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____ Wednesday November 19, 2014 ____

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Bullying

PREVNet unveils new tools to help Ontario schools prevent bullying

TORONTO - York University professor Debra Pepler, and Queen’s University professor Wendy Craig, co-scientific directors of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), are unveiling a new toolkit for educators in conjunction with Bullying Awareness Week, Nov. 17-23.

Drs. Pepler and Craig and PREVNet worked with the Ministry of Education to create the new resource, Facts and Tools for Schools, which includes over 100 pages of information to support ongoing bullying prevention at Ontario schools. The tools are designed to provide evidence-based strategies to recognize, assess, prevent, intervene and develop a bully prevention policy in Ontario schools.

One highlight of the resource is a fact sheet defining bullying. It outlines what bullying is, what the various forms of bullying are, the difference between bullying, aggression and teasing, and how educators can identify these three areas. There is also an emphasis on a whole school approach to promoting healthy relationships.

“Although we have strong bullying prevention legislation in Ontario, there are still some school staff who are not certain about how to protect and support a victimized student or how to help a bullying student learn to use power positively rather than negatively,” says Pepler, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University. “We are hoping that these tools will provide both a broad understanding of the complexities of bullying and specific supports to work face-to-face with the students involved.”

The theme of this year’s awareness week is Stand Up To Bullying.

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