Anti-bullying program reaches down to roots

Roots of Empathy program having success in Manitoba

In the aftermath of the Amanda Todd tragedy, the Canadian media have been dwelling directly on bullying, its nature and the public hunger for retribution.

Very little has been said about programs that have been demonstrated to reduce bullying itself. A good example is the Roots of Empathy program (gov.mb.ca/healthychild/roe/) designed by Mary Gordon. It was adopted some 10 years ago in Manitoba and is made available there through the regularly funded school system.

This program uses a monthly class with neighbourhood parents and their infants as the focus and draws upon the innate empathy that youngsters have toward babies. Weekly sessions involve lessons and discussions relating to the experiences that the class members have had interacting with the baby in the presence of its mother or father.

The effects on pro-social development of the children are remarkable and have yielded solid results such as a reduction in bullying, teenage violence and teenage pregnancy: the payback period is lifelong.

While there is a cost associated with this program, trying to fix the consequences of widespread bullying is vastly more expensive and disruptive to society. Roots of Empathy is now also being used in schools in several other provinces. Is it in your school?

Barrie Webster

Victoria

Just Posted

Shamrocks sitting in second spot in Junior A standings

Victoria split games over the weekend and beat the Timbermen Wednesday

Beat the heat at the spray park

Several options across the West Shore

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Drug Use: High school students comfortable talking about marijuana but not other drugs

Teens not always willing to make the first move to get help

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Most Read