Monday, November 15, 2010

Ontario Launches Bullying Awareness And Prevention Week

Ontario Ministry of Education Launches Bullying Awareness And Prevention Week. Today's press release designates the third week of every November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.

Packaged as an "opportunity to raise awareness of bullying-related issues and make a difference in school communities", it appears to be part of the Safe Schools Strategy; which includes initiatives like linking up with the Help Kids Phone, a national program which provides some useful services.
Also of note is the The Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Act, which came into force this past February, 2010. The Act itself gives quite a bit of leeway and power to Boards and principals, a necessary measure and, hopefully, backed-up by sound policies and guidelines.

Bullying is a major issue for educators right across North America, espcially cyber-bullying. A recent national survey (US) on bullying, The Ethics of American Youth: 2010, found that half of US high school students say they've bullied someone in the past year, and nearly half say they've been the victim of bullying. The study was prepared by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, surveyed an astonishing 43,000 high school students, and asked them whether they'd been physically / emotionally abused in a way which really upset them.

Here are some recent articles on bullying legislation in the States, to give us an idea of how our neighbours to the south are handling this thorny issue: