Teachers Learn Strategies to Reduce Bullying in Their Classrooms

TORONTO, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - A concerted effort by teachers and school boards is needed to eliminate bullying in Ontario classrooms, says the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"Teachers know that bullying directly affects their students' well-being and their ability to learn. As a federation of educators, we believe strongly in the importance of advocating on behalf of our students. If young children can learn to accept themselves and others, we can eliminate the bullying, harassment, and stereotyping that we see in schools and society, says ETFO President Sam Hammond."

The federation has taken a number of steps to provide training and resources for elementary teachers to help them promote positive relationships in their classroom to reduce bullying.

'Bullying - A Relationship Issue', is an ETFO provincial workshop series funded by the Ministry of Education that is available to all ETFO teacher locals. The workshop focuses on training teachers in managing classrooms, thinking proactively, and using intervention strategies to respond effectively to conflict and bullying. To date, almost 2,000 teachers have been trained in 42 workshops across the province.

ETFO's 'Reflections of Me: Body Image and Self Esteem' resource is a preventative educational program for use in Kindergarten to grade 8 that teaches children to accept differences in others and how to resist harassment and bullying associated with body image. In August, the Canadian Medical Association chose the program as this year's recipient of the Award for Excellence in Health Promotion.

Hammond says the federation will continue to work with school boards to address bullying in elementary classrooms. School boards are now required to review and revise their existing policies and procedures on bullying prevention and intervention and must have their revised policies and procedures in place by February 1, 2010.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sam Hammond, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836 (office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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