Vol. 6 No. 5 (2011): Countering school bullying: An analysis of policy content in Ontario and Saskatchewan

The incidence of extreme school violence as a direct consequence of bullying among peers, exacerbated by vast media attention, has caused educational institutions worldwide to put bullying intervention and prevention strategies into operation. This study focused on an overview of two provincewide antibullying incentives in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan, and an analysis of the quality of their respective antibullying policies. An itemized list of beneficial practices for bullying intervention and prevention originated from Smith, Smith, Osborn and Samara (2008)’s scoring scheme. The scoring scheme was adapted to the current study by linking research-based program elements that have been found to be effective in reducing school bullying to a content analysis of both provincial frameworks. The final scoring scheme comprised a total of 39 criterions, divided into five categories: Defining Bullying Behaviors, Establishing a Positive School Climate, Disseminating, Monitoring and Reviewing Policy, Reporting and Responding to Bullying, and Involving the Broader Community. Results showed that policies contained a total average of 60% of the criterions in Ontario, and 59% in Saskatchewan. The conclusion of this study observes from policy lenses key essentials of bullying intervention and prevention initiatives in elementary and secondary educational settings. Recommendations are proposed to bridge the gap between areas that have received extensive attention and areas that have received less treatment in bullying intervention and prevention endeavors, using the content of Ontario and Saskatchewan policies as a basis for discussion.
Published: 2011-08-29