RespectED program helps students stop bullying
When a 15-year-old teenage girl from B.C. committed suicide after posting her story about bullying on YouTube, her plight inspired thousands of emotional responses from people across North America.
While many people are reflecting on the impact of bullying, those who run anti-bullying programs are speaking out about the issue.
Working with Regina Public Schools, Norm Jakabowski runs a program with Red Cross called Respect Ed. He says their program focuses on raising awareness about the issue with both the victims of bullying and bullies themselves.
Jakobowski says they also stress the importance of taking action to students who would otherwise just be bystanders.
“Not allowing the target to be alienated by the event,” Jakobowski explained what bystanders focus on. “Making sure that the target feels he or she is still connected to a group of kids.”
He says it is important to tell an adult or teacher, but also to become friends with the person who is bullied so they don't feel alone.
“We too often don’t do that within our organizations,” Jakobowski said, explaining that befriending people so they don’t feel alone is a lesson for everyone.
On a facebook memorial page for the B.C. teenager Amanda Todd, many are asking why it takes such a tragic event to make people pay attention to the issue of bullying.
Edited by CJME’s Adriana Christianson