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Monday, November 1, 2010

How can we do more to confront bullying?

The 8th Annual Atlantic Caucus of Home & School/School Council Federations meeting took place in Halifax, NS on the weekend of October 30th, 2010. Representatives from the Home & School Federations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Federation of School Councils in Newfoundland Labrador participated in the meeting. Various topics of mutual concern were discussed over the two-day meeting; the most salient being:

How can we do more to confront bullying? Atlantic Caucus of Home & School Federations and School Councils is concerned there is a lack of provisions within the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Criminal Code of Canada to adequately deal with the types of offences committed that are often characterized as bullying including cyber bullying. A number of police officers have also indicated that a separate offence dealing with bullying be created. Bullying in all its forms - verbal bullying, social bullying, physical bullying and cyber bullying can have detrimental effects on learning and one’s future. Tragically, bullying may even lead to suicide.

Studies have shown that in countries that have an anti-bullying strategy, incidents of bullying have declined. Canada lacks a national comprehensive anti-bullying strategy and, because of this, Canada’s children remain at risk to the devastating effects of bullying. This oversight on the part of the Federal Government needs to be addressed immediately.

The need to look after the welfare and education of children in this country needs to be centralized at the Federal Government level. The Atlantic Caucus of Home & School Federations and School Councils calls on the Federal Government to establish a Minister of State for Children and Youth where concerns such as bullying and other issues pertaining to successive generations of Canadians be dealt with adequately.

For more information, contact:
Vanda Dow, President, NSFHSA: Telephone 902-421-2663
Glyn Morgan, President, NBFHSAI, Telephone 506-451-6247
Ruby Hoskins, President, NLFSC, Telephone 709-279-2789
Owen Parkhouse, President, PEIHS, Telephone 902-620-3186

For the original Press Release posted on the PEI Home and School website, click here.

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