Western Premier Conference
Someone Being Bullied
Male | Winnipeg, MB   Canada
Stopping cyber-bullying
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: ReadySteady
6/18/13 11:28 AM
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WINNIPEG -- Manitoba will explore the idea of anonymous online reporting to fight back against bullying.
Premier Greg Selinger said the problem plaguing schools across the nation was a key topic at the Western Premiers' Conference Sunday and Monday.

"We all thought (online reporting) was a very interesting and exciting alternative, so it's something we'll take a serious look at," Selinger said.

Such a system is part of a B.C. $4-million anti-bullying strategy, which allows students to report the time, circumstances, perpetrator(s) and victim(s) of a bullying event without revealing their own identities.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark said reports are passed on to school personnel, and in extreme cases, emergency services.

"They're always able to report ... with the built-in protection that they know they will not necessarily be identified if they don't want to (be)," Clark said.

B.C. ramped up efforts to combat bullying after the death of Amanda Todd, a bullying victim who took her own life in 2012 after posting a video about her painful experience online.

Selinger said his government is exploring non-legislative tools to add to its controversial anti-bullying legislation. Some religious groups oppose Bill 18 because it requires schools to allow student-formed gay-straight alliances, which opponents claim impinges upon religious freedoms.

As of Monday afternoon, 252 Manitobans have signed up to speak on that bill when it reaches the public consultation stage.

Selinger will also consider online restraining orders now used in Nova Scotia. In that province, cyber-bullying victims can now seek an order to ban a bully from communicating online, possibly along with a fine of up to $5,000, six months jail time or the confiscation of a phone or computer.

"When all premiers get together, there is an exchange, best practices are analyzed and we bring them home," Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said.

The Nova Scotia legislation was introduced just weeks after the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, who killed herself after images of her alleged rape were posted and commented upon online.

"Social media provides a new dimension of bullying with potentially dangerous or tragic consequences," Selinger said. "We've recognized our responsibility to take leadership on this."

Cyber-bullying has been a key focus of the federal government as well, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper committing to amend the Criminal Code to better address crimes once dismissed as mere bullying.


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