Ms. Peggy Sattler: This week is Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in Ontario schools, an opportunity to raise awareness of bullying and its impact on student learning and well-being . One of the most effective ways to do this is through the Pledge to End Bullying, an award-winning campaign to engage schools, families, organizations and businesses in making a verbal commitment to ending bullying behaviour. This community-wide initiative was launched in 2011 by CTV London and the Thames Valley District School Board under the leadership of former director of education, Bill Tucker.
The pledge recognizes that bullying is not just a school problem but a societal issue and the entire community needs to take action to end it. On November 10, I was proud to join with student and community leaders in London to repeat, once again, the simple yet powerful words of the pledge: “I believe that everybody has the right to live in a community where they feel safe, included, valued and accepted regardless of differences. I pledge to be respectful of others and stand up against bullying whenever and wherever I see it.”
In the six years since the pledge was first launched, the campaign has spread to Kitchener, Barrie, Windsor, Kingston and Brockville, as well as Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Online, this year’s campaign has collected close to 267,000 signatures. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to go to thepledgetoendbullying.ca because all Ontarians should feel welcome and safe wherever they might be.