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Link to recorded event:  Stand Up.  Speak Out.  Stop Bullying. Together


PRESS RELEASE


24,000 CCRSB students and staff participating in new anti-bullying initiative, Stand Up. Speak Out.; focus is on healthy relationships


Thursday, September 12, 2013 – Truro, NS – The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) launched a new board-wide initiative this morning to address bullying in all CCRSB schools and offices. Stand Up. Speak Out. Stop Bullying. Together focuses on the root causes of bullying – the breakdown of relationships between people – and not just punishing one person or one group for their actions.


“Stand Up. Speak Out. was developed with the tenets of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) at its heart,” said Trudy Thompson, CCRSB Board Chair. “Through SEL comes the understanding that people’s negative actions – like bullying – result because relationships have broken down, because we’ve lost or never learned positive ways to interact with people when we feel angry or upset. To address bullying in all its forms we need to acknowledge these challenges and work together to learn better ways of coping.”


Stand Up. Speak Out. was developed to support and honour the many SEL-based initiatives currently operating in CCRSB schools and offices and to provide extra support to those that need a boost.


As part of the initiative, handbooks for students, parents, guardians and communities were developed in partnership with Dr. John LeBlanc, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie Medical School and director of the Canadian Prevention Science Cluster (Atlantic). CCRSB staff and Dr. LeBlanc’s team based the handbooks on SEL practices and also incorporated the many recommendations put forward by Wayne MacKay. The handbooks all begin with an explanation of what bullying behaviour is, and is not, to try and ensure that all members of the CCRSB community are operating from the same understanding. A video featuring CCRSB students, telling their own stories, was also developed for use in schools and offices.


“The basic idea behind Stand Up. Speak Out. is that we all have a role to play to address bullying, that we all can make a difference in our own and someone else’s lives,” said Scott Milner, Director of Education Services for CCRSB. “But we can’t do this alone. To make a real change we have to come together as a system, that means students, staff, parents, guardians and the communities in which our schools and offices operate. If an adult or a student sees or hears about acts of bullying, they have to speak out and tell someone.”


That’s where the name, Stand Up. Speak Out., came from, explained Milner. “We want the people in our CCRSB community to understand that silence isn’t the answer. Only by asking for help – for ourselves or for another person – can help actually be put in place. It seems like a simple concept, but it’s a big challenge and one we have to overcome.”


In conjunction with this initiative and to support the development of positive school climate, the CCRSB Code of Conduct was also re-written. The updated Code of Conduct spells out the behaviours/actions that will not be tolerated in CCRSB schools and the consequences that could result from a violation of the Code. The new Code will come into force later in the fall.


“Obviously there have to be consequences for negative behaviours like bullying,” said Milner. “Depending on the violation, though, the first consequence may not be suspension. The first consequence may be a restorative option that brings both parties involved in the incident together, to discuss what happened and why. The goal is that a relationship can be forged or preserved so that both parties can move forward positively.”


The concepts of SEL, positive school climate and restorative justice are all part of a larger Race Relations, Cross-Cultural Understanding and Human Rights Social Justice Framework at CCRSB.


The Stand Up. Speak Out. handbooks can be accessed on www.ccrsb.ca; also watch CCRSB’s Facebook page and Twitter account (@Chignectocrsb) for ongoing information.


The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is comprised of 17 board members and over 3,000 staff all striving to develop independent, lifelong learners in a student-centered environment, with high expectations for all. CCRSB serves almost 21,000 students from Primary to Grade 12, throughout the counties of East Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou.


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For more information, contact:




Debbie Buott-Matheson, BA, BPR

Communications Manager


Chignecto-Central Regional School Board

60 Lorne Street, Truro, NS B2N 3K3

T: 902-897-8911

C: 902-956-8079


Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChignectoCRSB

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChignectoCRSB

Remembrance day 2013