boys With Briefcases

Sadly, I heard that this coming year, due to even more cutbacks in our government’s education funding, this Counselor’s position had been completely eliminated.  –Ah..; and I thought it was Bullying we were trying to eliminate?  Need I say more?  Sigh.  Well, yes, I think I do.

Marnie’s Rant, On Government Cutbacks

This spring, at the wonderful school I taught at, I attended numerous recess and lunch hour meetings about how the School and the District were going to implement this new round of government cutbacks.  I was very sadly reminded of the last years of my on-contract teaching days.

In the late 90’s, we as teachers were finally able to celebrate having obtained Class Size, Class Composition and Preparation Time language in our Teacher contracts.  The next year though, suddenly the Provincial Government came in and completely stripped our contracts of this language and more.  Suddenly, we felt that the much more stable and positive learning environment that we’d achieved, for both ourselves and our students, had been lost.

As long as I can remember, government funding to School Districts has been decreasing almost every year.  In 1985, when I first started teaching French Immersion Kindergarten, I actually had an assistant who made teaching materials for me, several hours a week.  That was so great, because back then, there were no French materials to buy.  (Teachers, by the way, buy most of their own resources.)  But the next year, and almost every other year afterward, reductions in support time of various kinds occurred.  Over the years, Resources Teachers such as this wonderful Counselor, had their time reduced and reduced, because they did not enroll a classroom, and they were not deemed essential.

I remember the final year of my on-contract teaching days, during the 1999/2000 school year, when my Learning Resource Teacher announced that she was not going to be coming to my classroom anymore.  No more time for her to take that small group of children who needed extra help to learn to read and write.  (Forget about time for Math: that had been gone a long time ago.)  No more time for her to assess their needs, and then to work with myself and parents to design a program that would work for them.  No more time for her to model for me new and old teaching strategies, and to help me become a better teacher: because usually Resource Teachers are our Master Teachers, and their input is highly valuable.

To clarify, because Resource Teachers do not enroll a classroom, they are not encumbered by the need to do report cards five times a year, nor for organizing programming for 25-30 children.  They have time to research and develop new programs.  Too, they have often been very successful teachers, who have taught for a long time, and then who have gone back to university to get a Master’s Degree in Special Education.  Without them, then, what does this mean, for the quality of our children’s education?  They are our mentors: and suddenly they were gone.

A Stressful Learning Environment

Too, when cutbacks are very large, such as they were this last year, District strategies are to lay off everyone first, and then they reoffer employees their jobs, but for a lesser amount of time.  Some classroom teachers have to move to another school; and Principals and staff are left with very difficult decisions to make.  Until this has been decided, however, many meetings go on at school, at recess and lunch.  As a result, much stress occurs amongst Administrators, Teachers and Resource Staff; and yet they must all continue running their schools and their classrooms.  Ultimately, I believe the students suffer from this stress also.

The Parent View

While all parents see is strikes, the need to get babysitting for their children, and a lack of report cards or after school sports, there is truly much more going on within a school that counts.  I mean, aren’t we really there too teach?  Aren’t our children really there to learn?  Where is that in this picture?

When teachers consider job action, there is really much more at stake than an after school Volleyball game.    Can your child read?  Can your child write?  Can your child perform Math activities, at their grade level or more?  Why is this no longer a concern?

Also, Is Your Child Happy at School, or is He or She being Bullied?

And, for the purposes of this Article, is your child happy at school?  Is your child well adjusted?

Or, even more specifically, at school, is your child being Bullied?

Resized Playground Scene

One day, because of government cutbacks, are you going to find out that your child was Bullied, to the point of committing suicide?  And all because of a government that swore to eliminate Bullying, eliminated Counselling positions instead?  Because it is a School Counsellor who will help a child who seems unhappy.  It is a School Counsellor, who given the time, will find out what is going on, and work with parents, teachers and students to fix the problem.  It is a School Counsellor who will model compassion and concern, and find and implement the programs that will help to eliminate Bullying in our schools.

I’ll never forget the year too, again during the 1999/2000 school year, when the School Counsellor at my school told me, “I don’t have time to work with your kids Marnie.  Just put in the referral, and I’ll refer them out to another service.”  She, too, even back then, was spread between three schools.

When Teachers Strike

I know, when teachers strike, it is important programs like Anti-Bullying Programs, and important Resource Teachers such as the School Counselor and Learning Resource Teachers, and ultimately the quality of our education system as a whole, that teachers are fighting for.

