Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia's Anti-Bullying Plan Lacks Concrete Measures, Critics Say

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia's Anti-Bullying Plan Lacks Concrete Measures, Critics Say

Article excerpt

Nova Scotia bullying plan draws criticism

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HALIFAX - A plan aimed at preventing bullying in Nova Scotia's schools lacks the concrete steps necessary to resolve the problem, critics of the initiative said Wednesday.

The provincial government's plan contains 40 measures that Education Minister Ramona Jennex says will tackle the root causes of bullying.

Among those that weren't previously announced include the training of school staff to recognize mental health problems and an annual conference about cyberbullying.

But the man who led a task force that made 85 recommendations to the government last year on reducing instances of bullying said the plan falls short of what he called for.

"Even though it's called an action plan there aren't really enough actions today to save children and students from the corrosive effects of bullying and cyberbullying," said Wayne MacKay, a law professor at Dalhousie University.

"I think in some ways it's more of a framework or an agenda than an actual action plan."

MacKay said while the plan adopts some of the tone of his report in recognizing the need for more public education on bullying, it contains "important gaps" such as a commitment to establishing bullying and suicide prevention programs in the classroom as soon as possible.

"It is fairly long-term and it's fairly general in its nature," he said. …

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