Many of Canada’s leading experts are calling for a national strategy to combat the epidemic of bullying in schools. Recent studies have placed Canada in sixth place among 38 countries for the highest rate if bullying for girls in the junior high age range. Other Canadian bullying statistics show that 12 percent of kids are bullied regularly (more than once a week), while 13 percent of kids bully other students regularly. Social media and networking sites are also leading to increased numbers of kids experiencing cyber bullying.
Canadian parents are teachers are agreeing that bullying is becoming a public health problem. In addition to affecting children’s physical and mental health, researchers are now finding that bullying can even harm a child’s DNA. As a response to the stress of being bullied, a child’s DNA can be slightly altered.
Ontario recently passed anti-bullying legislation and education professionals say that similar laws need to be passed throughout Canada. Successful anti-bullying legislation should include both preventive measures and guidelines for reactive measures to incidents. Anti-bullying bills might also need to be tailored to specific communities and age groups. Educators and school leaders should also have more standardized guidelines for dealing with bullies, parents of bullies and bully victims.
What do you think should be included in anti-bullying legislation to make it successful? Do you think anti-bullying should be a provincial or national matter?