Nova Scotia cyber-bullying law continues to spur debate

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6i3zxbkmTwo years later, Cyber Safety Act, written after the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, is criticized for being too broad and praised for being effective

Wayne MacKay, a professor in human rights law at Dalhousie University thinks the legislation is doing its job, although he feels there should be different standards for adults, and accused cyber-bullies should have the chance to defend themselves before a case reaches court.
Wayne MacKay, a professor in human rights law at Dalhousie University thinks the legislation is doing its job, although he feels there should be different standards for adults, and accused cyber-bullies should have the chance to defend themselves before a case reaches court.
HALIFAX—An overwhelming majority of complaints filed under Nova Scotia’s anti-cyber-bullying law have been resolved out of court, proof that the law is working, supporters of the legislation say.

Two years after it was passed in April 2013, the bill still faces criticism from legal experts who say it threatens freedom of expression.

The legislation is the first of its kind in Canada.
Two challenges aimed at striking down the controversial law are before the courts, and, in a separate case, an order under the Cyber Safety Act was overturned by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on grounds it violated charter rights.

But a member of Nova Scotia’s CyberScan unit, established under the act to crack down on cyber-bullying, said there is a side of the law the public doesn’t hear about as much.

Of the 559 complaints of cyber-bullying filed with CyberScan, only two have proceeded to court, with the rest resolved through informal negotiations, said Dana Bowden, one of the five investigators with the unit.

“We’ve had a great deal of success,” Bowden said. Bowden said the unit’s goal is to educate and resolve rather than be punitive.

bg5gtu“I think once you’re able to speak with individuals and they have an understanding of the fact that there is a law in Nova Scotia around cyber-bullying, and how that law works . . . people seem to be getting that message.”

Under the act, people who say they have been victims of cyber-bullying can also bypass the CyberScan unit and apply to a justice of the peace for a protection order. Fewer than 10 protection orders have been issued since the law’s creation in 2013.

One of those was revoked in March, in the case of Debert businessman Jonathan Baha’i, who was accused of posting defamatory information online about his former landlord Anton Self. A judge originally issued a one-year protection order, which included a ban on Baha’i communicating with or about Self, in November 2014.
Lawyer and privacy expert David Fraser, an outspoken critic of the act, said such orders violate the right to free speech.

“Anything that limits what you can or do say on its face infringes section 2B of the charter,” said Fraser, who represents the complainants in the two current court challenges.
Fraser said the legislation, written less than three weeks after the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, was done so in haste.

“My concern with the legislation is that it’s so grotesquely over-broad. It captures a whole lot of stuff that you or I would not even consider to be cyber-bullying.”

12549judge_001Judge Gerald Moir made similar comments when he revoked the protection order on Baha’i in the Supreme Court.
“A neighbour who calls to warn that smoke is coming from your upstairs windows causes fear. A lawyer who sends a demand letter by fax or e-mail causes intimidation,” Moir said in his ruling.

“Each is a cyber-bully according to the literal meaning of the definitions (of the law), no matter the good intentions of the neighbour, (or) the just demand of the lawyer.”
Fraser said it irks him that the judge had to go to such lengths to interpret the legislation.

“The fact that a judge has to essentially rewrite a key part of the law in order to make it make sense, in the context of what it’s intended to do — that tells me that the legislature did not do a good enough job in being clear about what it was trying to do,” he said.
But Wayne MacKay, a professor in human rights law at Dalhousie University, doesn’t see the judge’s comments as condemnations of the act.

“Some would certainly argue that the definition of cyber-bullying itself may be too broad,” said MacKay, who chaired the cyber-bullying task force ordered by the government after Parsons died.
“But another way — and that’s what happened in this case — is to say, ‘Well, we’ll take it on a case-by-case basis.’ ”

There are a couple of things MacKay said he would change about the act: having different standards for adults, as opposed to youth, and giving accused cyber-bullies the chance to defend themselves before a case reaches court.

But overall, MacKay thinks the legislation is doing its job.
“I think the act is a necessary and positive addition to giving victims some remedies they didn’t have before.”


Article posted Fri May 01 2015 Posted by Leah Collins Lipsett The Canadian Press — Follow @leahgcl on Twitter


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Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

judge-smiley-emoticon-1Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the section of the Constitution of Canada that lists what the Charter calls “fundamental freedoms” theoretically applying to everyone in Canada, regardless of whether they are a Canadian citizen, or an individual or corporation. These freedoms can be held against actions of all levels of government and are enforceable by the courts. The fundamental freedoms are freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.

Section 1 of the Charter permits Parliament or the provincial legislatures to enact laws that place certain kinds of limited restrictions on the freedoms listed under section 2. Additionally, these freedoms can be temporarily invalidated by the notwithstanding clause of the Charter.

As a part of the Charter and of the larger Constitution Act, 1982, section 2 took legal effect on April 17, 1982. Many of its rights, however, have roots in Canada in the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights (although this law was of limited effectiveness), and in traditions under a theorized Implied Bill of Rights. Many of the freedoms, such as freedom of expression, have also been at the centre of federalism disputes.

