Manitoba injects more funds into combating bullies
Posted: Mar 14, 2013 11:23 AM CT
Last Updated: Mar 14, 2013 5:12 PM CT
Parents worried about bullies in their child's school are getting extra help from the Manitoba government on how to identify the signs and how to talk to their kids about it.
Education Minister Nancy Allan announced Thursday that more money is being put into Safe Schools Manitoba, a program that offers workshops and resources for parents, teachers and students on all aspects of bullying.
The workshops cover issues like how to approach a school about a bullying concern or where to get help for a child who is a victim of bullying.
“Bullying and harassing behaviour in schools cannot be tolerated,” said Manitoba Association of Parent Councils president Judith Cameron.
“We feel strongly that Manitoba Education is putting into place processes that will address this ongoing concern for our members.”
Parent Pam Laquette said the program is sorely needed.
“I didn’t know what to do,” said Laquette.
The mother of five said students have targeted her oldest daughter at school.
“I felt angry. I wanted to protect her, and I couldn’t — to an extent,” said Laquette.
The government is directing more than $116,000 to Safe Schools Manitoba for the 2013-2014 school year. Some of the funding will go towards the creation of brochures, fact sheets and an online website.
“Providing support for parents is something we are doing a lot more of because more kids are coming forward,” Allan said.
“We need everybody on board.”
But not everybody in the province is on board with the province's anti-bullying initiatives.Major opposition to the province’s new anti-bullying legislation, Bill 18, has been coming out of Steinbach for weeks.
The town’s city council passed a motion earlier this month to ask the province to review Bill 18 because they feel it infringes on their religious beliefs.
The bill calls for schools to create gay-straight alliances if a student requests one.
Manitoba’s most senior MP, Vic Toews, said the law could violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Allan said despite the opposition she will push forward with the legislation, and it should be introduced before classes begin in September.
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