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Saskatchewan going online to tackle bullying and help kids, parents

REGINA – An anti-bullying report in Saskatchewan suggests people should be given information when they buy a smart phone on its appropriate use.

The idea to hand out a brochure against cyberbullying comes from a similar one in Nova Scotia.

The report also suggests the province should develop an anonymous online reporting tool for bullying.

Such a website might look similar to British Columbia’s erasebullying.ca.

Legislative secretary Jennifer Campeau, who wrote the report, says it’s important that students understand the lasting impact of what they post online.

A better response to Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) is encouraged. Educators report the groups, intended to foster equality among students, are not always properly facilitated.

“We’re going to have the materials available to support the schools when kids want to start a GSA,” Campeau said.

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Another recommendation is that the province ensure all students be taught appropriate online behaviour.

The report also says some parents feel they don’t know how to help their children in the digital age and recommends a website with anti-bullying resources for families.

David Forbes, the NDP critic for diversity, equality and human rights, suggests the report lacks detail.

“There was no discussion around the idea about the Human Rights Code being opened up, and the issue around transgendered rights should have been considered.”

Forbes wanted to see action immediately, though education minister Don Morgan says we’re more likely to see initiatives implemented in the spring.

It’s believed the cost of all recommendations would be roughly $1.3 million.

With files from Global’s Mike McKinnon