Amanda Todd, anti-bullying strategy needed
October 16, 2012 | Jewish TribunecloseAuthor: Jewish Tribune
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TORONTO - On the heels of the tragic suicide of Amanda Todd, NDP MP Dany Morin has tabled a private member’s motion to begin mapping out a ‘national bullying prevention strategy,’ a move that recognizes that bullying is a serious problem ‘affecting Canadian communities.’
Morin was not alone in his call, as demonstrated by the outpouring of sympathy from those on the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter.
This issue has long been in the sights of B’nai Brith Canada, according to Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada.
“This kind of hate is not new, we have seen it before. Cyber bullying is a concern because it can easily escalate to more extreme forms of online hatred.”
The Jewish human rights organization is, therefore, urging legislators that a wider net be cast, recognizing that intimidation and hate continuing past the school age years also has the potential for tragic outcomes.
“We applaud MP Morin for tabling this motion in the House of Commons. We ourselves have been calling for a national anti-hate strategy since 1997 when we initiated a series of groundbreaking hate on the internet conferences, worked to create resource material on bullying and its cyber variants, and offered training to students and educators through Taking Action Against Hate workshops.
“But as we develop a strategy, we should recognize that bullying is not just a problem for school children but a much wider issue that affects every age group and every sector.
“MP Morin’s initiative needs to be paralleled by a much more robust attitude to threats and intimidation, particularly over the internet and social media, that goes well beyond the school age years,” said Dimant.
“One only has only to look at the latest round of complaints against a self-proclaimed white supremacist, Kevin Goudreau, who has posted hateful and indeed threatening comments on the net. A national strategy requires that all sectors work together to see the bigger Canadian picture. That is why in this particular case we are urging police to investigate without delay and thereby be part of the overall solution to hate.”
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