Province Takes Action on Bullying, Cyberbullying

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

October 29, 2012 2:45 PM

All school staff will soon have a clearer understanding of their responsibilities to keep students safe.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex will introduce amendments to the Education Act today, Oct. 29, to help clarify, update and define the role of all school staff in reporting incidents of severely disruptive behaviour, and of principals in dealing with it.

"Students tell me that bullying, in all its forms, is heartbreaking and there are no easy answers," said Ms. Jennex. "These changes will ensure all school staff are working together to keep kids safe by consistently reporting and responding to bullying and cyberbullying."

Legislation is only one part of the provincial action plan. To address the root causes of bullying and cyberbullying, a community response is needed.

The province is working on several fronts, with student and partners, to fight bullying and cyberbullying in schools.

Kathleen Richard is now working as the province's anti-bullying co-ordinator. She is exploring research-based programs for schools and working with the Nova Scotia Youth Advisory Council to provide youth input for governmental policies.

A group of students from Bayview Community School in Mahone Bay are also sharing their ideas about bullying by helping to develop a public awareness campaign that will launch later this fall.

"Empowering students to take charge of the serious issues of bullying and cyberbullying has a much broader impact than leaving it only in the hands of adults," said Erin Donovan, parent of a Grade 7 student at Bayview Community School. "I'm pleased to see the province involving students directly in anti-bullying work. If students feel they can positively lead change in their school community this will also pave the way to healthier adult communities."

The province has streamlined the reporting process to provide better data to help understand what is really happening with severely disruptive behaviour in schools.

SchoolsPlus provides support for children, youth and families in all school boards and helps young people across Nova Scotia learn new ways to manage relationships and conflict through restorative approaches.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     All staff working in schools will have a clear

understanding of their responsibilities in keeping students

safe.     

     Education Minister Ramona Jennex will introduce amendments

today (October 29th) to the Education Act to help clarify,

update and define the role of all school staff in reporting

incidents of severely disruptive behaviour, and of principals

in dealing with it.

     Legislation is only one part of the provincial action plan

and the province is working on several fronts with student and

partners to fight bullying and cyberbullying in schools.

-30–

Media Contact: Naomi Shelton
              Department of Education
              902-424-5432
              Cell: 902-229-7838
              E-mail: sheltonr@gov.ns.ca