Bullying Awareness Week
Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support and Parent Engagement Jane Thornthwaite released the following statement at the start of Bullying Awareness Week — November 16-22 — beginning Sunday.
“How can I keep my kids safe from bullying? I hear this question often from parents all over the province. In particular, parents say cyberbullying and online safety are their number one concerns because these issues didn’t exist for them when they were growing up. Bullying Awareness Week is a good reminder for us all to take some time and learn what we can do to keep our kids safe.
“I sat down with student safety experts Theresa Campbell and Jesse Miller to learn exactly what parents can do to keep their kids safe online, and they gave me some great tips and ideas. These conversations are available online at the links below, and I hope they serve as a valuable resource for parents.
“We’re also fortunate in B.C. to have the ERASE Bullying strategy, a 10-point comprehensive prevention and intervention strategy designed to address bullying and harmful behaviours in schools.
“As part of ERASE, over 8,000 educators and community partners have taken part in a training program to help them proactively identify and address threats. Training is continuing this year with a focus on more advanced threat assessment.
“The ERASE Student Advisory also continues this year with 20 amazing students from public, independent and First Nations’ schools throughout the province. They’re creating provincial social media guidelines to provide direction for students, parents and educators on how to use social media ethically and responsibly.
“In January 2015, a “by youth, for youth”, bullying-prevention forum with 600 students will be hosted in Prince George to further empower northern B.C. students. And more events and strategies are in the works to strengthen our ERASE strategy and keep our schools and communities safe.
“Online resources are available for parents at ERASEbullying.ca with information on conflict, the different types of bullying and how to talk to your kids. As well, a confidential and anonymous online reporting tool for students to report bullying and other harmful behaviours has been launched at www.reportbullyingbc.ca.
“The best way to end bullying is through education. Here in B.C., we’re fortunate that many bullying prevention tools and resources are available. During Bullying Awareness Week I hope parents take the time to look at the information available and feel more empowered to help keep their kids safe.”