Southwest residents share their voices during anti-bullying consultations

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The issue of bullying took centre stage during a consultation meeting in Swift Current on June 10.

Swift Current hosted one of eight public consultation meetings hosted in early June to gather public suggestions and help develop a Saskatchewan anti bullying strategy.

"Bullying is very different from when I was growing up. We have the social media involved, kids are plugged in all the time, so it's a different kind of extent and it's evolving, so we need to have something to address bullying because right now there is no consistent policy in place for Saskatchewan," explained Saskatoon Fairview MLA Jennifer Campeau during her stop in Swift Current.

Campeau was appointed as the Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Education - Anti-Bullying Initiative and toured the province to gauge the far reaching impacts of bullying in different Saskatchewan communities.

"What we're trying to do is get a snapshot and assess the Saskatchewan situation in terms of anti-bullying initiatives within their community, what extent of bullying in the communities, and the different challenges that each community has."

While the consultation process has concluded, the public can still participate in online consultations, or to make a written submission by visiting http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/Anti-Bullying/ Consultations. Written submissions will be accepted until Oct. 31 and can be sent to anti-bullying@gov.sk.ca.

She will then be tasked with producing a report and recommendations to face the issue of bullying with a coordinated approach.

"It will be a resource for people who otherwise wouldn't know where to start. So we're hoping to have effective information in there, anybody can access it, and just kind of like a guideline of where they can go and what to do in terms of addressing bullying."

Admittedly, the personal stories shared during the eight public consultations were impactful.

"It's a very emotional topic anyway, but we need to know what exactly is going on out there, and what these kids are going through, and what these parents are going through," she said. "It is definitely emotional."

"We're learning the extent of it with these consultations and definitely once we assess each community and the situation it'll definitely help us come up with a comprehensive action plan for Saskatchewan."

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Swift Current

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