Communication is paramount if bullying is perceived at school

letter to the editor from Helen Fraser - Bullying at Barriere Elementary School

To the editor;

I am writing in response to the letters and the editorial written regarding reported bullying at Barriere Elementary School.

Most common behaviour issues are conflicts. Conflicts are not bullying. Most conflicts involve disagreements, sportsmanship and power struggles. These situations when reported are dealt with quickly. Behavior incidents are recorded and kept.

When a pattern of undesirable behaviour is identified and a name appears frequently, the school begins an investigation. This investigation involves the student, teachers, other staff members and  most importantly the parents. Our school works hard every day to ensure all students are safe and their well being is paramount.

When behaviour becomes bullying it usually is repeated over time, has intent to harm, and there is usually an imbalance of power between the parties involved.

We are not a conflict free school, but to my knowledge we have very few incidents of bullying. The letters disturb and disappoint me as a member of this community. I believe we have a safe school and I believe when we know about bullying we address the situation. However, communication is paramount.

When we are not made aware of problems, we can not help all the parties involved. When we have conversations with students and parents we listen carefully. We do our best to help the bullied, and also the bully. Our job is to resolve and restore the student’s dignity and well being in a safe environment.

Our goal at Barriere Elementary is to create and maintain a safe school for all children. We attempt every day to teach strategies to prevent conflicts and to build strong relations between our staff, our students, our parents and our community.

In conclusion, I encourage the concerned parties to come to the school. Together the issues can be resolved in a fair and reasonable fashion.

The children involved must be helped in order to become strong and to have their confidence restored.

When you visit the school you will see the energy and effort put forward everyday in order to do what is best for all children.

I believe you will enjoy yourself, and you will be impressed by what you see.

Your insight will benefit us greatly in preventing this type of situation recurring. Together we can make a difference and move forward.

Yours truly,

Helen Fraser