Category Archives: respect in school

Controlling your emotions can minimize bullying situations

hotsummerAs the summer days roll along, it is easy to forget about how many kids get bullied during the summer months. The heat can cause tempers to flair and sometimes anger turns into bullying. After all, bullying is when there is a real or perceived imbalance of power between two (or more) people.

How can we control our tempers when things just tick you off?

Answer: Tune in to your feelings so you can identify oncoming anger before it becomes a full blown case of losing your cool. If you can tell that you are getting testy, then you can take action ahead of time.

1/ Take 10 deep breaths.

2/ Think about a Continue reading

7 Anti-bullying strategies for the summer holidays

July 3, 2o13
Can you believe that it is actually summer holidays? Well it is for many students anyway. You may have started your break in June or you might summerholidaybe studying all summer long, but a lot of students are now enjoying a break from school.

Here are some strategies for the summer holidays that can help you be an even better anti-bullying advocate. After all, everyone who is compassionate about something needs a change of pace once in a while.

1/ RELAX – Just take the time to do what you like to do. If you have a job, let it take your mind off school but if you are on holidays,  fill your time doing what you enjoy.

2/ READ – If you like to read, make sure you pick up some interesting titles at the library and let yourself sink into the books you’ve chosen.

3/ WRITE – Here’s your chance to Continue reading

3 Respect Tips for Catholic Schools, Toronto Ontario

Respect Stand Up NowRespect is a topic that comes up in schools daily. The need for respect is always growing, and it helps to reduce the amount of bullying in schools as well as other benefits for the students, teachers, and parents. Here are three simple tips to increase the level of respect in your school:

1) Treat People Right

Students should always be respectful to each other and their belongings. This should continuously be emphasized by the teachers. Respect should be shown even when others are not around to witness. Students who only act appropriately when a teacher or other authoritative figure is around are missing the point of respect. It should be used at all times, and does not matter if it will ever be noticed or not. The fact that you are being respectful will come out, and people will see that in you.

2) Choose Positive Thoughts

Respect relates to your innermost thoughts. Everyone can control their own thoughts, and therefore should always think of positive things. Students and teachers can have trouble doing this at all times, and should be practiced frequently. This means that one should clear their mind of any biases, prejudices, or past events that may put them in a sour mood. You should also stop thinking or saying profanities, put-downs, and rumors. Every person, student, or teacher should be treated as an equal, and your actions start with your thoughts. If you think of positive things about people, it will help you to show respect.

3) Forgive and Forget

One of the most important things to increase respect for people is to forgive what they have done to you if they have done anything bad. This may take time and a lot of effort, but it will help you to feel better and act with more respect. Restoring relationships is important for both children and adults. Talk with the people who are to blame, and tell them that you forgive them. Listen to what they say, and try to understand how and why things went badly. Rekindling old friendships can brighten your day, and grow your respect in people.

A major misconception about respect is that only children need to work on it. This is false because it is up to everyone to make respect grow. Working with these three tips about respect in your school will help to make a safer, healthier, respectful school.

How is bullying, racism, stereotyping, prejudice and bigotry related?

rtyIn order to understand how racism, stereotyping, and bigotry are related to bullying, it is necessary to understand the following concepts.

What is racism?

Answer: Racism is based on the belief that certain racial groups are of less value or inferior to others. Racism often focuses on physical appearance such as skin color and certain facial or body characteristics. People who believe that certain racial groups are inferior to others are called racists. Racists think it’s okay to treat members of certain races with less respect than others.


What are racial groups?

Answer: The idea that humans can be divided into specific groups called races. These groups are usually determined by skin colour, facial appearance, skills and character. Back in the 1800’s many people believed that humans could be divided into three races: White, black and yellow. Others believed there were up to thirty different races.


What does prejudice mean?

Answer: The word prejudice means to make up your mind about someone before considering the facts. It means to pre-judge. Being prejudiced usually involves a negative opinion or conclusion about a person or group of people without really knowing what that person or group of people is really like. A person who is prejudiced will probably continue their incorrect beliefs even when others point out the truth. People who are prejudiced believe they know what people are like based on the color of their skin.


What is stereotyping?

