Today’s announcement by Premier McGuinty that new Anti-Bullying Legislation ( http://tiny.cc/knlrw ) will be introduced in Queens Park is welcome for not only what it will accomplish in the short term, but what it could do in the long term.
The legislation will undoubtedly have support from all parties as it will make all students feel more comfortable in how to deal with bullies but it will also make bullying the new stigma that society can no longer let go without action. Nepean Carleton MPP Lisa Macleod who spoke out against bullying in Queens Park in the first weeks of the new session is working with Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi and Allan Hubley, Ottawa Councillor for Kanata South, to build on this legislation (http://www.cfra.com/?cat=1&nid=83026 ).
So while the legislation will have a great response to how we will help those in school yards and hallways look after themselves and know where to find help, the echo of its success will be felt years later.
There is no scientific evidence to support that those that bully others in the schools go on to continue to bully as they become adults and may commit even more dangerous crimes. This announcement helps lay the foundation to help adults that are victims of being bullied to know how and where to find the help needed without feeling shame or have to fear retaliation.
There are many wonderful organizations that are working to help children deal with bullies in school and in the neighbourhoods. Kids Help Phone ( www.kidshelpphone.ca ), the Distress Centre – Ottawa and Region ( www.dcottawa.on.ca ) are working with the Do it for Daron Foundation ( www.doitfordaron.com ) in Ottawa and across Canada and the US to Teens and Youth in distress.
This legislation could have a long lasting positive impact on Ontario’s children. Lessons and strategies our children learn today will have a bigger impact as they become adults and have their own children.
I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97