Students and government leaders called for a united front against bullying, especially cyberbullying.
Premier John Horgan, Minister of Education Rob Fleming and B.C. MLAs joined about 100 students on the steps of the B.C. parliament buildings.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness, whether it is in the schoolyard or on social media,” Premier Horgan said. “I’m proud of the students who have come here today to make it clear that bullying, in any form and in any space, is unacceptable.”
B.C.’s 11th-annual Pink Shirt Day event included spoken-word poetry and choir performances by Reynolds Secondary students with strong messages against cyberbullying. Students from Cedar Hill Middle school also came to show their support.
“Cyberbullying touches the lives of B.C. kids every day,” Fleming said. “We all have a role to play in making sure students feel safe in the classroom, at home and online. By supporting positive online practices, we can help keep students safe and encourage respectful behaviour towards others.”
Government has proclaimed today as Bullying Awareness Day, highlighting B.C.’s commitment to ensuring a safe and inclusive province for all. Those in attendance at today’s Pink Shirt Day event in Victoria were encouraged to speak out against negative online posts, and to spread kindness instead, using the hashtags #PinkShirtDay and #ERASEBullying.
To ensure parents have the tools they need to support their children as they navigate the digital world, government is providing $100,000 to the B.C. School Superintendents’ Association (BCSSA) to offer social media education sessions to parents in every school district this school year. BCSSA will be partnering with Safer Schools Together to offer the session, called Raising Digitally Responsible Learners. This session was successfully piloted to approximately 120 parents last year.