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Watch for miracles as they happen every minute. By recognizing miracles you will see more and more in your life. Appreciate every miracle no matter how small it seems to you. Sharon K. Brayfield

Bullying Prevention:

Courtesy of Living Life With Passion

Originally posted on Sharon K. Brayfield, Life Coach and Business Mentor:

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Watch for miracles as they happen every minute. By recognizing miracles you will see more and more in your life. Appreciate every miracle no matter how small it seems to you.
Sharon K. Brayfield, Professional Life Coach & Mentor
Coaching for results is available, please contact me at Sharon@LivingLifeWithPassion.net.

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CCOHS Launches e-course on Bullying, Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence and bullying in the workplace cost businesses money every year in lost productivity (through absenteeism, tardiness and inability to perform duties) and compromises the safety of the organization and its workers.

1954246244_1386598483The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released two e-courses that focus on violence related topics, domestic violence and bullying, to help people understand the impact these forms of violence can have on the workplace and how risks can be mitigated.

Domestic Violence in the Workplace:

Although domestic violence may not be recognized by some as a workplace hazard, it can interfere with the victim at work and impact a workplace. This e-course will help participants understand the effects of domestic violence on the organization and its workers, and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of domestic violence. The course will also identify the roles of the employer, supervisors and employees in supporting victims, and preventing related workplace violence.

Bullying in the Workplace:

Bullying is becoming increasingly recognized as a serious workplace problem that can cause undue stress, anxiety, and low morale among workers. This e-course will help participants recognize the signs of bullying, understand the effects of bullying on the organization and its workers, and mitigate the risks.

The e-courses were developed in collaboration with the Public Services Health and Safety Association and are available in English and French.


Published 30 April 2015 in Training Stories Exclusive


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Criminal codes now allow for workplace cyber-bullies to be penalized

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MANAGEMENT & HR

It is important for both employers and employees to know that there are Criminal Code provisions that can be used to penalize online bullies.
It is important for both employers and employees to know that there are Criminal Code provisions that can be used to penalize online bullies.
Unfortunately, society has become accustomed to hearing tragic stories in the news regarding the consequences of cyber-bullying among Canadian youth – with Reahteh Parsons and Amanda Todd still fresh in our minds. While cyber-bullying among teenagers is well documented, less has been written about a growing issue for Canadian adults.

A Pew Research Centre study of October 2014 shows 40 per cent of adult Internet users have personally experienced online harassment, ranging from name-calling and embarrassment to physical threats, stalking and sexual harassment. A spike in the number of arbitration cases dealing with instances of cyber-bullying proves that the problem is spilling over into the workplace and the number of cases is only expected to increase, along with direction from arbitrators.

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act was amended in 2010 to provide that employers have obligations to prevent and address violence and harassment in the workplace. Many employers are reluctant to be proactive on speaking to employees about the darker side of human behaviour, but it’s important they do so as there are strict penalties for individuals and corporations who do not comply with the OHSA. It’s therefore imperative employers conduct assessments, create policies‎ and programs, and deliver training to all employees about anti-violence and anti-harassment. Penalties for failure to comply with the OHSA include, for individuals, a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $500,000 for corporations.

Untitled-1In one such example of a criminal record being imposed, the Ontario Court of Appeal, in October 2014, convicted a Ashish Dewan of criminal mischief and criminal harassment after he posed separately as a girlfriend and colleague online and made degrading comments about them. Dewan pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months time served, a suspended sentence and two years probation for the criminal mischief conviction, and two years probation for the criminal harassment conviction.

Labour and employment lawyers are often asked about the extent to which employees can expect privacy with respect to their online conduct inside and outside of work. The short answer is employees should never assume they have an absolute right of privacy in such communications. The Internet can no longer be considered a private medium, particularly insofar as online communications impact the workplace and, importantly, workplace relationships.

This message has yet to sink in with employees, and with potentially criminal consequences, there is a clear and present need for employers to temper any employee expectations of privacy. Employers need clear and communicated policies that emphasize personal use of work IT equipment should be kept to a minimum; elaborate the employer’s right to monitor suspicious activity; and inform employees they can and will be disciplined for improper online conduct that has a “nexus” to work.

Many employees might be reluctant to report comments made outside of the workplace on social media forums for fear of bringing what might seen as a personal issue into work. We encourage workers to voice these concerns and there have been many examples where arbitrators have upheld dismissals in cyber-bullying cases where comments were made outside of work. For example, in Canada Post and CUPE, a postal clerk was dismissed for just cause relating to Facebook posts containing offensive, vulgar and threatening material primarily directed at her supervisors.

8317d01d85e78d9ffe9e8ec5efdf8521The following recommendations to those experiencing cyber-bullying might seem commonsense, but can be easily forgotten when faced with a deeply embarrassing and traumatic situation.

First, do not reply to messages or posts from cyber-bullies and make copies of all such messages or posts (including pictures). Report any concerns to your employer and follow any applicable policies it has. Your co-operation in any employer investigation is crucial in ensuring the cyber-bully is appropriately punished. If the conduct appears to be criminal, do not hesitate to contact the police.

Melanie Warner is a partner in Borden Ladner Gervais LLP’s labour and employment group.


Article by Melanie Warner, BLG, Special to Financial Post | April 28, 2015


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Marriage Equality: Bring Your Family With You

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Irish LGBT youth and parents coalition call for a Yes vote in the forthcoming marriage equality referendum.

