Read the latest on The Roots of Empathy: the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Education’s program to teach compassion and empathy to youth and children in British Columbia.

Full article from the Province of British Columbia website here.

Read the latest news on Premier Clark’s anti-bullying strategy for BC schools: ERASE Bullying (Expect Respect And a Safe Education). Full article here.

By Katie Hyslop, 2 Jun 2012

© Copyright (c) TheTyee.ca

The Diversity and Media Toolbox is a comprehensive suite of resources for teachers, students, law enforcement representatives and the general public, that explores issues relating to stereotyping, bias and hate in mainstream media and on the Internet. The program, which includes professional development tutorials, lesson plans, interactive student modules and background articles, is divided into two distinct but complementary topic areas: media portrayals of diversity and online hate.

Teacher’s Resource Catalogue

Trousse Éducative – Diversité et Médias here.

The Diversity and Media Toolbox was produced with the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.

~text from the Media Awareness Network website

In British Columbia, the Day of Pink 2012 is celebrated on February 29. Check out this link from the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation for more information.

DayofPink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia and Transphobia in schools and communities. We invite everyone to celebrate diversity by wearing a pink shirt and by organizing activities in their workplaces, organizations, communities and schools.

It is a day where communities across the country, and across the world, can unite in celebrating diversity and raising awareness to stop homophobic, transphobic & all forms of bullying. 

The International Day of Pink (April 11) was started in Nova Scotia when 2 straight high school students saw a gay student wearing a pink shirt being bullied. The 2 students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic & transphobic bulling. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive  wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school stopped homophobic & transphobic bullying. 

The message was clear: anyone can bully, any can be victimized by bullying, but together we can stop it.

Why should you participate?

Have you ever seen a friend hurt because of discrimination? Have you been hurt yourself? Discrimination comes in many forms including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, agism and anti-semitism just to name a few. These social diseases create barriers, bullying, harassment, hate and violence. No one should have to experience the negativity created by discrimination. DayofPink is more than just a symbol of a shared belief in celebrating diversity – it’s also a commitment to being open minded, accepting differences and learning to respect each other.

~from the Day of Pink.org Website

Day of Pink Guidebook 2012

CKNW’s Pink Shirt Day Website

British Columbia is consulting education partners while planning tougher anti-bullying policies to improve school safety for all students, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).

Action was promised recently by Premier Christy Clark, who gained a reputation as an anti-bullying advocate while working as a talk-show host at CKNW radio, but details have not been released.

“My government is going to … do more to make sure that every child, as much as is possible, is protected from bullying in their school,” she told the legislature recently. “No matter what the cause or reason [for] that bullying, it is unacceptable.”

Clark described the issue as urgent, but the opposition NDP says she favours talk over action. It has challenged her to follow the lead of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who recently reached out to gay teens with his own It Gets Better video and introduced a bill requiring boards of education to develop anti-bullying policies, promote tolerance and sup-port students who want gay-straight clubs – student-led alliances that sup-port LGBT kids – in their schools.

McGuinty has been hit with a storm of protest from religious groups, and some say Clark should expect the same if she proposes an anti-bullying policy that pays special attention to LGBT students or requires gay-straight alliances in faith-based schools.

“We would be 100-per-cent behind a policy or legislation that was against all forms of bullying,” said Doug Lau-son, president of the Federation of Independent School Associations of B.C., in an interview Wednesday. “But to emphasize one form of bullying would be problematic.”

Lauson, who is also superintendent of Catholic independent schools, said none of his schools has a gay-straight alliance and he doesn’t believe they are necessary because Catholic schools have student councils to protect students’ rights.

On the other side of the debate is the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), which has been demanding better protection for LGBT student for years. Vice-president Glen Hansman said the union met with government officials recently to press for an anti-bullying policy in all schools that would pay particular attention to homophobic and racist bullying.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/plans+tougher+anti+bullying+policies+protect+students/5870691/story.html#ixzz1h5uttdNH

By Janet Steffenhagen,  December 18, 2011

jsteffenhagen@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Parent complaints about a draft policy intended to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students from harassment have resulted in revisions, the Burnaby school district said Wednesday.

To read the full story, published in the Vancouver Sun click here.

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