VANCOUVER - How to best deal with bullying - and reduce its impact - on children and young people will be the focus of a summit conference to be held Nov. 13, at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.
Participants will include a broad range of people, from students, parents and educators, to police, community representatives and experts on bullying and student safety.
"We've made real progress with our anti-bullying programs," said Premier Clark. "But we need to be constantly looking for new ways to address bullying - especially when it threatens the well-being of our children. What we've done, where we are going, and what we may need to do next is what the summit is all about. We need to support those being bullied and show them they are not alone, that people will stand up with them and for them to make sure they are safe."
Summit participants will hear personal stories from students about the impact bullying has had on their lives. In breakout sessions, they will have opportunities to participate in discussions on topics such as the impact of social media, negative peer groups, risk factors and how to promote safe and caring schools. The innovative work students are doing throughout the province to erase bullying will also be highlighted.
Education Minister Don McRae will provide a progress update on the B.C. government's ERASE Bullying strategy - the ten-point action plan introduced last June. Part of this strategy includes anti-bullying training which is being provided to approximately 15,000 educators and community partners over the next five years.
McRae will also discuss the new ERASE bullying website, which will include an anonymous reporting tool for students. The tool will enable kids to anonymously report bullying and the new website will have essential information and resources for parents.
"As a parent of two children, I can tell you that our ultimate goal is to make sure no child has to experience bullying," said McRae. "We can only achieve that if every child grows up happy, healthy and supported - not only by their parents, but by their school and the community at large."
Premier Clark will moderate an expert panel on bullying and best practices related to prevention and intervention and a student panel exploring what more can be done to combat bullying. A portion of the day will be dedicated to the issue of cyber-bullying.
The B.C. government's ERASE Bullying strategy is designed to help prevent, identify and stop harmful behaviours by children and adults - whether online, at school or in the community.
Further development of the ERASE Bullying strategy will be undertaken as new potential action steps are identified through continuing consultation with British Columbians.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
Take part in the summit via Twitter using the hashtag #ERASEbullying with this how-to.