4621829428740096 The BeLonG To lead coalition call on everyone to talk to their family and friends about why marriage equality is so important and to work for a Yes votebegging-1_zps0cb66a36

The coalition includes: Barnardos, Headstrong, Youth Work Ireland, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre, EPIC – Empowering Young People in Care, Children’s Rights Alliance, Childline – ISPCC, Foróige, Loving Our Out Kids, Yes Equality

Cast: Brian Gleeson, Aaron Heffernan, Ruth McCabe, Steve Wall, Elva Trill, Kelly Campbell, Denise McCormack, Eric Lalor, Alan Archbold, Chris Newman, Scott Graham, Sarah Jane Seymour, Emily O’Callaghan

Voiceover: Norma Sheahan – Written & Directed by Aoife Kelleher and Hugh Rodgers – Produced by Invisible Thread Films https://vimeo.com/invisiblethread

Executive Producer: Michael Barron Copyright BeLonG To Youth Services 2015

Thank you to all the extras who generously donated their time to the filming.

holding-handsThanks also to the Seamus Ennis Centre, Killian’s Bar, Snip and Set hairdressers, Martha Fitzpatrick & Aidan Comerford, Pauline Keeling, Fred & Barbara Keeling, Gary Nethaway, Bob Gallagher, Adrian Mullan, Lindsay Campbell, Niall Woods, Ger O’Donoghue, Catherine Conaty, Lisa Richards Agency, Macfarlane Chard Associates Ireland, The Agency, Lorraine Brennan Management, Cine Electric.

Published on Apr 15, 2015

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Fiona Noakes latest is An Anthem for Nonconformists

Bullying Prevention:

FLASHBACK: As B.P’s “Artist of The Month” I want to Reblog and rewind back to October 7, 2014 when B.P first introduced “The Fiona Noakes Band” and their Video “My Apology” Take a look

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:

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Introducing Ottawa’s Very Own “Fiona Noakes Band” New video ‘My Apology’ emboldens those shamed for who they are.


 In the video for “My Apology,” Fiona Noakes portrays a superhero who helps those struggling with their identities. From left, bandmates Benoit L’Ecuyer, Danae Tsikouras, Cliff Chamberlain and Noakes.
In the video for “My Apology,” Fiona Noakes portrays a superhero who helps those struggling with their identities. From left, bandmates Benoit L’Ecuyer, Danae Tsikouras, Cliff Chamberlain and Noakes.

Whether for a casual beer or a night of karaoke, Swizzles is a popular queer venue in Ottawa. For Ottawa singer/songwriter Fiona Noakes, the Centretown bar serves as the set for her latest music video.

“I wanted to have many different walks of life in the video, and so naturally, I thought the perfect setting would be a bar,” Noakes says. “It has real character and is smaller, which makes for a more intimate experience.”

Noakes describes her song “My Apology” as an anthem for those who have been made to feel shame for who they are. The apology, however, is more defiant…

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Regina teens who allegedly took video of student with Down syndrome charged with bullying

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smily-wideHIP HIP Hooray – Two teenagers have been charged under Regina’s anti-bullying bylaw – something the alleged victim’s mother wants to see applied more often.

Two teenagers have been charged under Regina's antibullying bylaw - Photograph by: Don Healy , Regina Leader-Post
Two teenagers have been charged under Regina’s antibullying bylaw – Photograph by: Don Healy , Regina Leader-Post
On March 2, the boys, ages 16 and 17, are alleged to have entered a washroom at a Regina high school and videotaped a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome. The older boys then allegedly shared the video with others.

Because of the ages of those involved, the identifying information is not being published. Regina police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich said the two older boys “instructed (the 14-yearold) to do a number of things” and caught him on camera when he wasn’t fully clothed. Popowich couldn’t offer more specifics, but the boy’s mother said her son was singing and dancing.

“It would be appropriate to say that even though the victim initially appeared to be participating of his own free will, he perhaps didn’t understand what was happening or what the consequences would be, meaning that it was going to be videoed and shared,” Popowich said. The principal of the school was made aware of the video, as were the three students’ parents and the school’s resource officer.

“Once it was brought to their attention, the school’s administration took the matter very seriously and acted quickly,” said Regina Public Schools spokesman Terry Lazarou.

“There is no place for this kind of behaviour in any of our schools, and our students are expected to respect each other and themselves. Beyond that we can’t comment on any disciplinary action that was taken at the school level.”

The 14-year-old’s mother said she was “horrified” when she saw the video.

“This is my child. He has special needs. He doesn’t know how to express himself properly,” she said. “I just started shaking and crying.”

She said her son had a “really rough time” at school for the first few weeks after the incident. While she doesn’t fault the school for its response, she described it as a “slap on the wrist.”

That’s why she chose to pursue the option of a charge under the city’s anti-bullying bylaw.

images (8)Enacted in 2006, the bylaw makes it an offence to “bully another person in any public place,” which includes schools, and “bully another person through written or electronic communication.”

Popowich said it was introduced “to be a meaningful sanction that doesn’t necessarily go straight to a Criminal Code charge, especially where you have young people involved and where another response might be more appropriate.”