Answer: Stereotyping is when people have a set idea about what a group of people are like. An example might be a belief that all African American people are less intelligent than white people. Even if the characteristic appears to be a positive one, it is still inappropriate and insulting because it labels all people in a group rather than identifying people as individuals. An example of this might be a belief that all Asian people are excellent mathematicians.


What is a bigot?

A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own or intolerant of people of different political views, ethnicity, race, class, religion, profession, sexuality or gender.

Archie Bunker was a bigoted character in a 1970’s television show called ‘All In The Family’. He had shocking

Archie Bunker from All In The Family

Archie Bunker from All In The Family

false beliefs that were based on his prejudiced thinking. It was a comedy in the form of satire. This means it makes fun of people and situations that at first might appear to be acceptable. The show actually pointed out to the viewer how ridiculous Archie’s beliefs actually were.

Bullying is often a result of racism, stereotyping, prejudice and bigotry.

Inappropriate comments, jokes and so-called humor can sometimes make unacceptable beliefs seem okay. Bigotry can also lead to discrimination where people of certain descriptions would not be able to get jobs or be allowed into specific organizations. This can also lead to violence. Some of the behaviours that come from bigotry fall into the category of bullying.

It is easy to realize that bullying is sometimes related to being prejudiced against a group of people.


In order to stop this kind of bullying it is necessary for parents, schools, students, and community to all work together to end it. By keeping open communication with children, parents can determine when bullying is most likely to happen and therefore take necessary action. For example if a child gets bullied when they play at a certain park, arrangements can be made to have the child be accompanied by an adult or friend when they play at that park.

It is the responsibility of adults to help children learn the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours related to bigotry and stereotyping.


Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who offers talks and workshops on bullying and respect.





Bullying in Elementary School – 3 Key Ways To Stop It!

Yesterday we visited a Toronto Catholic School where the topic of bullying in elementary school is definitely taken seriously.

Georges Vanier Catholic School Principal, Ms. Silvana Reda, is obviously passionate about the topic of bullying as well as child safety. She has discovered many ways to help stop bullying in her elementary school as we were to learn during our visit.

Bullying in elementary schoolHappy Students: If students feel happy and respected, bullying in elementary school is diminished. That is certainly a belief that I personally share. After presenting hundreds of anti-bullying programs, I have come to the bullying in elementary school solutionconclusion that one way to reduce bullying in elementary school is to make sure students feel respected, appreciated and happy. There are a number of ways to do this, and I’ve talked about them some of my other blogs. However, students tell me that one of the things that make them feel happiest in school is simply having a sense of belonging. Children want to feel safe, they want to feel included, and they want to feel a sense of importance. Studentsbullying in elementary school - student work want to feel empowered in their environment. When you think about it, the same thing is probably true for most of us as adults. Don’t we want to feel safe included an important in our workplace? Don’t those things help us to feel valuable and empowered? I believe the answer is an emphatic yes.

Happy Teachers: I believe the following statements to be true in many cases:
Happy teachers are productive teachers.
Happy teachers generate happiness in their students.
Happy teachers get along well with other staff members.
After meeting thousands of teachers and visiting hundreds of schools, I really believe that a powerful way to reduce bullying in elementary school is to make sure the teachers enjoy coming to their jobs. One person who can help make this happen is the school principal. She or he can create a working environment which puts teachers at ease while at the same time resulting in a productive and creative atmosphere.

Activities: There are many activities which can take place during the school day to remind students about the virtues of respect, kindness and consideration. These activities can certainly help to reduce incidents of bullying around the school. Principal, Silvana Reda gave us a tour of George Vanier School Catholic School pointing out many activities her students had done which were related to respect and bullying prevention.
Caring Tree – In the front hall area is a caring tree which reminds everyone in the school about acts of caring which take place at Georges Vanier.
Bulletin Board Display – Each class creates an anti-bullying poster monthly which is displayed on the board for all to see. A monthly anti-bullying theme keeps it interesting.
Posters – Throughout the school are anti-bullying posters featuring students from Georges Vanier. The messages and designs of the posters were created by students for students and have been reproduced on professionally looking hard board and then permanently mounted on the walls.
Murals – The library features a colourful mural around the room on the wall near the ceiling. This mural is very inspiring and makes the room come alive.
Announcements – Play song clips, read catchy slogans, or have a ‘respect’ word of the day.
Contests – Get everybody involved in contests by offering fun prizes or even giving the winning class celebrity status with the school mascot for a week. If your school mascot is the cougar for instance, have a stuffed cougar which spends time in various classrooms or locations in the school as part of the award system. You could run a poster contest, a write a catchy song contest, a slogan for a month contest or even a math or science contest. Your imagination is your only limit.

