Tri-City News

More talk about bullying in Coquitlam

The community is invited to continue a discussion on bullying prevention that began in October, says Joan Isaacs of the Tri-Cities Joint Family Court and Youth Justice Committee. The first event in a five-part series takes place Jan. 24 in Coquitlam.  - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
The community is invited to continue a discussion on bullying prevention that began in October, says Joan Isaacs of the Tri-Cities Joint Family Court and Youth Justice Committee. The first event in a five-part series takes place Jan. 24 in Coquitlam.
— image credit: DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

A conversation on bullying that reached emotional heights and galvanized a community into action following the death of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd is being re-opened with a five-part series on bullying prevention beginning this Thursday.

The Tri-Cities joint Family Court and Youth Justice Committee is launching the series in the hopes of educating the community about new ways to consider and deal with bullying.

Joan Isaacs, a member of the group, which deals with family court and youth justice issues through research, education and advocacy, said the first night of the series will continue where the last session last Oct. 24 left off.

"We know there were 60-some questions that weren't answered. We felt there was more to talk about," Issacs said, referring to the meeting held at Terry Fox secondary that drew an overflow crowd of about 400 people. Although it was planned months before Todd committed suicide after posting a harrowing video about bullying, the timing, so soon after the CABE student's death, generated a huge response.

On that night, just two weeks after the 15-year-old took her own life, participants watched the Red Cross film How to Help: A Youth Perspective on Bullying and quizzed panel members about the issue of bullying.

Some even talked about their own experiences."It was very emotional," Isaacs recalled.

Her group came away with the idea that more should be done so it planned the five-part series extending from February to March; the kick-off will be an opportunity to deal with some of the questions that couldn't be answered for lack of time, she said.

"We need to talk more about it in the community and find common solutions to underlying concerns," she explained.

The first evening of the series, set for Jan. 24 at Coquitlam city hall (from 7 to 9 p.m.), will feature speakers from School District 43 as well as experts on bullying, threat assessment and restorative justice from UBC and SFU, plus a speaker from a counselling perspective working in the community. They have been asked to present on a theme or issue raised by questions received at the Oct. 24 meeting and the presenters will also answer follow up questions.

Ted Kuntz will be the moderator and the speakers will include Port Coquitlam middle school principal and bullying prevention author Cindi Seddon, UBC researchers Shelley Hymel and Kim Schonert-Reichl, experts on social and emotional learning, SFU researcher Brenda Morrison, an expert in restorative justice, West Vancouver school psychology counsellor and UBC researcher Aaron White, and Jim Mandelin, a youth advocate and public speaker.

Pre-registration is required at www.bullyingpreventionseries.eventbrite.ca. For more information or to pre-register for child care, email bullyingitendswithyou@gmail.com

BULLYING PREVENTION SERIES

• Session 1, Jan. 24: Response to Oct. 24 audience questions, at Coquitlam City Hall, 3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam. Presenters: Cindi Seddon, principal founder: Bully Beware Productions; Shelley Hymel and Kim Schonert-Reichl, UBC Faculty of Education; Social emotional learning with Brenda Morrison, co-director for Centre of Restorative Justice, SFU; Aaron White, school psychologist in West Vancouver; and UBC adjunct professor, Jim Mandelin, youth advocate, author, public speaker.

• Session 2, Jan. 31: Take Action Against Bullying, Kwayhquitlum middle school, 3280 Flint St., Port Coquitlam. Presenters: Seddon and Hymel.

• Session 3, Feb. 7: Elementary and Youth Perspectives on Bullying, Alderson elementary school, 825 Gauthier Ave., Coquitlam. Presenters: John Goheen, Alderson principal; and Karen Moss, RespectEd program advisor, Red Cross.

• Session 4, Feb. 28: Emotional Learning and Restorative Justice, Moody middle school, 3115 St. Johns St., Port Moody. Presenters: Hymel, Schonert-Reichl, Mandelin and Brenda Morrison.

• Session 5, March 7: Safe Schools and Gender Issues/Bullying, Winslow Centre, 1100 Winslow St., Coquitlam. Presenters: Seddon and White.

Pre-registration is required at www.bullyingpreventionseries.eventbrite.ca. For more information or to pre-register for child care contact bullyingitendswithyou@gmail.com.


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