Aside from addressing bullying, Marjorie H. Goodwin (2006) focuses on collaboration and agency

The Hidden Life of Girls (2006) is not solely about bullying and exclusion. It’s also about coordination, collaboration, agency, political action and the pursuit of justice, equity, and fairness.

The latter pursuits occur among cliques and groups of students in a broad range of school settings.

The research indicates that students who choose to engage in bullying of fellow students, in given circumstances, may also seek justice and fairness – for themselves and others – when they encounter other circumstances.

Psychologist Bruce Little has an aversion to the concept that there are “types” of personality, a point that he shares in an Oct. 21, 2014 CBC The Current podcast. I’m reminded, in turn, that Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig (see final paragraph below) avoid labelling children as “victims” or “bullies” but instead take a broader perspective. Effective strategies to deal with bullying will not start, nor will they end, with labels such as “bullies” and “victims.”

School-wide, student-friendly narratives

Based on anecdotal observation, my sense is that an effective anti-bullying program may not typically be labelled as such, but may operate in such a way as to create engaging, school-wide, student-friendly narratives and a positive school culture whereby new, younger students feel at home at the school, from the moment that they first enter the school as Grade 9 students.

Under such conditions, “school spirit” includes a strong leadership role for senior students where the emphasis is on ensuring that students at all age levels get to know each other well, and have a great time together at school events including, for example, at annual outdoor retreats where senior students play a key leadership role.

Richview Collegiate Institute in Toronto comes to mind as a secondary school that demonstrates success, on an ongoing basis, in the implementation of such an approach to the ongoing maintenance of a positive school culture, the aim of which is to ensure that each student feels at home and at ease.

Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig

Debra Pepler of York University and the Hospital for Sick Children, and Wendy Craig of Queen’s University, have done extensive research related to bullying in Canadian schools. They have used video recordings as a key part of their research. Further information about research – and evidence-based programs that seek to effectively address bullying in schools – is available at the PREVnet website.


A Nov. 1, 2014 blog post at is entitled “Think Anew, Act Anew: Jian Ghomeshi and the Squadron of Cowards.” The post, which addresses the dynamics of bullying among other topics, is in the categories of: Arts and Entertainment, Canada, and Workplace Safety.

A Nov. 10, 2014 New Yorker article is entitled: “The Outcast: After a Hasidic man exposed child abuse in his tight-knit Brooklyn community, he found himself the target of a criminal investigation.”

An Oct. 30, 2014 article at is entitled: “How Predators Get Away With It: Why the Canadian media must do more to challenge its own sexism. And speak out against the abusers in its midst.”

A Jan. 29, 2015 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “The bystander effect: Trying to turn witnesses into white knights.”

Kidsmediacentre at Centennial College in Toronto conducts research on children & youth’s digital usage patterns and media habits

An April 2, 2015 New Yorker article is entitled: “Playground pain and pleasure.”

I’ve further discussed the concept of agency at another post:

Agency takes many forms; the loss of a sense of agency is highlighted in December 2015 Atlantic article about Palo Alto

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