During the past nine years, “not very many” tickets have been issued under the bylaw and there hasn’t been a successful prosecution, Popowich said.

She said police find the anti-bullying bylaw process “quite cumbersome, and we are working on smoothing that out.”

The alleged victim’s mother said there is value to pursuing the charges, despite the bylaw’s lack of success.

“I just hope this changes the future of this anti-bullying bylaw and with it being in place will eventually at least make a positive step forward so that kids do feel safer – not just knowing that it’s out there, but knowing that it’s now been used,” she said.

Penalties range from a $100 ticket with a guilty plea to a $2,000 fine. Offenders can also be required to take an anti-bullying course, which Popowich said is the preferred course of action.

By sharing her story, the mother said she also wants parents to realize that “we don’t have to sit back and let our kids just be victims,” and for children to learn that bullying “is not just fun and games anymore.”

“We need these things in place for all kids who can’t stand up for themselves,” she said of the bylaw.


Article Courtesy of The StarPhoenix by Natascia Lypny, LEADER-POST APRIL 24, 2015


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Help ‘Spread the Net’ and make a difference

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8127893-noen-----n-n-n--n--nPlan to change the world and donate now to the “Help Spread the Net” and make a difference..What’s your Plan?

Not sure if I said it before, but if you want to help me save some lives I am willing to start sharing this 120px-Gnome-face-kiss.svgcampaign again, so will you help? you don’t have to give your name but why not, it’s something you can be proud off, seeing my name scrolling on the list feels great :-) I can say I’ve saved a life and you can to.. :D
Click here to save a life – :-) feeling motivated?

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Chuckie & Smilie
Chuckie & Smilie

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SUICIDE OF GAY BENGALI ACTRESS SHEDS LIGHT ON HOMOPHOBIA IN ASIA

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doctor-emoticonPriya Vedi, a doctor in India, slit her wrists in a hotel room after she wrote a suicide note on Facebook, which was shared more than 3,500 times. From India Today:

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dishaBengali actress Disha Ganguly, known for her role in the popular sitcom Tumi Ashbey Bole, committed suicide on April 9. Her boyfriend found her body hanging in her house. Officials believe she committed suicide due to social pressures regarding her lesbian relationship with another actress. Her death showcases the harsh treatment of LGBT people in Asia.

“A few months back, this actress friend of Ganguly, started staying at her apartment,” explained one police official. “Soon, Ganguly’s mother arrived from Nairobi (where her parents reside) and objected to their relationship. Her mother even got her friend to move out of the apartment.”

Ganguly was engaged to Vivaan Ghosh, a fellow actor, at the time this second relationship allegedly began. Her parents pushed her to accept his marriage proposal. With pressure from her parents, boyfriend, and girlfriend, police believe “she gave in to death.” After her actress friend found out about Ganguly’s suicide, she attempted to throw herself in front of a train. The locals saved her and she is currently in the hospital.

winking-smiley-carried-sad-angry-ones-3871588Homosexual acts are illegal in 78 countries, including Bangladesh and India. In December 2014, a survey found that 59% of the gays in Bangladesh live in fear of being outed. These laws force LGBT people to leave their families and countries.

Joleen, a Singapore native now known as Joe Wong, was beaten and forced into therapy by her family. She eventually escaped and changed into a man in Bangkok. Joe is now working with the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network rights group.

“I’ve never been more at home than now, even though I’m not at home,” he claimed. “I removed everything that was bringing me down. I removed the toxic people in my life. Now it’s just me and my problems that I have to confront,” said Wong, who did not identify the abusive relative to avoid further straining family ties, “I feel really liberated.”


Article By MARY CHASTAIN for BreitBart – 22 Apr 2015


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Teenage Girl Tragically killed Herself

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Teenage girl tragically killed herself after bullies flooded her social media accounts with horrible messages… as her parents call for action against the two boys responsible

teen-girlAs the anniversary of their daughter’s suicide approaches, Michael and Jane Cleland have spoken of their battle to have the two teenage boys, who they say bullied their daughter to death, held accountable for their actions under cyber bullying laws.
Jessica Cleland, from Wallan, Victoria, was 19 when she took her own life on Easter Saturday last year, after receiving Facebook messages from two teenage boys she considered friends saying that they hated her, and that she was a ‘f***ing sook’.
Her parents said that Jessica’s social media accounts were flooded with horrible sentiments the night before she died, and are now desperate to see a change within Victoria’s Government and the state’s police so that those found guilty of cyber bullying face serious consequences.

smiley-face-with-smart-phone-150x150Jessica Cleland committed suicide last year after being cyber bullied, She was sent horrible messages from two friends who said they hated her. The teenagers were named in the coroners report but weren’t investigated. Her parents want to see cyber bullying legislation be taken seriously
Under Victorian legislation cyber bullying can result in ten years jail

What we would like to see happen is that if someone is cyber bullying somebody and they cause something like this, then they should be held ­accountable for it,’ said Jessica’s father Michael.
On Easter Saturday last year, Jessica told her her mother that she was going for a run.

Her sister Amy became concerned after seeing an Instagram photo Jessica uploaded with the caption ‘I love this place and I am never going to leave’.

