PROVINCE LAUNCHES ENHANCED RESPECT IN SCHOOL PROGRAM
– – – Helping All Students Feel Safe and Respected: Premier
A newly revised, online curriculum program will help create safer, more respectful schools by educating staff and volunteers on how to understand and better respond to bullying, abuse, harassment and neglect, Premier Brian Pallister announced today at Bernie Wolfe Community School, joined by Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart.
“No child or young person should suffer from bullying, harassment, abuse or neglect,” said Pallister. “Respect in School is a valuable resource for ensuring student well-being and protection remain priorities in our education system as we work together to build a better, brighter tomorrow for all Manitobans.”
The Respect in School program was developed by Respect Group Inc., co-founded by Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil. The online training is available in French and English for administrators, teachers and others who interact with students in leadership roles.
“I applaud Manitoba’s leadership in implementing Respect in School provincewide,” said Sheldon Kennedy, lead director, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. “As teachers, bus drivers, custodians and other school leaders are often the most trusted adults in a student’s life, we need to empower them with critical information and tools to respond confidently should issues arise.”
“We are very grateful to the Manitoba government for its ongoing support of the Respect in School program,” said Ken Cameron, president, Manitoba School Boards Association. “With over 3,300 new users in Manitoba in the last year alone, this is a clear demonstration of how essential this program is to promoting safe and respectful learning experiences in our schools. This renewed funding guarantees our staff and volunteers will continue to receive the important training that Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil have developed for the benefit our school communities.”
“Manitoba remains a leader across Canada in the promotion of the Respect in School program,” said Floyd Martens, president, Canadian School Boards Association. “Today’s funding announcement certainly strengthens Manitoba’s resolve to provide schools, and those working with students, with the kinds of resources needed to achieve success. School boards across our country would encourage all provinces and territories to follow Manitoba’s remarkable example, so that all schools have the support needed to access this vital program free of charge.”
The premier noted the program has been available to public schools since 2011 and will now be expanded to include First Nations and funded independent schools. It was recently revised with input from Manitoba representatives to incorporate recent anti-bullying research, he said.
“We’re proud to be leaders in delivering the Respect in School curriculum to our employee groups and are very pleased everyone has completed the training,” said Colleen Carswell, board chair, River East Transcona School Division. “We’ve found it to be a very efficient and effective way to help our employees gain the understanding and confidence they need to deal with issues of bullying and abuse. We thank the Manitoba government for launching the revised Respect in School online program and commend Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil for developing this powerful learning tool, which addresses such an important topic.”
The premier confirmed the Manitoba government is investing $100,000 annually over the next three years to make the program available to all public, First Nations and funded independent schools in Manitoba at no cost.