VICTORIA, BC: Government leaders joined together with students and education advocates to introduce new online safety sessions to help support and protect students against cyberbullying.
“We all have a responsibility to combat bullying, whether it’s online, in our homes, workplaces or schools,” said Premier John Horgan. “We need to support those being bullied and show them they’re not alone, and that we will stand up with them. I’m so proud to see all the students here today taking a stand against bullying.”
The Ministry of Education is investing $160,000 to provide over 190 online safety sessions to more than 19,000 students in grades 3-12 throughout the province. The sessions will provide students with information on recognizing the importance of a positive digital reputation, protecting their privacy online and details on how to use the ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) anonymous-reporting tool in response to bullying and other concerns.
Premier Horgan and Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, hosted B.C.’s 12th-annual Pink Shirt Day event at the Parliament Buildings to proclaim Bullying Awareness Day. They were joined by local students, MLAs and Carol Todd, parent and founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society. The event included a spoken word presentation from a Reynolds Secondary school student, a dance performance from Northridge Elementary school students and a choir performance by Central Middle school students.
“Bullying knows no boundaries — the technology our kids are using today has presented challenges that we could not have imagined years ago. The expansion of ERASE will provide our students with additional tools to help combat against bullying,” said Fleming. “If we all stand together and say no to bullying, we can make a major difference in our schools and communities.”
The new sessions are part of the ERASE strategy, which is being expanded this school year to be a more comprehensive resource to better represent the issues facing youth and their communities today. ERASE will now also focus on social media and online safety, mental health and wellness, substance use, gang prevention and supporting students of all sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI). New ERASE resources and training for students, parents, educators and community partners are being launched during the current school year.