Stettler students go blue in battle against bullying

It’s National Bullying Awareness Week this week, and anti-bullying groups are trying to promote bullying awareness and education

It’s National Bullying Awareness Week this week, and anti-bullying groups are trying to promote bullying awareness and education close to home.

After the suicides of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons at opposite ends of the nation, bullying — and in particular, cyberbullying — has been prevalent in the media. Canadian statistics paint a troubling picture of bullying in schools.

According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, at least one in three Canadian adolescent students report being bullied recently, and almost half of Canadian parents report having a child who was a victim of bullying.

An Alberta study revealed that one in four students from grades 5 to 9 reported experiencing cyberbullying.

Last year, the number of people under the age of 18 who committed suicide in Alberta doubled from 2011. In 2012, 33 adolescents committed suicide, as compared to 14 in 2011.

HEaRT is an Alberta Health Services-funded project based in Stettler, with a goal to help students and parents become more resilient.

Project manager Devon McMann said HEaRT helps fight bullying by teaching kids how to calm themselves down, how to build their self-esteem, and how to recognize that someone else might be upset.

For this special week, HEaRT asks students to wear blue on Friday to show solidarity with anti-bullying movements. The colour blue was chosen because it’s the colour of the Canadian peacekeepers.

“Bullying is an ongoing societal issue, which will require continual education and awareness,” said Stettler Family-School Liaison Worker Tomi Turnbull. “Awareness is key in attempting to address any societal concern.”

Canada’s bullying laws vary by province. Alberta’s legislation is among the toughest in the country, and attracted controversy for stating last year in the Education Act that students who ignore bullying may be punished by suspension, even if the bullying occurs outside of school hours.

If someone you know is being bullied, Kids Help Phone says to stay calm, walk away, and tell an adult.

The following are signs that a child is being bullied:

— Unexplained bruises

— Missing belongings

— Trying to get out of going to school

— Change in appetite

— Change in personality

— Significant drop in school performance.


Just Posted

Paradise Shores work stoppage frustrating for everyone: County

Notice of another appeal hearing posted on County web site late last week

Lunch for a great cause

Scotiabank hosts fundraising BBQ for the Central Alberta Multiple Sclerosis Society

100 Men Stettler gearing up for next meeting June 4th

Local group has raised thousands for community non-profits

Music in the Park kicks off in June

In just a few short weeks, great tunes will be heard in West Stettler Park

Stettler’s history richly showcased at local museum

The Museum features several original buildings from Stettler’s past

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read