Jessica’s father found her body on the Sunday in the same place where the photo had been taken.
The Cleland’s said that Jessica was a vibrant and and outgoing girl, who was looking forward to her gap year and had never exhibited symptoms of depression or mental illness before the two former friends began bullying her online.

Coroner Jacqui Hawkins said in the report she released in October that Jessica’s death highlighted the impact that social media could have on the lives on young people, and that both Facebook and text messaging was ‘problematic’ for the teenager.

‘Easy access to the internet on her phone meant that she was exposed to potentially upsetting communications 24 hours a day; and she was able to return to, and re-read, the upsetting messages at a later time and therefore appears to have continued to ruminate about them,’ the coroners report said.

‘Although it is not possible to identify, with any degree of certainty, the factors contributing to a person’s decision to take their own life, it is evident that messages received by Jessica online proximate to her death…were precipitating factors,’ reported The ABC.

imagesFollowing the release of the coroners report, the Cleland’s are now campaigning to see cyber bullying taken more seriously in Victoria and around Australia.

Victoria already has anti-bullying legislation known as Brodie’s Law, which was introduced in 2011 after the death of Brodie Panlock, who committed suicide after being subject to relentless bullying in her workplace.
The crime is punishable by ten years in jail, and applies to cyber bullying as well as physical, verbal and psychological bullying.

Despite these laws, and the finding of the coroner who named the two teenage boys, there has been no charges and no inquest into Jessica’s death, which the Cleland’s labelled as a failure.
Police also failed to produce a warrant to obtain communication between Jessica and her bullies from Facebook and Snapchat.

The Cleland’s said that they were disappointed with the Victorian police for failing to investigate and want to see the teenagers held accountable for their actions.
‘If you accidentally hit someone in your car you can get manslaughter. What’s the difference if you bully someone and cause them to take their own life?’, Jessica’s mother Jane told The Herald-Sun.

‘They keep saying they’re going to have a big push on cyber bullying and try to knock it on the head, but it seems like it’s too much hard work.’

Jessica’s grandmother wrote of the impact of the 19-year-old’s death on the family, and called for harsher enforcement of the anti-bullying legislation.

‘It seems there is a law in Victoria that criminalises cyber bullying, but it doesn’t get enforced because of the police paperwork…Cyber bullying is a silent killer of too many of our young ones,’ she wrote.
‘We have the evidence … but where’s the justice?’

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or depression, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


ARTICLE BY HEATHER MCNAB FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA – PUBLISHED 17 April 2015


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In the year 2011 Victoria amended its Crimes Act to include bulling and cyber-bullying, making it a crime in Victoria to bully a co-worker, or any person, to their death, Also known as “Brodie’s Law”

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Time to Put Bullies in Their Place

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doctor-smiley-emoticonThe American Nurses Association is developing a position statement aimed at eliminating bullying in the workplace, and would like your thoughts on the proposed recommendations.

20150414_bullyAbout half of all nurses have been subjected to aggressive, disruptive behaviors from peers, authority figures and patients or their families, according to the ANA, which says healthcare professionals are among the leaders in missing days from work because of violence-related injuries.

The ANA says workplace violence can cause fear among staff members, resulting in poor performance and career dissatisfaction that increases turnover. Additionally, notes the ANA, nurses have the right to work in bully-free facilities, where they feel free to speak up about verbal or non-verbal attacks without fear of retaliation.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, says proactive efforts are needed to protect patients and nurses from workplace violence, and that healthcare organizations need to dispel the notion that verbal or physical attacks are unfortunate realities of a career in nursing.

Share your thoughts on the ANA’s proposed position statement Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence during a public comment period that runs until the end of this month.


Article published: April 13, 2015 by Daniel Cook


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Up Close and Personal with “FIONA NOAKES”

ARTIST-MONTH

hugeThe New B.P recently caught up with The Fiona Noakes Band and we were honored that Madame Fiona Noakes took a little time out of her busy schedule to give us a up close and personal look at her song “Misunderstood” and the band.

ABOUT FIONA NOAKES BAND Looking to be introduced to Ottawa’s indie alternative folk rock scene? Then meet your gal, Fiona Noakes, Canadian-born singer, songwriter, actress, and writer. Sounds like a mouthful? Still barely enough to describe this versatile soul of talent, we dare say. Inspired by music icons such as Tegan and Sara, Emily Haines, and Metric, her music and heartfelt lyrics have the power to touch, stir, heal, and transform. With human experiences in their most raw and authentic states exposed, such as heartbreak, loss, and nostalgia, one can’t help but succumb to being transported to the depths of the sea, and to experience sweet waves of emotion. Photo courtesy of Philip Rice
ABOUT FIONA NOAKES BAND
Looking to be introduced to Ottawa’s indie alternative folk rock scene? Then meet your gal, Fiona Noakes, Canadian-born singer, songwriter, actress, and writer. Sounds like a mouthful? Still barely enough to describe this versatile soul of talent, we dare say.
Inspired by music icons such as Tegan and Sara, Emily Haines, and Metric, her music and heartfelt lyrics have the power to touch, stir, heal, and transform. With human experiences in their most raw and authentic states exposed, such as heartbreak, loss, and nostalgia, one can’t help but succumb to being transported to the depths of the sea, and to experience sweet waves of emotion.
Photo courtesy of Philip Rice

Terry K: Can you tell us how your video and song “Misunderstood” came about, a little history behind the song and why you chose to write a song about mental illness?c7083371a65741383023fa36151b7ca8

Fiona Noakes: I wrote Misunderstood a couple years ago. At the time I was driven to write a song about a person who feels misunderstood in life – about how people perceive them and how they feel defective because they don’t live up to societal standards or norms. This song is also about someone who suffers from mental illness and their longing to have that partner in life (whether platonic or romantic) help them through their struggles.

