Culture change needed to erase bullying

VANCOUVER – More than 130 students, anti-bullying experts, and key
stakeholders came together at Premier Christy Clark’s ERASE Bullying
Summit to identify key priorities and actions that will help school,
communities and individuals work together to combat bullying.

“The summit brought together a wide range of participants who were in
agreement: stopping bullying requires a culture change in our schools,
homes and communities,” said Premier Clark. “Community agencies, parents,
educators, and students all need to play a role. The commitment coming
out of today’s meeting is to build on our momentum and work together to
build a culture of kindness, caring and respect where no child has to
wake up in the morning and go to school worrying about what will happen
to them that day.”

At the ERASE (Expect Respect and A Safe Education) Bullying Summit
participants shared their views on how to best deal with bullying and
bring about the changes needed to create safe inclusive schools and
communities. The audience also heard compelling personal stories from
students about the impact bullying has had on their lives.

Summit participants also discussed cyberbullying – the newest form of
bullying, and how the anonymity of technology has given bullies new
weapons like text messaging, chat rooms, and social media outlets to
intimidate people.

“Bullying shouldn’t be a rite of passage for young people,” said Premier
Clark. “We need to make sure that those who target others, whether in a
school hallway or in cyberspace, understand the real world consequences
of their actions and become leaders for changing school culture.”

Education Minister Don McRae provided an update on the province’s 10-
point ERASE Bullying Strategy, which included today’s launch of the new
ERASEBullying.ca web portal and the new ReportBullyingBC.ca online
reporting tool. The new website provides vital information, links and
tips for parents and students while the new online reporting tool
provides students a secure and anonymous way to report instances of
bullying, threats and other safety concerns.

“The reporting tool makes it easier for students to take a stand and
report bullying,” said McRae. “We were pleased to unveil the tool today
at the summit and we received some good feedback and suggestions. More
importantly, the participants will help spread the word among students
that they can easily and anonymously report incidents or threats from a
smartphone or computer when and where they feel safe to do so.”

Log on to the new erase bullying portal at www.Erasebullying.ca

The new anonymous reporting tool for students is also now active at
https://reportbullyingbc.edudata.ca/apps/bullying/

Under B.C.’s Family Agenda, prevention of bullying in schools, on our
playgrounds, and online, is a key government priority. Bullying is not
acceptable. To learn more about programs to protect vulnerable children,
visit www.familiesfirstbc.ca