February 25, 2019 1:32 pm

SaskTel relaunches ‘I Am Stronger’ cyberbullying prevention program as ‘Be Kind Online’

Be Kind Online operates under the philosophy that the best way to prevent bullying is to help create a kinder world and has spent years putting this into practice.

Jonathan Guignard / Global News
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One of Canada’s oldest cyberbullying prevention and awareness programs, I Am Stronger, is changing its name to Be Kind Online to better meet the needs of a new generation.

“It’s hard to believe how much the program has evolved since it first launched,” said Don Morgan, minister responsible for SaskTel.

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“It began as a social forum for youth to share their stories and learn from each other’s experiences. But it’s grown into something so much bigger that the time was right for us to give it a name that better reflected what the program has become.”

READ MORE: Even with more awareness, cyberbullying isn’t declining in Canada: Ipsos poll

Be Kind Online will continue its partnership with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education as the home of Saskatchewan’s Report Bullying SK Student Online Reporting Tool, which enables students to report bullying straight to the school or school division.

“We want all of our students to feel comfortable in the classroom, and having an online tool to report bullying will support that,” said Gordon Wyant, deputy premier and minister of education.

“It is important to encourage our students to show their peers respect and promote kindness online.”

Be Kind Online’s transformation will include a mass-media cyberbullying awareness campaign — promoting kindness on and offline.

READ MORE: 6 steps Canadians can take when they spot hate speech online

“We’re excited about the launch of Be Kind Online because it takes the same great program that I Am Stronger was and updates it for a whole new audience,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel president and CEO.

“The young people growing up today interact with the world very differently than kids did as little as five years ago. This refresh makes sure that the program can continue reaching those who need it most.”

Be Kind Online also provides a grant of up to $1,000 to youth who have bullying prevention ideas and want to promote kindness.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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