By Sept. of this year, when I had posted Part 1 of my Anti-Bullying Article, I tried to contact the School Counselor that I had been writing about.   When he didn’t respond right away, I found out that that he had gone from working almost full-time at this wonderful school, to completely losing his position, to then working at this school part-time; but then he had been placed at two other schools as well.  When I sent Part 1 of this Article to him, he told me he read my article in his car, parked and taking a short break from driving between schools.  Need I ask, how effective is this?

This, I believe, is the real issue.  There is a need in our society for Anti-Bullying Programs and Special Education Resource Teachers, such as this Counsellor and my former Learning Assistance Teacher.  Yet there is simply no funding for it: and what there is, continually gets eroded.

Anti-Bullying is Moral Issue

I would like to leave some final thoughts about Anti-Bullying with the same Principal who first implemented the two very powerful Anti-Bullying Programs in my District; the first Anti-Bullying Program, “Bully Beware,” and then later, Peer Mediation.  As you will remember from Part #3, I had recently met with him at his new school district, where he was made Director of Instruction, when I went to pick up an old T4 for my records.

During our conversation, while I had heard that he was no longer involved in any type of Anti-Bullying work, he told me that he had actually not abandoned this pursuit at all.  Several years ago, he became involved in a Nation-Wide Campaign to Eliminate Bulling.  He travelled all across Canada, coordinating with the RCMP and several other key educators, teaching about what Bullying was and how to eliminate it.

He also stated that in his opinion, dealing effectively with Bullying was really a moral issue.  What he meant by this, initially I wasn’t sure.  Just like when I first met him 25 years ago, I was slightly taken aback by his unique and innovative position.  –He was always so ahead of the game.

What Did He Mean?

Upon reflection, I believe this is what he meant.  Teaching tolerance and respect is essentially, teaching morality.  For example, by addressing bullying, you are actually teaching the moral and golden rule of, “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.”

Also, I think he means that as bystanders, we all have a moral obligation, or a responsibility, to stop any type of Bullying:  whether we are teachers, principals, parents or government leaders alike.

During our conversation, he also shared that sometimes it is not easy to stand up for someone who is being Bullied.  Ultimately, he was implying that this takes courage.

Certainly implementing the new programs such as those mentioned above takes courage.  By doing so, the people involved are taking a stand against Bullying.  Certainly this principal and the teachers, administration and support staff at the wonderful school that I recently taught at, demonstrated all of these qualities; and many, many more.  I believe that we need to ask our government leaders to actually show more courage, and now to actually fund the programs that they endorse.

It’s Not Just Children Who Bully

Returning to what this Principal shared, lastly, he added that it’s not just children who Bully.  I was so surprised to hear this from a fellow colleague: but I knew it was true.  Not every school I had worked at had been as positive, forward thinking, and as inclusive as the one I taught at this spring.

At some schools, Principals simply impose their policies, rarely valuing teacher, parent and staff input.  Also, some parents can Bully school staff, if there was the slightest hint that their child is misbehaving.  Too, for whatever reason, teachers have long been the target of what seems to be unjustified Bullying by certain media and governmental groups.  Not that all teachers are completely innocent themselves!  I have sometimes for example observed teachers let Bullying comments by students go unchallenged.  Unfortunately, this allows Bullying to thrive, and this puts students at risk.

Eliminating Bullying Takes Moral Courage

It takes strong and courageous people like this Counselor and this Principal, however, to step up and make all of these Anti-Bullying strategies successful.   I only hope that those in charge, especially government leaders, begin to see how even the slightest cutbacks in education are actually eroding the success of not only our education system, but Anti-Bullying Programs today.

Ultimately, in my opinion, if we want our youth not to Bully, and we want to prevent Teen Suicides, then we must have the courage to do everything within our power to achieve this.  We must model positive, respectful, and inclusive behaviors ourselves.  This does not mean that we must be “mamby pamby.”  It is us, the adults, who are in charge!  We must remember this.  When necessary, we must be tough, “courageous,” strong, implementing consequences when necessary, and doing everything we can to uphold the values—and morals—that we want in our society.  Lastly, we must be educated.  Ultimately, we must encourage our government to spend money on developing and providing many more Anti-Bullying Resource Materials, and we must encourage them to fund Resource Teacher and Counsellor Teaching times.

