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Canada: What Does Cyberbullying Need from the Government?

www.endcyberbullying.org

With the recent rise in cyberbullying in different parts of the world, concerns have been raised regarding effective methods to prevent cyberbullying. Although laws have been recently passed to increase punishment for cyberbullying in places ranging from California to Nova Scotia, it is still essential to explore other policy options to prevent cyberbullying.

Associate minister of Calgary, Sandra Jansen, who is tasked with investigating what provincial government action can be taken to prevent bullying, believes more legislation punishing bullies will neither reduce bullying nor support victims.

The key, she believes, is to implement education programs, intervention sessions, and treatment opportunities that have the potential to rehabilitate bullies or aid victims.

Jansen cited a case involving a disruptive and aggressive student in a Calgary school. Upon knowledge that the student’s mother was suffering from severe depression, the mother received help for her depression. The student was given counselling and social support.

Later reports showed that the student were doing well and integrating smoothly into the school.

Calgary-based lawyer Derek From offers further incentive to steer towards supportive action to prevent bullying. He believes that anti-bullying laws will eventually end up in court due to associations with infringing free speech.

Jansen also agrees, adding that implementing a policy that could be deemed unconstitutional and may not be effective is not worth spending the time and resource required.