WITS Primary Program

The WITS Primary Program teaches children in Kindergarten to Grade 3 to make safe and positive choices when faced with peer conflict. The WITS acronym – Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, and Seek help – provides a common language that children and the adults in their environments can use to talk about and respond to peer victimization.

The WITS Primary Program was created by educators for educators with an understanding that effective peer victimization prevention programs should enhance learning environments – not workloads. Program resources are designed to weave comfortably into the daily life of the learning environment.

WHAT ARE  W I T S

Walk away!  Just leave the situation you are in. Take a friend with you if you can. Get help if you need it.

Ignore! Ignore is an action not a passive response. Don’t respond to meanness or teasing. Sometimes it works. If not, seek help.

Talk it out! This one is tricky – talk it out can mean a lot of things: Speak Up, Use your words, etc.  It also means that there is a solution to the problems you are having, but you may have to be brave and go ahead and talk about it. Sometimes it is hard, but using words really is the best way to resolve conflicts.

Suggestions for TALK IT OUT: 

  1. Talk to the person who is bothering you, if you feel safe.

Tell whoever is bothering you that what he or she is doing is “mean”, “not funny”,  “hurting you”, “making you feel bad.”

Ask the person why they are bothering you. Tell them to stop. Make up a joke if you can.

Tell them to leave you or your friends alone.

Tell them to use their WITS!

  1. Brainstorming or problem solving solutions can help.

Ask a friend what they would do in your situation.

Share your story with someone.

Talk to a trusted adult who can help you think about a solution to your problem.

  1. Speak up if you seeing bullying and victimization.

Stand up for the person being bullied.

Stay stops it or leave him/her/them alone.

Talk to an adult to get help if what you are doing is not working.

Share your feelings with someone. In this Sesame Street clip, the Grouch figures out how he is feeling and he talks it out  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciSm84yDDHc

Seek help! This is very important. All children deserve to feel safe and that the adults in their lives will help if needed. Keep asking for help from someone new – if the first person you ask doesn’t help you to fix the problem.

Books and lesson plans are available to illustrate children using Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, and Seek help see the WITS book list! https://witsprogram.ca/school/wits-books-and-lesson-plans/

WITS Booklist
Book List & Lesson Plans – Lesson plans based on popular children’s books integrate easily into a variety of subject areas, helping educators meet provincial/territorial curricular requirements while supporting the WITS message. For optimal effectiveness, educators should use a WITS lesson plan with their students at least once a month.
Classroom Activities
Classroom Resources & Activities – Educators can also reinforce the WITS message in their classroom by involving students in activities like a poster contest or the WITS Special Constable of the Week program. Even displaying a WITS poster or distributing WITS bookmarks can help keep the program strategies fresh in students’ minds.
Using Your WITS All Year Round – This guide will help you create a strategy for sustaining the WITS momentum throughout the year.

How Families and Communities Support WITS (Video)

Swearing-In Ceremony

Community Leaders kick off the program each year with this special deputization ceremony

Classroom Visits

Community Leaders make follow-up classroom visits throughout the year

WITS at Home

By sharing info about WITS, schools encourage families to use their WITS at home