Grant sought for anti-bullying initiative

Organizers of a Summerland-based anti-bullying initiative would like some help from the province.

Organizers of a Summerland-based anti-bullying initiative would like some help from the province.

Tina Martin said the committee, which is working to define Summerland as a bully-free community, is asking the province for a grant of $14,000.

The grant money would go for T-shirts, wrist bands, media, posters and the creation of a website in order to promote the anti-bullying initiative.

The committee formed last month and includes teachers, parents, a school trustee and others.

Martin said a pink T-shirt day, similar to school-based initiatives, may be set up as a community-wide initiative.

A pink T-shirt day event is planned for Feb. 28, but Martin would like to see it as a one-week event rather than a one-day event.

She adds that she is hoping to organize a flash mob on Feb. 24 to kick off the pink T-shirt event.

Wrist bands with an anti-bullying message may also be included as ways to show a commitment to stop bullying.

Martin said efforts to strengthen community ties will also make a difference in curbing bullying behaviour.

“I think it’s time to look at our community as a true community,” she said. “It’s as easy as being kind to your neighbour and showing support. I think we already have a really good foundation here.”

At present, the group has set up a website and a Facebook page. To find the Facebook page, search for Summerland — Bully Free. The website is at bullyfreesummerland.com.

Martin said the goal of creating a bully-free community is a big goal and one which would take time.

“I think that would be a really ambitious hope,” she said. “I think we can minimize bullying.”

Part of the challenge comes because bullying is not easy to define, she said.

While bullying has been seen as a schoolyard issue in the past, cyber bullying and workplace bullying are also mentioned today.

 

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