NWT Takes Action
NWT Takes Action
Bullying prevention is a top priority across Canada. Globally, research demonstrates that bullying makes the lives of its victims miserable, undermines their confidence and self-esteem and negatively impacts their attendance and ability to succeed in school. As well, bullying can have life-long impacts that, in extreme cases, have led to student fatalities.
The severity of bullying was brought to light at the 2010 Minister’s Forums on Aboriginal Student Achievement. Further, the NWT results of the national Health Behaviour of School Aged Children Survey (HBSC) also highlighted the urgency to address bullying. Bullying is a complex issue, and affects the lives of students, families, schools and communities. This is work no one government, agency or community can do alone.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) recognizes the devastating effects of bullying and is making it a priority to eliminate bullying behaviour. On November 1, 2013, the Legislative Assembly passed Bill 12: An Act to Amend the Education Act, which defines bullying, including cyber-bullying, and requires the GNWT to create regulations that establish the Territorial School Code of Conduct and prescribes the matters to be addressed in Safe Schools plans by District Education Authorities and Divisional Education Councils. The Safe Schools plan includes guidelines, templates and tools to assist boards and schools in creating, implementing and evaluating their policies and procedures for the safety of their school communities. To ensure awareness, generate understanding and create action, the GNWT has a territory-wide campaign to denounce bullying, including cyber-bullying, and is gathering information and developing resources for schools, teachers, parents, victims and bystanders.