Respect in Schools: Anti-bullying program to expand to First Nations, private schools

Respect in Schools: Anti-bullying program to expand to First Nations, private schools

An online training program to help adults deal with abuse in public schools will soon expand to First Nations and private schools, Premier Brian Pallister announced on Monday.

The province will spend $100,000 annually for the next three years to fund the Respect in Schools program, designed to teach people working at schools how to handle bullying, harassment, abuse or neglect of students, Pallister said at the Bernie Wolfe Community School.

The online training course was brought into Manitoba schools in 2011. The program was developed by Respect Group Inc., a group that was co-founded by Wayne McNeil and former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy.

Kennedy, himself a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of his childhood hockey coach, is the lead director of the 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," he said in a written release.

Pallister said the program is a valuable resource for teachers and administrators, and was recently updated to include new anti-bullying research.

"No child or young person should suffer from bullying, harassment, abuse or neglect," he said in the release.