CALGARY- There has been a lot written and said about how to deal with the problem of bullying, and while some advocate tougher measures and consequences for bullies, others believe the solutions lie in education and awareness.
One such group is the Canadian Safe School Network, which held a forum in Calgary on Monday. Several high-profile speakers were attendance, including the mother of a bullied teen who eventually took her own life.
Amanda Todd died in October 2012, after enduring two years of torment, which she described in a video a month before her death.
Her mother Carol Todd, told educators and students attending the forum that Amanda’s story and legacy is about making a “positive change.” She added it’s important that young people develop healthy relationships, based on respect, kindness and caring.
Her message seemed to resonate with many of the 100 students in attendance.
“It was really inspiring to hear about her story, and how she’s helping other kids,” said Grad 10 student Christine Otto.
Fellow student Lauren Van Keimpema noted, “with cyberbulling, you forget there’s an actual person there…someone who has thoughts and feelings and reactions.”
It’s the kind of reaction organizers were hoping for, and the Canadian Safe School Network says it’s important to address to the roots of bullying.
“A lot of the focus in recent years has been on the consequences of bullying,” says Dave Fraser. “We really want to look at why this behaviour is happening, and how we can prevent it in the future.”