Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Province seeks student feedback on anti-bullying strategy

The B.C. Education Ministry and Premier Christy Clark are calling on Grade 8 to 12 students passionate about bullying prevention to be on the ERASE Bullying (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) strategy's student advisory committee and help devise a social media strategy for the province's schools.

In a news release issued today, government announced a competition to select 12 students from across B.C. to provide feedback to Premier Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender on ERASE Bullying, liaising with the students from their districts to talk about their feelings on the program.

Theresa Campbell, ERASE Bullying's lead trainer and president of Safer Schools Together, said the strategy divides the province into eight different regions.

"(Government) looked at the eight regions and thought about a student from either Grade 8 to 12, one from each region (for the committee), allowing for an additional four positions from the independent schools," she said.

The students will also be tasked with developing a social media guideline for the province's 60 school districts and independent schools. Campbell said parents and districts will also be consulted on the strategy via districts' safe schools coordinators and the BC Coalition of Parent Advisory Councils.

Campbell will be one of two adult subject-matter experts responsible for guiding the the committee's discussions to get the most feedback out of students as possible.

Interested students must apply to their district's school safety coordinator to be considered for a spot on the committee. Deadline for applications is Feb. 10, and the committee is expected to run until the end of the school year. Campbell said although most of the meetings will be virtual, the ministry has set aside $25,000 for the committee to facilitate some face-to-face meetings.

"We're hoping to move to move rather quickly in hopes to plan the first meeting taking place in March," she said.

Premier Clark and then-education minister George Abbott introduced the $2-million ERASE Bullying Strategy in 2012, which included 10 steps for ending bullying, including one dedicated anti-bullying teacher in-service per year; putting a safe schools coordinator in every district; online resources for parents; and anonymous online reporting for students afraid to talk to a teacher about bullying.

At the time the strategy was criticized for not doing enough to protect lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer students. But since that time several schools have introduced their policies designed to protect LBGTQ students -- 27* out of 60 school districts.

Katie Hyslop reports on education and youth issues for The Tyee Solutions Society. Follow her on Twitter.

*20/01/14 7:18 p.m. Correction: previously stated 23 districts had anti-homophobia policies.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus