VANCOUVER B.C.s premier wants to change the way teachers, students and the public think about bullying.
Bullies are perpetrators, Premier Christy Clark told an anti-bullying conference in Vancouver on Tuesday. Their targets are victims. And bullying can no longer be dismissed as simply part of growing up.
Bullying is not a rite of passage, bullying does not build character for children, Clark told an audience in downtown Vancouver.
Its not a kind of conflict where you put two people together and say, Tell each other youre sorry, explain what happened and move on. Bullying has a perpetrator and a victim, and we need to deal with it that way.
The conference, which brought together educators, students and experts, was organized as part of the provinces Erase Bullying strategy, announced in June.
Clark used the conference to unveil the latest prong in her governments strategy, which she said will make it easier to identify and punish the bullies: an online tool for students to report bullying.
The tool is part of a new Erase Bullying website and allows students in any one of the provinces public schools to fill out a form and document cases of bullying, whether they were victims themselves or were a witness.
They can choose whether to submit the information anonymously or provide their name. Their report is then sent to a local safe schools co-ordinator, who decides whether to share the information with school administrators or, in more serious cases, the police. The information will also be used to identify trends and problem schools.
Safe school co-ordinators will be appointed in every B.C. school district.
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