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FOR AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT BULLYING AND THE SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

Week-long series begins May 27 on CBC News; documentary special airs June 3 on CBC-TV; more at CBCNews.ca/bullyproof

A high-school rite-of-passage or an experience that scars victims for life? The issue of bullying and its often tragic consequences are dominating headlines. But what really goes on in our high schools?

As Ontario becomes the latest province to try and pass anti-bullying legislation on May 28, CBC News goes behind the headlines and back to school with #bullyPROOF, a close-up look at the reality of bullying in Canada today. Given full access for an entire week at a high school in Gatineau, Que., Mark Kelley looks at how young people there and others across the country are trying to bully-proof their environments, and hears just how complex and widespread the problem is.  

"This is a story that every Canadian needs to hear," said Kelley. "It's one thing to read the news stories related to bullying or to hear what steps schools are taking to try and address it, but it's another world entirely when you sit down with the kids who are going through it."

Coverage and programming begins Sunday, May 27 on CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup (4 p.m. ET). Host Rex Murphy devotes two hours to the issue, and asks if bullying can ever be eliminated. On The National that evening, Mark Kelley sets up the #bullyPROOF week-long series on Connect with Mark Kelley. Then continuing throughout the week on CBC Television, CBC News Network, CBC Radio One and CBCNews.ca, CBC News presents stories and features related to bullying. CBC News also wants to hear from Canadians, who can share their stories on Facebook and Twitter.    

From Monday, May 28 to Friday, June 1, Connect with Mark Kelley (weeknights at 8 p.m. ET on CBC News Network) presents a series of special reports, culminating in a special documentary presentation: bullyPROOF: Classroom Confidential, Saturday, June 2 at 7 and 10 p.m. ET/PT, on CBC News Network, and Sunday, June 3 at 7 p.m. (7:30 NT), on CBC Television.

The documentary is emotional, compelling and raw. While on location at the high school, the Connect team set up a "Bully Booth" where students and teachers could privately share their personal experiences with bullying. Some 150 personal stories were recorded. Many of these stories will be told during the documentary, as well as throughout the week on Connect, on CBC News, and on the special #bullyPROOF website: CBCNews.ca/bullyproof, which launched May 25.

Highlights of #bullyPROOF on Connect with Mark Kelley(@cbcconnect, #bullyproof) include:

Monday, May 28 - Tales from the Bully Booth: we'll meet one student who has lived in fear for years, plus the mother of a 15-year-old Nova Scotia girl who committed suicide in January of 2011.

Tuesday, May 29 - Why it doesn't get better: a woman who was a relentless bully in her younger years finds herself the mother of a bullied daughter.  With a changed perspective on the hurt she must have caused, the former bully and her victim reunite for the first time in decades.

Wednesday, May 30 - Cyber-bullying is not a new phenomenon, but the explosion of social media has shifted the goal posts--both in terms of how kids understand public vs. private spaces and how it limits the reach of discipline meted out by schools. We talk to a Canadian leading the way in finding ways to protect kids as tools of social media continue to evolve. 

Thursday, May 31 - Inside the mind of the bully: are bullies and victims so different? What are the experiences that transform kids into bullies? Many kids who bully others were once victimized themselves.

Friday, June 1 - The problem with solutions: anti-bullying legislation is being passed across the country, and everybody from Lady Gaga, to It Gets Better, to the bullying cottage industry that has sprung up around the issue seems to have an answer to the problem--so why haven't we found a solution? Kelley speaks to an anti-bullying expert in a state that has anti-bullying legislation about both the limits of legislation and how to make it work.

About CBC News

CBC News is the source Canadians turn to, to keep them informed about their communities, their country and their world. Through regional and national programming on multiple platforms, including CBC Television, CBC News Network, CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca, mobile and on-demand, CBC News and its internationally recognized team of award-winning journalists deliver the breaking stories, the issues, the analyses and the personalities that matter to Canadians.

For further information, contact:
Melissa Prince, Veritas Communications
o) 416-482-2669
c) 416.704.8733
prince@veritascanada.com

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