Premier Christy Clark recently unveiled a new provincial anti-bullying strategy called ERASE: Expect Respect And a Safe Education. This program combines training and technology to help children feel safe, regardless of their race, gender, beliefs, and sexual orientation. Clark pledges 2 million dollars to the initiative, which aims to improve the climate in schools by providing training for teachers, as well as launching a new anti-bullying app for phones.
The smartphone app will allow for people to anonymously report instances of bullying. The ERASE strategy will allow for dedicated safe school coordinators in each district and proposes at least one professional development day per year to be devoted to anti-bullying. The strategy also demands that school districts have stronger codes of conduct in line with the Human Rights Act, based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other criteria that will aim to bar discrimination. The Anti-bullying training will focus on elementary schools initially, with threat and risk assessment training geared to middle and secondary schools.
The ERASE bullying plan will begin at the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year. The 10 elements of the plan include:
- A five-year, multi-level training program for educators and community partners to help them proactively identify and address threats.
- New online tools, including a Smartphone app, for kids to report bullying anonymously.
- Dedicated safe school co-ordinators in every school district.
- Stronger codes of conduct for schools.
- Provincial guidelines for threat assessments.
- New online resources for parents.
- Formal protocols to guide and co-ordinate the work of school and community partners.
- A provincial advisory committee with representatives from police, school and social agency partners.
- Focusing one of the existing six provincial teacher professional development days on anti-bullying.
- Anti-bullying and threat assessment training for pre-service teachers.
For more information, visit: http://www.abbynews.com/news/156426115.html
Dont you want bullying to be erased out of the experiences of countless elementary and high school students in our communities? Check out ERASE program in your schools next school opening.
Credits: Logo of Stop Bullying. Onefamilyworld.org website
Posted on Jul 27 2012 7:04 pm by mmanzanal
category: Diversity in Schools
The City of Abbotsford welcomes close to a thousand (average) newcomer immigrants every year not including the existing immigrant population which comprises 27% of all residents. Abbotsford is the 3rd most culturally diverse community in the province. In terms of visible minorities, in 2031, it is projected that Abbotsford will be amongst the 5 CMAs (Census Metropolitan Areas) that have a proportion of foreign-born population and visible minorities above the national average. 
Once newcomer families have moved to Abbotsford, there are countless issues to deal with: employment, schooling of children, housing, finances, and recreation, among other services which are provided by the municipal government. In addition, newcomer families are often also faced with difficulties in their first few encounters with local government systems, since those systems can be much different than the systems in their home country, and because of past experiences they may shy away from or be guarded and thus be unable to take advantage of mainstream programs and services that could help them integrate in the community.
Immigration is no longer set within the confines of federal and provincial strategic imperative. Increasingly for the past years, local governments are burdened (due to underfunding) by the expectations of meeting the day-to-day needs of newcomers in terms of settlement and integration.  With very limited resources, they are the front line support of immigrants and yet are being innovative in servicing this valuable asset within the community.
How can we support the existing “structures of support” for immigrants settlement and integration in our City? What do you think is the role of the municipality in ensuring that newcomer families have the best information, resources, and support to create new lives in Abbotsford with their families? What gaps exist and how can all organizations working in this field better collaborate, share ideas, and best practices, and generate innovative models uniquely adapted to our community? Send us your ideas and suggestions.
 2006 Census Data: Abbotsford
 Starting on Solid Ground: The Municipal Role in Immigrant Settlement. Federation of Canadian Municipalities. 2011.
Posted on Jul 9 2012 11:00 pm by mmanzanal
category: Citizenship and Immigration