Building a Strong, Safe Anti-Bullying Community

I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to work at such a stellar school this year, and for finally being able to see my desire to have effective Anti-Bullying Strategies implemented in Lower Mainland Schools.  I am so grateful for the strong leaders I have met along the way: those who helped me to develop my own Anti-Bullying strategies in my own classroom, and those who developed these programs on a school-wide level: this school’s Counselor, the special Principals; and the Learning Resource and classroom Teachers, who all taught me so much.

Ultimately, building a safe, strong Anti-Bullying Community for our youth takes time, education, special strategies, encouragement, moral courage, innovation, committment, funding, and very special, skilled, kind and courageous people like those described above.

Also, I do not believe that these strategies are just for teachers alone.  Parents and government members all need to be aware of and utilize these Anti-Bullying strategies, so that we all can bring them to bear on any type of Bullying: be it cyber, emotional or physical.

If we do this, I believe we will develop much stronger, healthier, safer and happier children.  Our children will know how to make good, healthy decisions; and as a result of our elimination of bullying, and they will not even get close to bullying others, or ever considering suicide themselves.

Peer Mediation Boys

Thank you for listening.  Here are the Website links for the Anti-Bullying Programs I have mentioned in this article.




For Discipline with Dignity, http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin534.shtml




By Marnie Hancock, B.Ed., Author, & List Trainer.


Marnie Hancock is available to speak to individuals and groups upon request.  If you would like to learn more about The List, AKA Reality Dynamics, the ultimate Anti-Bullying tool, please visit the website above.  If you would like to contact Marnie personally, please write to marnie@therealitydynamicslist.com.

Anti-Bullying Programs In Schools: A 25 Year Teacher’s Perspective, Part 1.

A Four-Part Article About Solutions To Bullying,

By Marnie Hancock, B.Ed, Author, Teacher, Consultant

A Personal Note From The Author:

As many of you know, I recently returned to teaching part-time in the Public Education System.  What you may not know, however, is that within this system I have had a long history with Anti-Bullying Programs.  In a way, my interest in The List, aka Reality Dynamics, is due in part to this interest.  Essentially, the List is all about personal empowerment and safety, which is the direct opposite of what people experience in Bullying scenarios.  My recent return to teaching was so inspiring, largely because of the great progress in Anti-Bullying Programs that I experienced at the stellar school where I was teaching.  So often successes in the Public Education System go uncelebrated, and so my goal is to do just that.  Too, my goal is also to assist with the problems of cyber bullying and the resultant teen suicides.  Only very briefly do I touch on The List Program, although I believe that The List process would be a valuable addition to any Anti-Bullying Program.  Read on, and I hope you enjoy this unique and experienced window into the evolution of Anti-Bullying Programs in the Public Education System today.

Because of the extensive content and depth of this subject, I have divided this article into four parts.  I hope you enjoy reading this article, as I share further aspects of this topic with you over the next several months.

Part 1.  Anti-Bullying Programs Today & Yesterday: Emotional & Cyber Bullying & Teen Suicide

Finding new solutions to cyber bullying and resulting increased teen suicides was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s appeal on Global News in May of 2013.  He asked that all Canadians need work together to find solutions to this new and challenging situation.  As a 25 year Public Education Teacher, I would like to respond to Stephen Harper’s call, and I would like to share the many successful Anti-Bullying Strategies that I have learned over my 25 year teaching career.  Essentially, I have closely researched and utilized Anti-Bullying Programs since their inception, almost 25 years ago.

At the risk of sounding like a “know it all,” receiving teachers were often impressed at how well my students learned, often being able to read, write and complete Math activities well beyond their grade level.  My students were happy, too, having fun at school.  Essentially, I found that the benefits of addressing Bullying in my classroom were immense.  When children felt safe, their potential for learning was infinite.

From my experience, however, not everyone in the Public Education System has made Anti-Bullying a priority.  While there have been some good reasons for this, with the added and exponential influence of technology, and the resulting teen suicides, I believe we cannot wait any longer.  All of us need to learn about and address Bullying now, for the benefit of our children and society.

To this end, and from first-hand experience, I will share with you every aspect of Anti-Bullying Programs that I have learned, from 25 years ago up until today.

In particular, this spring, I had the honor and privilege of teaching with a very fine group of professionals, at a well-established B.C. Lower Mainland school.  This brilliant group of professionals did make Anti-Bullying a priority; and I wanted to share this valuable experience with you.

After a 15 year hiatus from teaching on contract, this spring I ventured into teaching three days a week as a French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher.  When I arrived at this wonderful school, much to my surprise, these professionals were just starting to implement their yearly Anti-Bullying Program.

