Premier Christy Clark speaking in Surrey at the announcement of the province's new anti-bullying strategy – ERASE (Expect Respect And a Safe Education.)

Premier Christy Clark speaking in Surrey at the announcement of the province's new anti-bullying strategy – ERASE (Expect Respect And a Safe Education.)

Anti-bullying plan includes whistle-blowing phone app

Focus of $2 million strategy on training for school safety, tolerance



A new provincial anti-bullying strategy promises more training to improve the climate in schools and a new smartphone app that aims to make it easier for students to anonymously report tormenters.

Premier Christy Clark unveiled the plan in Surrey Friday, pledging $2 million for the new initiatives she said will bring a coordinated approach to the issue in all school districts.

She said the focus is on providing better tools to help teachers recognize bullying and deal with conflicts appropriately.

“We’re not focusing on the hammer legislative approach,” Clark said. “You can’t make a law that gets rid of bullying.”

The plan mandates dedicated safe school coordinators in every district and calls for at least one professional development day per year to be devoted to anti-bullying, although that depends on talks with the B.C. Teachers Federation.

Anti-bullying training will focus on elementary schools initially, while threat and risk assessment training will be geared to middle and secondary schools.

The strategy is dubbed ERASE – Expect Respect And a Safe Education.

But Floyd Van Beek, a Grade 12 student at South Delta Secondary School, said it could have gone farther to battle homophobic bullying in schools, noting there is no specific training module set out for that issue.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

Grade 10 student Rachel Garrett, who is with Van Beek on the SDSS Alliance club that fights homophobia in the school, agreed and praised the plan for a phone app.

“A lot of kids aren’t quite confident enough to put their name forward,” Garrett said. “If they have an anonymous way to do that it’s going to be a lot easier.”

Clark said gay and lesbian students are more likely to be bullied and commit suicide, but added “bullying is bullying and it shouldn’t happen to any child for any reason.”

The plan also requires all districts to have have stronger codes of conduct that bar discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation and other criteria in line with the Human Rights Act.

Education Minister George Abbott said a quarter of school districts have conduct codes that specifically refer to sexual orientation.

Others, he said, believe it’s important not to elevate one type of bullying over another, adding the province isn’t telling them what to do, provided all the discrimination criteria are covered.

Just Posted

water
City begins community engagement for Mission Waterfront Revitalization Master Plan

Wants the community’s input to bring to life the vision outlined in the Official Community Plan

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

web
Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read