So the three key ways to help stop bullying in elementary school are:
1/ Ensure students feel respected, appreciated and happy.
2/ Help teachers be happy in their roles
3/ Bullying prevention and respect activities

Have fun getting everyone involved.

Bruce Langford offers bullying prevention school assemblies and keynote talks:

How to use respect activities to change your school climate

How can we truly change the climate in our school? Can we actually re-form opinions that students and staff possess? Is there a way we can change a negative or mean-spirited school climate into one where cooperation, kindness and consideration abound? Can respect activities actually make a positive difference?

St. Sofia offers Respect Activities

Many Respect Activities at St. Sofia School

The short answer is yes; these kinds of changes can be made. In fact there are schools in our own jurisdictions that prove this fact. Attempting to define the actual system or step by step list of procedures to achieve these goals could be a challenge, but it is safe to say that some basic respect activities can go a long way toward making a difference. Here are some tips to get started.

First of all we must define what we are actually trying to achieve. Many people would agree that we are trying to achieve a climate of respect within the walls of the school. In my opinion respect must start from the top and sift its way down. If the administration, including all the teachers, all support staff and even custodial staff live respect in their day-to-day work at the school, then others will begin to take notice. By others I mean students and even any parents that may be in the school. Many teachers use model respect to their students daily and many teachers use specific respect activities in their classrooms in their day-to-day teaching  and have done it for years.

If your older students in the school show respect to each other, younger students will definitely begin to take notice. As younger kids began to learn from their older role models, they will begin to see respect as the norm. Situations and incidences which do not show respect will begin to be seen as highly unusual and unacceptable. All of these steps, of course, take time to initiate. In some schools it may take months, others may take years, while still others could possibly take decades in order to make these kinds of profound changes.

There are a number of tools which can help speed up this change so the transition can begin to take place sooner. The following activities will help to grow respect and to compound the effects:

1/ Form a student group which focuses completely on posters, announcement reminders, and other methods of awareness to help remind students and staff about the goal of achieving respect.

2/ Run special spirit days throughout the year which will help you get people on board in a fun way. Examples are: pink shirt stand up for respect day, be kind to someone day, pass on a smile day or respect activities workshop day.

3/ Special assemblies can also be a great way to help lift the spirits of the student body, and get everyone working in the same direction.

The above ideas for respect activities are only starters, but once you begin, I believe you will be moving toward a most worthwhile destination — achieving a climate of true respect in your school.

Bruce Langford presents anti-bullying and respect workshops internationally. 


Can You Name 5 Reasons For Being Honest?

When dealing with bullying, you will find that the issue of honesty often comes to the surface. It is important to be honest, and I emphasize this with students in presentations everywhere. But what is an actual, real-life reason for being honest?

Here are five specific reasons for honesty:

1/ ReputationHonesty is one of the most important ways to build a solid reputation. It is a key element in almost everyone’s mind as to whether a person is desirable. If you are choosing a friend, would your first choice be someone you knew was completely honest, or someone whose honesty was questionable? The answer is obvious. Protect your reputation by being honest. That reputation will be with you for a very long time.

2/  Peace Of Mind — there is and gnawing feeling inside you when you say something that is not true. That feeling can remain for a very long time, and it can be more uncomfortable than many people realize. When you tell an untruth you may think that you can simply move on, but the fact is that your subconscious mind remembers you have told something which is untrue. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘that is something that really eats away at me?’ That’s what dishonesty can do. Subconsciously it can do harm over time. If you take a vow of honesty, you will be rewarded in your life. You will have an inner peace which will give you great comfort.