At my first of two  monthly staff meetings, the School Counselor got up to tell us about the school’s upcoming Pink T-Shirt Day, a National Anti-Bullying Week activity that he and his Anti-Bullying Committee were organizing for the whole school.

Secretly I thought to myself, “What, did I actually end up at a school where Anti-Bullying is made a priority?”  From my previous 25 years in the teaching profession, with 15 years as a teacher on contract and 10 years as a teacher on call, I must admit, this had often not been the case.  Here and now, at this school, I was about to see a new Anti-Bullying Program implemented first hand, and expertly.

To set the stage, though, I want to share with you my earlier teaching experiences with Anti-Bullying Programs.

Anti-Bullying Programs of Yesteryear

25 years ago, Anti-Bullying Programs were just starting out in Lower Mainland Schools.  At that time, I felt a strong need to have effective strategies to prevent Bullying in my classroom.

I was teaching Grades K-3, and  I had heard rumors that one of our district’s principals was implementing the first Anti-Bullying Program at his school.  So, after school one day I made an appointment with him, and he offered me his Anti-Bullying file.

I remember being a bit shocked when I first saw it: a large file, brimming over with loose papers, with some printed and many hand-written notes.  I remember asking him where the program came from, and I believe he replied that the program came from an introductory workshop made at a Principal’s Meeting.  Now, this principal tells me he remembers this first program was called, “Bully Beware.”

Despite my hesitation over the informality of this file, though, I rifled through it, and I copied everything that seemed relevant.  I then took it back to our school.  At our next Staff Meeting, I proposed that we implement the program.

After the usual discussion at our Staff Meeting, however, the principal that I was working with at the time recommended that we do not implement the program.  Needless to say, I was disappointed.  To his credit, though, he had a number of good reasons.  First, he felt it was more important to implement the new Social Skills Program that our district had just purchased for all of our schools, called The Second Step Program.  Especially, he wanted us to teach the Problem Solving Unit within that program.

He knew more about the first Anti-Bullying Program than I’d thought, informing us that learning Problem Solving Skills was an important part of the new Anti-Bullying Program.  When teaching this Unit, I learned that this principal was right.  Basically, the unit taught conflict resolutions skills, and especially how to be assertive in any situation.  This is a key and effective strategy in Anti-Bullying Programs today.

Next, our principal shared that there were really very few resources included in this new Anti-Bullying Program.  That, I could to attest to, having seen the original file.

Third, he added that even those people implementing the program had found that incidences of Bullying even increased when implementing this program.  As a principal, and often being the final recipient of challenging behavior at school, he was moving forward cautiously.   I respected this, and so I let it go.

Secretly to myself though, I thought, I think I know why this program actually increases bullying.  When I was looking through this program, even in its beginning stages, I was quite concerned with its emphasis on so many negative wordings and images.  I knew from my own lay psychological studies that negative words, especially when repeated, often created the reality that the words described.  As I looked through the program, I saw the word “Bullying” over and over again, with accompanying bullying images being viewed and drawn.  So, while the intent of the program was positive, I, too, was concerned about some of the program’s negative influences.

The lay psychological information that I had, however, was quite new information, and so I wasn’t really confident that my input would be accepted.

I had been very lucky to meet and study with one of the pioneering teachers in new thought psychologies, and her name was Jann Timmreck.  The title of her work was The List AKA Reality Dynamics.  The findings of her work, however, were not yet main stream.   So I waited for a more appropriate time to share them; and I continued to research and develop the education system’s and my own Anti-Bullying Strategies.

Emotional Bullying Identified

One of the very positive and important points that I remember from this first Anti-Bullying program, however, was that Emotional Bullying was for the first time clearly identified.  Emotional Bullying included activities such as teasing, taunting, name calling, exclusion, and not respecting another person’s space.  Physical Bullying, such as hitting in all of its various forms, was really more obvious.  For the most part, it had long been identified and dealt with.  But the emphasis on Emotional Bullying was new; and I felt, long overdue.

Emotional Bullying, at least at my grade level, was a really big issue.  As a classroom teacher, I felt I was dealing with this type of Bullying at least several times a day, and every day.  Complaints such as, “Johnny called me stupid!”  “Sally laughed at my coat!” and “Frank budged!” were all very common in my Primary Classroom.  (Please note that throughout this article the identities have been changed to protect the very innocent!)  Usually the incident would have happened outside, on the playground or before school, and it was brought into the classroom when I opened that door.

