The Department of Education is hiring two bullying awareness and prevention co-ordinators as the provincial government’s latest attempt to reduce bullying in schools.
Education Minister Jody Carr made the announcement on Monday that the two co-ordinators, one for each linguistic sector, will be responsible for organizing and managing anti-bullying activities.
"Our government's goal is to create positive, inclusive learning environments where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected," Carr said in a statement.
Carr said he hopes the two new officials will help "reduce and prevent bullying in our schools."
The education minister introduced changes to the Education Act in May and promised the two new co-ordinators would be hired.
These officials will look at issues from bullying to cyberbullying. As well, they will be responsible for ensuring public schools are following the new anti-bullying measures enacted by the provincial government.
"Bullying is a complex problem, and it requires a multi-faceted solution where everyone works together," Carr said in a statement.
The education minister promised to strengthen rules surrounding bullying after a series of high-profile incidents were reported.
On Jan. 12, a 12-year-old student at Hampton Middle School was allegedly cornered in her school washroom by two other students who held her down and cut her hair.
On Feb. 3, a 15-year-old boy at Simonds High School in Saint John allegedly used a lighter to set a 14-year-old girl’s hair on fire in a classroom and is scheduled to face assault with a weapon charges next month.
On Feb. 4, a Fredericton couple took the drastic step of pulling their 15-year-old son out of Leo Hayes High School, saying he had endured months of persistent harassment by his ex-girlfriend, which drove him to cut himself.
Then, just a few days later, a second Fredericton family came forward about a similar problem at Leo Hayes, involving a teenaged boy being harassed by a former girlfriend at the school and on social networking websites.