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Preventing and Responding to Bullying and Harassment Procedure


Everyone has the right to participate in Scouting, free from bullying and harassment.

Bullying is a form of repeated aggression or humiliation. It is perpetuated through the misuse of real or perceived power over a period of time. Bullying causes hurt, intimidates someone, or exerts power over them[1].

Bullying is a behaviour common among, but not limited to, children and youth and is often hidden from adults. Scouters are in a unique position to observe all kinds of behaviour.

Harassment is any repeated, unwanted physical, verbal, or written behaviour that offends or humiliates.

This procedure helps Scouters prevent and respond to bullying and harassment.

In addition, Scouts Canada has adopted the Workplace Anti-Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy and Procedure.

Our Procedure

Preventing Bullying and Harassment

  1. Everyone in Scouts Canada is expected to adhere to a Code of Conduct.
    1. Scouters sign the appropriate Code of Conduct.
    2. Sections annually establish a participant Code of Conduct[2] that defines appropriate, respectful behaviour.

      Pursuant to the Codes of Conduct everyone has the right to be safe and has the responsibility to treat others with respect. We don’t tolerate bullying and harassment at any Scouting activity or online.
  2. Parents and guardians need to understand and ensure that their child complies with the Section Code of Conduct.

Responding to Bullying and Harassment

  1. Scouters are expected to stop bullying behaviour or harassment when either is observed.
  2. When bullying behaviour or harassment is suspected or reported to a Scouter:
    1. They shall stop the behaviour
    2. They shall inform the Group Commissioner
    3. The Group Commissioner will ensure that two Scouters meet with the victim of the bullying or harassment to assess what happened and create a plan to build healthy relationships in the Section. When the victim is a youth, their parents/guardians participate
    4. When the victim is a Scouter, the Group Commissioner participates
    5. The Group Commissioner will ensure that two Scouters meet with the alleged perpetrator to discuss the allegations by the victim and assess what happened
    6. If the two Scouters determine that the victim was subject of bullying or harassment, they will discuss the impact of the alleged perpetrator’s behaviour with them and schedule regular check-ins to ensure that the behaviour stops. The perpetrator will be held accountable for their actions and the Scouters will establish appropriate constructive consequences. When the perpetrator is a youth, their parents/guardians participate. The Group Commissioner participates when the perpetrator is a Scouter
    7. Where the behaviour involves a youth, a meeting will be held with the youth in the particular Section. Everyone needs to understand that bullying or harassment is serious and has no place in Scouting.

      More information about the behaviour may be required and obtained from the Section. Youth will be involved in creating a restorative response[3] to deter reoccurrence of the behaviour. This is best done in small groups (Lodge, Lair, Patrol). The Section Leadership Council can support and provide solutions to the problem, support the victim and help the perpetrator. The solution needs to enhance everyone’s ability to have healthy, respectful relationships.
    8. When the behaviour involves Scouters, they shall meet with the Section Scouters rather than youth.
    9. If all efforts to prevent and constructively address bullying or harassment have failed, the Group Commissioner may exclude the perpetrator from Scouting activities for no more than three weeks. Exclusion is to secure the welfare and safety of the victim and the positive functioning of the Section. Before this step is taken, the Scouting Relationships Manager must approve excluding the perpetrator.
  3. The Group Commissioner may recommend that the perpetrator’s membership be terminated when that person is under criminal investigation or their presence at Scouts Canada events may pose a risk to others. Call the Safe Scouting Department 1-800-339-6643. An incident report must be submitted to after you call. (See Temporary Suspension and Termination Procedure.).
  4. Except when a perpetrator is terminated, the Group Commissioner retains reports for 12 months, then destroys them. Parents are entitled to reports about meetings with their child.

Related Policies & Standards


Related Procedures




Effective Date

March 2, 2019

[1] Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders Module 5.
[2] Scouter Manual: A Scouters Guide to the Canadian Path – refer to page 70.
[3] Restorative responses derives from restorative justice, which is intended to result in individuals taking responsibility for their own actions and making amends, and for victims to have a voice and a choice in the outcomes of their cases. Unlike traditional forms of justice which are focused on attributing blame and penalties, restorative responses are intended to rehabilitate the community as a whole, and empower victims.

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