While these problems may on the surface seem innocent and trite, to young students they are very important.  To a teacher, trying to deal with the emotions involved is both complex and time-consuming; but the fallout from not dealing with these problems can be even more challenging.  From my experience, unresolved emotional bullying leads to even more serious conflicts, and even more disruptions and thus lost learning time in the classroom.

In those earlier years, when asking for assistance as how to deal with Emotional Bullying, I often found that it was just “glossed over,” by teachers, administrators and parents alike.  Comments such as, “Tell the Supervisor,” “That’s an outside problem, not an inside one,” and “Tough it out,” easily dismissed the need for adult intervention.

What the first Anti-Bullying program did, however, was to start to shine the light on what exactly Emotional Bullying was, and eventually how important it was to deal with it.  The principal I was working with at the time asked us all to be more aware of this type of bullying, and in the future to treat it just as seriously as Physical Bullying.

Emotional Bullying at the Root of Teen Suicides

Overall, I now believe that this type of Bullying, Emotional Bullying, added to the exponential influence of our cyber world, is very much at the root of teen suicides.  Now especially, we need to learn strategies to deal with Emotional Bullying, just as much as Physical Bullying.

Granted, one of the simple reasons why Emotional Bullying is often glossed over in schools is that Emotional Bullying usually takes place in areas where adults are not.  As I touched on earlier, Bullying often takes place in “hidden places:” on the school playgrounds, during recess and lunch, in cloakrooms, or before and after school.  Essentially, Emotional Bullying takes place where students are not as closely supervised by an adult, and where they are left to interact with their own young and “burgeoning” social skills.

With a mandate for teachers to teach Reading, Writing and Math, and any number of new programs, in the past addressing Bullying has taken more of a side note.  Too, Problem Solving due to any type of Bullying can often take a lot of time to work out, and effective Problem Solving takes special knowledge and skills.  Hurt feelings are often caused unintentionally with younger children; but if you choose to problem solve about them, you need to take the time to talk with the students involved, and to carefully move the situation to final resolution.  All the while, too, you are supposed to be teaching 20 to 30 other students!  For myself, it took me almost half of my career to learn effective strategies to facilitate Problem Solving, especially in Emotional Bullying scenarios.  I will share the basics of these strategies further in other parts of this article.

Teen Suicides in BC

Continuing with my history with past Anti-Bullying Programs, fast forward to about three years ago, when many aboriginal teenagers had committed suicide in the Lake Cowichan area on Vancouver Island.  Then, the local RCMP and the Aboriginal Community were reaching out for help, just as Stephen Harper is doing now.  At the time, I had stopped teaching on contract, and I had long moved into substitute teaching.  I did this because I needed time to teach the lay psychological program I mentioned earlier, which explained why the anti-bullying program had inherent difficulties.  By this time, I was the co-author of the book, The List AKA Reality Dynamics, and I had moved into speaking about and teaching the program to churches, colleges and local societies.

I felt that The List Program had much to offer to the Cowichan teen suicide crisis, and I wanted to share the additional Anti-Bullying strategies that I had learned in my teaching career.  Essentially, The List Program helps to create much more safety for children, and much more prosperity and happiness for their families.  Being very effective, The List can also help parents to have more control over what happens in their children’s lives, in terms of who their children’s friends are, their children’s success at school, and the direction of their children’s future.  But after many calls, there seemed to be no way in.  Most everyone I could get through to did not even return my calls.

Finally, I even contacted the original principal who had implemented that very first Anti-Bullying Program in my district, 25 years ago.  When I reached him, this principal had been promoted to Director of Instruction in a different Lower Mainland School District.  (Someone was listening!)  He informed me, however, that he was no longer directly involved in Anti-Bullying Programs.  He did mention, though, that the BC Ministry of Education was now involved, under the Department of Safer Schools.  He added that this Department would be coming out soon with a new Anti-Bullying Program, titled E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education.) 

So, even though he was no longer as directly involved, he was still “on the pulse.”  I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a way in to assist in Lake Cowichan.  I was also disappointed that this principal (I thought) was no longer involved in working with the program.  But I was relieved that the Ministry was going to make Anti-Bullying a priority.  I looked forward to seeing their new program, and I continued with substitute teaching and teaching my own prosperity and even Anti-Bullying Program, the List, AKA Reality Dynamics.

In further parts of this article, learn more about E.R.A.S.E. Bullying (Expect Respect and A Safe Education), Behavior Management Strategies, Peer Mediation, and much, much more.