Anti-bullying support: A conversation with Cynthia Gaudreault Snowball
The initiatives the schools have been working on to eliminate bullying in their schools are fantastic. With the help of Cynthia Gaudreault, our education consultant on anti-bullying projects, schools are working hard to eliminate bullying. She is helping students, parents/guardians and school staff address and handle bullying in schools. The schools are equipping students and parents/guardians with tools and recourses on how to spot, address and ask for help when it comes to bullying.
Cynthia Gaudreault is currently working on a take-home brochure for parents and guardians that will help them recognize when their child is being bullied. The brochure will inform parents/guardians on what bullying looks like, the forms of bullying students might be experiencing, how to prevent bullying every day at home, how to report bullying to the school and what happens next.
Here is one example of how the communities and schools are actively working together and playing a key part of the solution.
“Stall Talks” is an initiative that Jaanimmarik School (Kuujuaq) incorporated in secondary female stalls as a way to combat verbal and social abuse. The school found that a lot of the verbal abuse happening in the schools were posted and written on female stall doors. To add positivity and to address the bullying, the school decided to post a “Stall Talk Board” were students are encouraged to fill the board with inspiring and positive words. This provides a positive space and aims to combat the negative words written in the stalls.
The PBIS program (STOP, WALK, TALK) is a program offering techniques to both students and staff on how to handle bullying. It encourages students to take these three steps when addressing bullying with someone. STOP encourages students to set boundaries when they are not comfortable with a situation. WALK encourages students to walk away from the situation and seek help. TALK encourages students to ask for help or to talk about it with a parent/guardian. The program also helps by-standers be a part of the solution. The same steps apply, to ask someone to stop, to walk away and to get help from a staff or teacher. It is also a great tool for teachers to be able to help guide students when approached with a bullying situation.
In Inukjuak, each spring the school organizes a parade to encourage the whole school and community to come together and take a stand against bullying. These are only a few examples of the work happening in all our communities.
Cynthia also provides specialized training for schools who request it for their staff. It’s incredible to hear about the many programs happening in our schools and the hard work being dedicated by the community to ensure that the students are safe and feel comfortable coming to school. Tackling bullying will have a lasting impact on their academic success and confidence. If you’re interested in more information on the various programs, please feel free to connect with Cynthia Gaudreault at Education Services (Kuujjuaq) to hear more about the various projects happening in our schools.