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Bullying Awareness Week continues to have impact in schools

By Meaghan Bury [1]

BELLEVILLE – It’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in schools across Ontario.

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has been involved with bullying awareness week since it began almost 16 years ago.

Kerry Donnell, communications officer for HPEDSB, said bullying awareness reminds young people to treat each other kindly and with respect.

“It’s a way for children and youth to learn about being good people,” she said.

Donnell says that the school board wants to do anything it can to help children recognize bullying and what to do when it happens. Activities for the week vary between schools, but can include assemblies, literacy exercises and the “Say One Nice Thing” campaign which can be used in different ways to encourage youth to say kind things to one another.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/bullyimg.mp3_1.mp3 [2]

Donnell says that although Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week is coming to an end, there is always a focus in schools on being respectful and caring citizens. In HPEDSB, it’s called growing with character and features eight core values that are woven through the daily curriculums.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/bullyimg.mp3.mp3 [3]

Donnell says that positive changes have come from Bullying Awareness Week, such as the creation of leadership teams in high schools, where students begin to take initiatives themselves. In elementary schools there are choirs where students sing songs about being nice to each other.

The Ontario Ministry of Education [4]‘s website states schools are encouraged to take this time to explain the different forms of bullying and promote a safer and more welcoming school environment.