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Province unveils anti-bullying plan aimed at youth

Education Minister Nancy Allan

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Education Minister Nancy Allan (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES)

The province introduced a new comprehensive anti-bullying action plan Tuesday that it hopes will further protect kids from bullying at school and on the internet.

"What we want to do is up our game." said education Minister Nancy Allan. "We’ve already done a lot of work by passing legislation to make sure kids feel safe. We’ve expanded it to make sure kids feel safe not only in the schools but on the playground, on the school bus and on field trips. Everyone is responsible so if we see bullying there is a responsibility to report that."

The plan will work to give more resources to kids, teachers and parents when dealing with bullying issues, and has new provisions to protect students against cyber-bullying.

"We know the Amanda Todd story. She was a young bright student who was a victim of cyber-bullying. She put something on Facebook and once you put something on Facebook it is forever. You can’t take it back. Her tragic story shows us that bullying is not only in schools but on social media and the Internet."

Allen also said she has been very impressed with Garden City Collegiate’s work to make kids from the LGBTQ community feel safe.

Cassandra Julyan, 17, is a member of the school's Gay Straight Alliance. She says things have improved but there is still work to be done to fight discrimination in her school.

"There are certain parts of the school that are open to us and there are certain parts that are not, said Julyan. "It would be a lot better if we made it the entire school so everybody feels safe. I haven’t had any trouble but I know others have."

Julyan has a message for those who may be bullying others because of their sexual orientation.

"Just stop. You need to look through a different perspective than the one you are looking through because it is not working and it is very wrong."

History

Updated on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM CST:
Corrects spelling of Cassandra Julyan

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