Terry K: How has mental illness affected your life?

Fiona Noakes: For me this song definitely touches on personal aspects of my life. My whole life I’ve always felt different and struggled because I was always told how weird I was and due to this for a while I tried so hard to fit in or be “normal”. I realized though towards the end of high school that just wasn’t me and started to meet awesome friends who accepted me and loved me for who I was – not someone I was trying to be. I think to have this connection is so important. Being the authentic you is how you will thrive in life.

This song really evolved into an anthem song with the video – everyone in life at some point no matter who they are can relate. The message we want to send out with the song and video is all about self-love/self-acceptance,self-respect, compassion, and not being afraid to seek help. Be proud of who you are.

Terry K: What effect has mental illness had on your life?

guitar-smiley-emoticonFiona Noakes: I have suffered from mental illness and have also had many people close to me suffer from mental illness. I feel this is an incredibly relevant topic that needs to be addressed more. There is no shame or embarrassment in this and I can’t stress the importance of seeking help.

Terry K: Can you give a little history on how the “Fiona Noakes Band” came to be?

Fiona Noakes: As for the history of the band, my current guitarist, Cliff, I met a few years ago. He was my guitar teacher at the time and had expressed interest in joining the band when I mentioned my guitarist at the time, Tim, was moving out West.
I met Danae through Cliff who also expressed interest and Ben we auditioned through an online music ad. Seedus is our most recent addition and has been a good friend of the band for some time. We approached him over a year ago about joining the band, as we were looking to add another guitarist and he was interested.
**Fiona Noakes**


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The Fiona Noakes Band are:

Vocals: Fiona Noakes
Vocals: Fiona Noakes
Bass: Ben L’Ecuyer
Bass: Ben L’Ecuyer
Guitar: Cliff Chamberlain
Guitar: Cliff Chamberlain
Drums & Back-up Vocals:  Danae Tsikouras
Drums & Back-up Vocals: Danae Tsikouras
Rhythm Guitar: SEEDUS Photo courtesy of Deniz Berkin
Rhythm Guitar: SEEDUS Photo courtesy of Deniz Berkin


Video directed, shot, and edited by: Josh O’Connor (Arms Race Productions) Published on Jan 28, 2015


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Discover and Learn more about Fiona Noakes and the band:


Click here to Listen to our new Album
Click here to Listen to our new Album

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Why DSM-5 Is Important To Employers

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:

Employee-Opinion-ResearchI thought this article to be interesting enough to share, but when it comes to the laws of the land in Canada, it may be just another joke to add to the list. Seriously, I have found through my travels, or maybe it’s wisdom regardless, my opinion is society spends more time trying to find ways to defeat the law then respecting it. The long awaited DSM-5 has arrived and the controversy rages. Meanwhile, no matter what employers may think about the changes, they have no choice but to deal with the inevitable fallout. DSM-5 is the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” as newly revised from the previous DSM-IV. It was formally introduced this week by the American Psychiatric Association and it becomes the authoritative source in North America for diagnosing mental disorders. (An earlier post talked about some of the controversy in the making of DSM-5).
Why…

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Tyler Clementi anti-bullying bill reintroduced in Congress

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:

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“Schools need to take bullying, harassment and humiliation seriously, by making it official policy,” Jane Clementi said. “We support this legislation because no other student should have to feel the pain and humiliation that Tyler felt after he had been web-camed by his roommate.”


Legislation named after Tyler Clamenti was reintroduced in Congress. (Photo courtesy Facebook) Legislation named after Tyler Clamenti was reintroduced in Congress. (Photo courtesy Facebook) Lawmakers reintroduced a bill in Congress on Wednesday named after an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate posted a video of his private romantic encounter with another man online.

The bill, the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, was introduced in the House by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and in the Senate by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The only out lesbian in the U.S. Senate, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), is an original co-sponsor for the Senate bill.

In a statement, Murray said the legislation is necessary because students need…

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Fifteen years after Matthew Shepard’s murder, Wyoming remains anti-gay

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:

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Kidnapped, tied to a fence, pistol-whipped and tortured, Shepard died from his injuries. Though the crime sparked nationwide debate, his home state has remained resistant to change

 A basket of flowers hangs from the fence where Matthew Shepard was left to die. Photo: Steve Liss/Time & Life Pictures/Getty A basket of flowers hangs from the fence where Matthew Shepard was left to die. Photo: Steve Liss/Time & Life Pictures/Getty
When Matthew Shepard died in a Colorado hospital 15 years ago this week, the shockwaves could be felt across America. Kidnapped by two men who had befriended him, tied up to a fence in a remote rural spot, pistol-whipped and tortured, Shepard died of his head injuries on 12 October, 1998.

