John F. Kennedy’s mission is to empower our students to meet the challenges of tomorrow. This can be achieved by providing and maintaining a receptive and non-threatening environment for the students and staff. Bullying of any sort is deemed unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school community. If bullying does occur, students should be assured of the fact that all reported incidents will be addressed quickly.
Bullying is repeated, aggressive behavior by one or more people, which harms others physically, verbally and/or emotionally.
Bullying may include, but is not limited to, any of the following inappropriate and harmful conduct:
- Physical violence, attacks and punitive behavior.
- Cyber bullying.
- Verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs.
- Threats and intimidation.
- Extortion or stealing of money or possessions.
- Exclusion and isolation from peer groups and group activities.
- Religious, racial or ethnic-based verbal abuse.
- Gender or sexual orientation based putdowns.
Roles and Responsibilities
Often the first people to know or suspect a student is bullying or suffering from any form of intimidation are the parents of the student. Parents are encouraged to do the following.
Parents of the Victim
- Watch for signs of distress in your child, including an unwillingness to go to school, a sudden change in attitude, attire, torn clothing or bruising, and/or sudden change in appetite.
- Take an active interest in your child’s social life: ask your child about school, his/her friends and what is happening in his/her daily lives.
- If you suspect that your child is being bullied at school, immediately contact the school principal.
- Keep a written record of what your child tells you and the dates and times of any occurrences of bullying against your child. All written records should be provided to the school principal.
- Do not encourage your child to hit back or retaliate in any fashion.
- Contact the police if you are concerned about the immediate physical or emotional safety of your child and notify the school.
Parents of the Bully
- Be alert for signs of bullying and victimization. For example, bullies may have extra money and/or new clothes. Most importantly be aware of boasting about their exploits.
- Meet the principal to discuss the bullying by your child, so that we can work together to develop strategies, consequences and amends.
- Parents monitor bullying problems at home and work with school support staff to deal with similar problems if they arise at home or in the neighborhood.
- Communicate regularly with teaching and administrative staff on your child’s progress.
- Respecting the safety, well-being, and property of the school, staff and fellow students.
- Contributing to a considerate, respectful, and safe school and classroom-learning environment.
- Participating in the development and support of the school’s bullying prevention policy.
- Taking a stand against bullying and participating in bullying prevention activities at the school.
- Positively encourage friends in school to realize that suffering in silence is not the appropriate response to bullying behavior.
- Support anyone being bullied to speak out, to start the procedure of putting an end to this type of behavior.
- Ensuring that previous victims of bullying are not isolated from groups of friends and encouraging the victim to join in activities and groups
- Informing a member of the John F. Kennedy High School staff of an act of bullying experienced or observed, immediately for further investigation, or anonymously through the bully box located in the library.
- Being informed that they are entitled to protection against bullying behaviors and the right to file a complaint if they believe they have been the victim of bullying behavior.
- Not retaliating against another for reporting bullying. This student will also be subject to consequences.
- Watch for early signs of distress in students and maintain a written record to be shared with the school administration.
- Offer immediate support and help to the victim. Take time to listen, ask questions in a sensitive manner with care and compassion.
- A staff member will take no action before it has been discussed with the school administration, unless the staff member determines immediate intervention is needed in order to protect a student in an urgent situation.
- A staff member will be supportive to the victim, and reassure the student that he/she has done the right thing in reporting the bullying.
- All staff members are required to report any bullying incident to the administration in writing within 24 hours of obtaining the information or witnessing the bullying.
In keeping with the terms of this Policy, John F. Kennedy will not tolerate bullying in any form, and will immediately respond to any reported bullying in a quick and compassionate manner. The response of the administration may include, but not be limited to the following specific responses:
- Separating the victim from the bully while the situation is dealt with. Such separation will involve the removal of the bully from any possible contact with the victim. All efforts will be made by the administration to ensure that the victim will not be inconvenienced by this separation.
- The administration will speak to both the victim and the bully about the bullying, but not at the same time. The victim will be spoken to first and the bully spoken to afterwards.
- The parents of the victim and the bully will be contacted and advised of the bullying situation. They will also be kept informed of the outcomes of the investigations and disciplinary procedures implemented by the administration in response to the Bullying.
- A formal written report of occurrence, investigation and disciplinary procedure will be placed in the student records of both the victim and the bully, and a copy with be forwarded to the Director General and to the Student Ombudsman as per Bill 56.
- The administration may require that the parents of the victim and the bully come in to school for a meeting to discuss the occurrence.
- The administration will report to the Governing Board on a regular basis on all incidents of reported bullying.
- Depending on the nature of the situation, the Police may be contacted.
Where it is the bully’s first act of bullying, the bully may be subject to discipline by the administration, which may include, but not be limited to, any of the following specific or combined forms of discipline:
- An apology in writing to the victim as well as a copy on file.
- A verbal apology to the victim.
- Detentions after school for a period of time to be determined by the administration.
- Banning from activities at John F. Kennedy High School for a period of time to be determined by the administration.
- Suspension from John F. Kennedy for a period of up to 5 days to be determined by the administration.
- In any given case, the administration reserves the right to refer the bully for a case conference with the EMSB for immediate relocation from John F. Kennedy High School, or any other action deemed necessary.
All allegations of harassment towards students and/or staff will be taken seriously with the goal of fostering and maintaining a safe and inclusive learning environment.
The Station 30 police officers, as well as the staff at John F. Kennedy High School all work together to provide the students with a safe academic environment. The community officers listed below are available to assist you should you choose to report an incident or if you are looking for information.
Have a good and successful academic year.