Thursday, November 1, 2012

National Bullying Prevention Strategy

The World Health Organization (WHO) has decreed bullying a “global social health problem”. It has reached epidemic proportions. A 2009 WHO report rated Canada 26th out of 35 developed nations surveyed. As a nation, we have spent millions of dollars with no decrease in the reported statistics. As everyone is aware, bullying has direct criminal, mental, educational and physical health implications. As far as "bullying" is concerned, it's just a catch phrase for assault, harassment and stalking, and it is time our youth are provided with the same basic human rights that adults benefit from. Parents expect a great deal from their Education system and one basic need is to know that their child is safe at school. Student safety = student achievement. When parents send their children to school, temporary custody of their child is handed over. Unfortunately, school boards have complete autonomy and are accountable to no one because at the end of the day they are self governing corporations administering their own set of politics. There is a percentage of bullying situations that take way too long to get resolved and I have met countless parents, nation wide, that get stone-walled at every level when trying to keep their children safe at school. There seems to be a disconnect not only at local levels, but across the country. Mr. Morin's recent motion on Parliament Hill is a good one. At this point in time, a Federal Prevention Strategy is necessary as we are still losing our youth to suicide as a result of adult failure. It would certainly support The National Crime Prevention Centre looking to fund initiatives that deal with school based bullying? "Priority Issue The NCPC is currently seeking to fund projects involving the implementation of specified model and promising programs designed to address the following priority issues: § Violence among youth ages 12 to 17 years; § Aboriginal youth delinquency in urban centres; and § School-based bullying." I would appreciate your thoughts on Mr. Morin's motion.