The outrage that erupted from Shepard’s murder not only put his abductors – Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson – behind bars for life, but it also provoked a nationwide debate about hate crimes against gay people. Evidence presented at trial suggested that the attack had been motivated by violent antagonism towards…

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Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

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smilieatworkEveryone Deserves a Safe, Healthy Workplace


Dr. Gary Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute shares thoughts on Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week.


wpbullyweekBullying is a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved. Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence. Because it is abusive it causes both emotional and stress-related physical harm.
Freedom from Bullies Week is a chance to break through the shame and silence surrounding bullying. It is a week to be daring and bold.
The power of workplace bullying is its ability to stay hidden in plain view. Make every workplace safe and take a stand against workplace bullying!
No matter the role, anyone can help stop workplace bullying. See what you can do.


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Gay Dad Confronts Sons’ Bullies In Heartfelt Video

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imagesAfter Joshua Alameda Franklin, a gay father of two, found out that his 9-year-old son had been harassed, choked, and slammed to the ground during an after school program, he decided enough was enough.


Franklin says he needed his community on the Big Island of Hawaii to know that violence and bullying his children over his sexual orientation should not be accepted, so he created the YouTube video above.

“It is really serious,” Franklin says in the video. “I wanted to share this really personal problem in my life in an effort to possibly create awareness in our communities and what this potentially does to our children if people don’t step up and say that it’s not OK.”

His oldest son has also been bullied because Franklin is gay, the family says, noting 10-year-old Alae’a had to switch elementary schools after continuous harassment from other students. In the video, Alae’a describes one incident in which a student slammed his face to the floor and gave him a black eye.

images (4)“I was bullied because people would ask me about my father, if he was gay and I would say ‘Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that,'” Alae’a says in the video. “I tried to walk away from this kid,” he added, but that’s when the bully attacked.

Franklin says he alerted a teacher about the assault, but no official action was taken against the bully. The harassment continued, and Alae’a left the school.

Even at his new school, Alae’a says he gets harassed “almost every single day.” His 9-year-old brother Joshua says it happens to him at least twice a month.

“The school is telling the perpetrators that are doing this to my children that they need to tolerate us, and they’re using the word tolerance or tolerate in a way where it’s very exclusive,” Franklin told local news station KITV4. “So, basically what’s being stated is that they’re not willing to tell the kids that are doing this to my children, ‘Hey, you know what, there’s nothing wrong with being gay.'”

Requests for comment were left Friday with an elementary school attended by the children and the Hawaii Department of Education, both of which were closed for a school holiday.

Franklin told KITV he’s considering home schooling.

“We’re hoping that we can address some of his concerns,” Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz told the station. “We would really like the children to continue coming to school.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, boys in Hawaii are bullied at higher rates than the national average. Hawaii’s legislature is currently working on a bill that would standardize an anti-bullying policy across all schools and after school programs, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.

“This happens to people in the community,” Franklin says in the video. “If you step out and you’re not afraid to be who you are … you’re hated on. We live right here on the Big Island where you think there’d be so much aloha, yet it’s something that continues to happen every day with my children.”


Article by The Huffington Post | B Carla Herreria | Posted: 04/03/2015


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Two Ways to Go

Originally posted on Good Time Stories:

Photo Credit: Morag Spinner via CC Flickr Photo Credit: Morag Spinner via CC Flickr

As most of you know, I am not only a teacher but I am also a coach. I played three sports in high school and college and still enjoy playing softball every week. I have coached at least two sports a year for the past 29 years and have enjoyed doing so almost every minute.

Everyone has a person or a few people, that they have been fortunate enough to be a part of their life and today, I have asked a coach and friend of mine since I was in high school, if I could post some thoughts of his that he wrote for the Easter season. So, without further adieu, here are the words from Coach Mo…a man who had a great impact on my life…more than he will ever know.


“And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the…

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Team USA’s Jackie Gilbert on Overcoming Bullying

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You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are! *John Lennon*


Photo courtesy of Josh Rottman
Photo courtesy of Josh Rottman
Jackie Gilbert recently became the first player from California to be named to the U.S. women’s national team program at any level. But defying the odds to become the lone west coaster on the U.S. women’s under-19 team is not the only obstacle she’s overcome.

In the video below, Gilbert, a high school senior who is committed to the University of Southern California, talks poignantly about her experiences with being bullied as a middle school student and how she channeled her emotions to grow as a lacrosse player and a person. A full transcription follows below.

“In middle school, I think we all go through those awkward stages. I was a little bit of an ugly duckling, kind of awkward. I was in the band. I wasn’t the coolest person.

People in middle school can be really mean. I’ve definitely felt vulnerable to that at times, but it’s just something that has only made me stronger. I was able to harness the hate I was getting and the mean things that were being said to me and I was able to turn that around and make it a motivator.

I really wanted to prove those people wrong and prove that I was worth something, that I wasn’t just someone you could overlook.

That been a main source of that fuel, and when I’m feeling down, I think back to that and think ‘I can’t let these people win. I want to prove them wrong. I have to conquer over those feelings.’

sp1393“I’m Jackie Gilbert, and I play for the United States.”

