Bullying is a pervasive form of violence which drastically and disproportionately affects the quality of life for young people. It is imperative that our community take action to address this social issue because it demonstrates a fundamental failure to protect some of the most vulnerable and important members of our society. Implementing this bylaw is an effective means of raising awareness and educating citizens about this issue, as well moving towards the elimination of emotionally, psychologically, or physically harmful behaviour within our schools.
This proposal is inspired by similar anti-bullying bylaws which have been adopted by many communities throughout the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta in response to the tragic suicides of Canadian youth as a result of bullying. Anti-bullying bylaws define bullying and outline specific protocols and processes for addressing incidences of bullying, including guidelines for enforcement and tangible, appropriate, and relevant consequences for problematic behaviour. This provides a helpful guideline for educators, parents, and students for what is and is not acceptable behaviour, holding citizens accountable for their actions and creating a safer, more supportive environment within our schools.
While this bylaw may have to be shaped through discussions with community leaders and tailored to meet the specific needs of the Saskatoon community, we believe that adopting an anti-bullying bylaw is a necessary first step in beginning to address the issue of bullying in Saskatoon schools.