3/ Relationships — honesty can solidify a friendship or family connection and build the feeling of confidence that you have with the other person or people in your relationships. Whether we are talking about relationships of family, marriage, business, education, or religion, honesty is a vital part of those relationships. Honesty can create an environment where a relationship of any kind will flourish.


4/ Health And Well-Being — honesty can free us from guilt, worry, and other forms of psychological stresses. Dishonesty can cause many psychological problems, therefore it only makes sense that honesty can result in excellent mental health. There is a feeling of peace and calm that results from saying the right things, being honest, and living a life of integrity. We simply feel better when we are honest.

 5/ Being Genuine — after presenting hundreds of shows to children, one commonality that comes to mind is the answer to the question I often ask; “how do you make good friends and keep them“. The answer that comes from students time after time is simply two words; “be yourself”. If children see ‘being yourself’ as such an important aspect of relationships and friendships then it is obviously very important to be genuine. How do you be a genuine person without being honest? Of course the answer is… it would be impossible. To be genuine, you absolutely must be honest. So remember, be yourself, be genuine and most of all be honest.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and school speaker & presenter on all topics related to bullying.  1-800-901-9931


Earth Day reminds us to consider what matters around us

Be willing to speak up in support of maintaining nature’s systems that make our earth so magnificent.  Treat the earth with consideration.
Do your part every day to make the earth a better place.

EARTH DAY is a day to consider the gift our earth gives us
including clean air to breathe and fresh water to enjoy.

We must preserve these gifts by all working together to maintain the natural resources the earth provides.

We must also work together to keep our relationships on track and
to maintain feelings of appreciation and thoughtfulness. Speak up when
something needs to be said. See a little of yourself in others and you will be
more understanding and sensitive to their needs. Doing these things will help to
keep your relationships filled with respect. Bit by bit the concept of bullying will become even more abhorrent than it already is. Beat bullying by building respect and living it everyday just as we celebrate Earth Day by showing respect to our planet.

Bruce Langford, bullying prevention advocate

Children come first at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario

Bullying prevention and child safety is of top importance at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario. Principal, Kathleen Vanderville makes sure children are the first priority at her school and that was obvious during our visit yesterday. Quinte Mohawk is brimming with beautiful murals, paintings, artwork and displays to proudly celebrate their culture.
Just look at this awesome painted door with the following script:

Children are…

Amazing – acknowledge them.
Believable – trust them.
Childlike – allow them.
Divine – honour them.
Energetic – nourish them.
Fallible – embrace them.
Gifts – treasure them.
Here Now – be with them.
Innocent – delight with them.
Joyful – appreciate them.
Kindhearted – learn from them.
Lovable – cherish them.
Magical – fly with them.
Noble – esteem them.
Open minded – respect them.
Precious – value them.
Questioners – encourage them.
Resourceful – support them.
Spontaneous – enjoy them.
Talented – believe in them.
Unique – affirm them.
Vulnerable – protect them
Whole – recognize them.
Xtraspecial – celebrate them.
Yearning – notice them.
Zany – laugh with them.

We thank Quinte Mohawk
School for the wonderful
hospitality and warm welcome!














Bruce Langford presented ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ student assemblies at Quinte Mohawk school yesterday. See his website at:

Were Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Cher, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein bullied?

Steve JobsA little known secret about Steve Jobs is that he had a learning disability in the form of dyslexia. Sadly, special needs students are often bullied. In fact people who are different are frequently bullied and many times special needs children are perceived as being different. Children with special needs may be dyslexic as in the case of Steve Jobs or they may be autistic. They could also have ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), have a visual or auditory impairment, or be gifted.

There are many examples of famous people who had special needs, yet were able to compensate for their challenges. Some examples of famous people with dyslexia are: Tom Cruise, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Cher, John Lennon, Sir Richard Branson and Steven Spielberg. Other famous people with learning disabilities are: Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

In many classrooms there are children who are very protective of their special needs classmates. However, sometimes special needs students suffer relentless bullying.

We can all help special needs students achieve success by making sure they are not bullied, and by creating a classroom culture of protection. After all, special needs children often have amazing talents and abilities as the list above indicates. Remember, Stand Up Against Bullying in every school classroom, home and community!

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who teaches peace strategies.