ERASE Bullying, partners in prevention

ERASE has unfolded actually as a government priority much bigger than we ever
could have imagined. So, it started out
as a school bullying… how do we make sure
kids are safe and the verbal
and the physical assaults aren’t happening in the school. But really, what we do know
about schools and kids today, is they’re in the community, they’re on social media, and so looking at our police, our mental health workers
through MCFD, and all coming together and wrapping a child when they’re in need, is really what’s making
a difference in a child’s life. THERESA CAMPBELL:
The ERASE Bullying Strategy was implemented throughout
a coordinated approach in all of our communities, involving all of our community partners, in addition to all of our
school districts. ERASE stands for Expect,
Respect and a Safe Education. SHERRI MOHORUK:
Previously, safety issues
in schools were all over the map. I guess a goal that we had was to see schools become more pro-active in looking for early
identification of kids exhibiting worrisome
behaviours, intervening earlier, and making sure that effective
resources and supports and interventions were
put in place. THERESA:
The ERASE Bullying Strategy was designed to implement
and deliver four different levels
of training. The first level was
a one-day training that was titled ‘Preventing Bullying
and Ensuring Safe and Caring School Communities’. Level two and three
relate to our work in the fields of violence or at risk
assessment. Those are two days of
comprehensive training for our school community teams. With the final training with
the ultimate goal to develop capacity and
sustainability in this province in addressing two threats of violence and bullying
behaviours. HEATHER DENNILL:
So a multidisciplinary team is critical in violence
or at risk assessment. They typically will consist
of RCMP, which is a primary partner,
MCFD, child and youth mental health, and other partners who have been involved
with the child. CPL. RAPHAEL ALVAREZ:
What’s happened in the past
four years, is we’ve created a strong
partnership of professionals that information-share
without worrying about getting in trouble. We are allowed to share
information if it means saving
a youth’s life. When a weapon is found
at school, administrators immediately
exercise their authorities under
the School Act, seize the weapon,
and call us immediately, to devise a plan to see what
we can do with this, what’s going on in
that kid’s life. JENNIFER:
The ERASE Bullying Program is an absolute passion
of the Ministry’s. And it is so important. We knew that starting early
with the bullying and the culture and the climate and connection with students
in schools would lead to better outcomes and hopefully stop someone’s path that could
be destructive to their selves or others.