Canadian Teens Will Stand Up Against Bullying

Image: Eddie~S
Creating bully free zones concerns everyone. Image: Eddie~S

Teens across Canada will soon be helping their peers to shut down bullying.

The Canadian government announced it will spend a quarter of a million dollars on a new anti-bullying project called Stand Up to Bullying and Discrimination in Canadian Communities.

The Canadian Red Cross will organize the project, which will involve more than 50,000 Canadian youths.

The first step will be for 2,400 “facilitators,” aged 13 to 17, to put on anti-bullying workshops. The goal is for least 20 young people to be in the audience at each workshop.

The project’s second phase includes three gatherings, led by young people, in Ontario, British Columbia and the Atlantic region. During each gathering, 150 Canadian kids will be empowered to “take action against bullying and discrimination in their communities,” according to a media release from the Canadian Red Cross.

“The Red Cross has been working for many years in Canada to engage youth and harness their leadership to prevent bullying and harassment,” said Conrad Sauvé, Secretary General and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross,” according to the media release.

The announcement was made yesterday at AY Jackson High School in Kanata, Ontario. Jamie Hubley was an openly gay student at the school, until he took his own life in 2011, after having been bullied for years.

The boy’s father is Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley. He attended yesterday’s ceremony.

After the student’s death, the Ontario government was inspired to create the Accepting Schools Act in 2012, which calls for schools to create stronger anti-bullying programs as well as tougher penalties for anyone who bullies someone.

By Kathleen Tilly 

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The article explains, “The first step will be for 2,400 “facilitators,” aged 13 to 17, to put on anti-bullying workshops. The goal is for least 20 young people to be in the audience at each workshop.”

With a partner, design and draft a plan for one of these anti-bullying workshops. Make sure to identify which topics should be discussed. Also decide on a format for the workshop that would engage and interest the participants. 

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts
Why do you think the organizers at the Canadian Red Cross decided to have youth lead the workshops instead of adult facilitators?

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5). 

Grammar Feature: Writing Numbers
Find and circle all of the numbers in this article. What do you notice about the different ways they are written? Why are some numbers written with words and others are written with numerals?