The Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association (ARJAA) will develop an anti-bullying survey, with funding from the Vancouver Foundation.
ARJAA acting executive director Joanne Field said the survey will be developed, implemented and evaluated, and then followed by a manual to address behavioural and bullying problems in schools.
The survey will be part of the association’s Safe Schools Project, in partnership with the Abbotsford school district, University of the Fraser Valley’s (UFV) criminology department, and the Fraser Valley Centre for Safe Schools based at UFV.
Also announced was the launch of the Adopt-A-Case, in which businesses, groups and individuals are invited to donate $500 to help cover a portion of the costs for mediating a case between a young or first-time offender and his/her victim and other affected parties.
They receive special recognition on the ARJAA website and newsletter, and have the option to have ARJAA make a presentation to their staff about the value of a restorative culture in the workplace.
Field said each mediated case is approximately one-fifth the cost of going through the traditional justice system because there is no court time or judges involved, and police time attending court proceedings is eliminated.
Last year, ARJAA received its highest number of case referrals – 98 – and another 85 were referred by, and funded through, the Abbotsford school district’s Restorative Action Program.
Many of the school referrals deal with bullying and cyber bullying, Field said.
She said there is a need for trained and skilled restorative justice facilitators and mediators. More information is available online at http://arjaa.org.
Those interested in supporting the Adopt-A-Case program can contact Field at 604-864-4844 or email email@example.com.