Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says bullying needs to be defined in law and the bullies held responsible for breaking those laws.
“Nova Scotian children and teens are living in fear and anguish and the time has come to offer them the full protection of the law,” says Baillie. “They deserve this protection and the first step is defining bullying as an offense.”
Today, the Progressive Conservative Caucus will re-introduce the “The Safer Schools Act.”
This act defines bullying in law and compels the Minister of Education to put in place province-wide standards for bullying prevention, reporting and intervention. It also requires the Minister consider appropriate disciplinary measures when bullying occurs and compels school boards to establish disciplinary policies for their own schools, consistent with province-wide standards, and report annually on their results.
“This is Nova Scotia’s opportunity to be a leader in bullying prevention and child protection,” says Baillie. “Defining bullying in law sends the clear message that we will no longer stand idly by as students suffer in silence.”
Baillie is not alone in his call for more substantive action.
Anti – bullying activist and Pink Day co-founder Travis Price supports the need to define bullying in law.
“Bullying victims and their families are saying ‘enough is enough,’ and government needs to act on their pleas.” says Price. “The time has come to make bullying an offense and protect these students from both the present day harm and the years of residual effects that bullying causes.”
The PC’s introduced this Bill last year. Baillie says he is again calling on all party support to put some teeth in the effort to combat bullying.
In addition, the PC’s also introduced The Stand Up Against Bullying Day Act. This legislation raises awareness of bullying in our communities by designating the second Thursday of September each year as “Stand Up Against Bullying Day.”