Petition to adopt a Saskatoon anti-bullying bylaw gains momentum

SASKATOON – A group of people in Saskatchewan believes an anti-bullying bylaw would help prevent abuse.

Headed by the Saskatoon Social Work Students Society, the group is circulating a petition, which now has more than 500 signatures.

North Battleford mother Kim Loik said her 15-year-old son Todd ended his own life after being constantly cyberbullied.

Petition organizer Michelle Mudasia said she hopes such a bylaw would help prevent teen suicides like Todd’s.

“This isn’t a case of ‘call somebody a name and get a fine’. This is multiple, repeated incidents that’s ongoing harassment.”

On the federal level, Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the Tories will introduce new legislation this fall to fight cyberbullying. This week the minister made a $100,000 donation to “The Canadian Centre for Child Protection,” dedicated to prevention.

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“We’re thinking of Todd. The loss of their 15-year-old son has touched the nation, ” said MacKay.

Social media experts said cyberbullying can be difficult to track, but it’s possible.

“A lot of parents have agreements with their kids to be able to monitor their email, monitor their facebook,” said zu Digital Strategist Albert Jame.

“And also having that open dialogue with the parent and the child,” said Jame.

Petition organizers have already been before city council with their proposal. Council asked they provide more research and report back, so the group plans to present again before the new year.