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Rick Hansen Secondary honoured for anti-bullying effort

Rick Hansen Secondary school has received a 2011 Safe School Award for its efforts against school bullying.

The award was presented by Stop A Bully, a Canada-wide anti-bullying program developed by a B.C. teacher. It allows any student who is a victim of, or a witness to, bullying to be able to safely report it to school officials without fear of becoming a target themselves.

“Principal Julie Rousseau of Rick Hansen Secondary has shown that her school has made confronting school bullying and creating a safe school environment a top priority, which includes using the Stop A Bully safe reporting system” said program founder Trevor Knowlton.

Rousseau was pleased the school’s efforts were being recognized.

“Bullying is a problem faced by all schools, but it is interesting to note that this issue is no longer just restricted to the school environment. Secondary schools in particular face increasingly complex challenges regarding students’ use of online social media. Unfortunately, students can become victims of cyber-bullying in their own homes.

As part of the initiative, Rick Hansen became a member of the Stop-A-Bully website which enables students and parents to file a bully or cyberbully report anonymously.

A report can be filed online by the victim, a bystander, a witness or even a frustrated parent.

“Having an anonymous reporting system is just another intervention that allows us to be pro-active,” said Rousseau.

For more details on Stop A Bully see www.StopABully.ca.

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