Jackie is one of the 25 U.S. Women’s National Under-19 Team players featured in our recent “Be You” video, where the girls talk about how playing lacrosse has helped them embrace their individuality and become strong, capable and confident young women. Check it out below.

Watch more from the “Be You” series with Team USA at YouTube.com/USLacrosse, and look for more short one-on-one videos this spring with the top high school girls’ players in the country who will go for gold this summer in Scotland.


Article By Lane Errington – April 1, 2015


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#AutismActionMonth Needs #AutismSuperHeroes

Originally posted on Lisa Ackerman - Real Help Now:

AAM Superhero BANNER

By Lisa Ackerman

Autism affects so many people that the month of April has been designated to help with increasing its awareness. I must state: if you don’t know someone with autism, I would like to meet you!! When I started giving talks 15 years ago, I would always kick off the speech with “how many of you know someone with autism?” Back then, only a few people would raise their hands. Now, my talks begin with every hand being raised after I bring up this same question.

To kick off autism action month, TACA will build awareness and activation via a press release, and social media campaign plan to support TACA’s mission and families living with autism (1.) We need all hands on deck to support this important effort.

We also are kicking off Autism Action month with dozens of family stories on this blog in April. Our goal is…

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The Most LGBT-Friendly Country in the World Has Been Declared

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Where in the world are citizens most tolerant of homosexuality?

The Most LGBT-Friendly Country in the World Has Been Declared
The Most LGBT-Friendly Country in the World Has Been Declared
According to the results of a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, the world’s most LGBT-friendly nation is none other than Spain.

Surprised?

The rankings were part of a 40-country survey on what is or is not considered morally acceptable. Respondents were asked to discuss the morality of issues, including married people having an affair, gambling, homosexuality, having an abortion, having sex before marriage, drinking alcohol, getting a divorce and using contraceptives.

Of Spaniards interviewed, 55% said homosexuality was morally acceptable, compared with 6% who said it was unacceptable and 38% who answered that it’s “not a moral issue.”

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It’s important to note that the rankings are based on percentage of respondents who classified homosexuality as morally unacceptable. The United States had a surprisingly high number of respondents claim homosexuality was morally unacceptable — 37% — however, another 35% claimed it was “not a moral issue.”

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic had the highest overall percentage of respondents claim homosexuality was morally acceptable, edging out Spain with 56%. However, 14% of Czechs surveyed said it was unacceptable.

smileys-cz-294Countries with the lowest tolerance, according to the survey, included Ghana and Russia, where 98% and 72% of citizens replied that homosexuality was morally unacceptable, respectively.

These results are consistent with Pew research from 2013 that concluded that Spain was the most LGBT-tolerant using a slightly different metric: the percentage of participants who believed homosexuality should be accepted by society.

While Spain is known for being predominantly Catholic, the country of nearly 48 million legalized same-sex marriages starting in 2005. The Spanish city of Madrid is also well known for its massive annual Pride parade, and the city will host the World Gay Pride event in 2017.


Article By Meredith Bennett-Smith April 21, 2014


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One LGBT School’s Effort to Stop Bullying Starts Young

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Computer-Training“Why not now?” he asked, noting that as the country grapples with marriage equality, it will inevitably have to deal with questions of how to better support LGBT families and their children. “This school has always been needed.”

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
It was 2007 when Christian Zsilavetz, a math teacher, started volunteering with a parents’ support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. The group was about 40 members strong and met one Sunday each month in the hospital, tucked away behind the lush green foliage of downtown Emerald City. Zsilavetz was already a few years into his own gender transition and, with two decades of teaching experience, decided to help out with the group’s child care. Parents drove hours just to be part of the group. Soon, Zsilavetz could see why.

“You’ve got a lot of gender nonconforming and trans youth on the spectrum, and they don’t fit the mold of most public and private schools,” Zsilavetz, now 45, told TakePart. “There’s still not a lot of room for those pink princess boys.”

In the years since, Zsilavetz, who identifies as a transgender man, started a family of his own. Today, he and his wife have two children: a son, who’s three, and a daughter, who’s six. They consider themselves a transgender family. In 2012, Zsilavetz’s wife got a job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The family moved to Atlanta and quickly became part of the city’s thriving gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, and Zsilavetz took the bold step of starting a school catering specifically to families like his own.

That project, called Pride School, is set to open Atlanta in August. It will be open to K–12 students and is looking to enroll 10–15 students for the upcoming school year. Annual tuition is expected to be $12,000. Students and parents will get access to the school’s gender-neutral bathrooms, the ability to choose their own gender pronouns, and a test-free curriculum built entirely around students’ interests.

SmileyComputerDisconnectedThe idea of an LGBT-specific school isn’t new; New York City’s Harvey Milk High School has been around for two decades. But opening one that so openly challenges gender norms and caters to children as young as four years old is more unconventional. Statistics are scarce, but there’s been a general recognition among researchers that many LGBT youths are coming out at earlier ages. One study found that gay and bisexual boys experience their first same-sex attraction around age eight, and for girls it’s even earlier. Researchers at San Francisco State University released a survey that found many LGBT adults recount being bullied for flouting gender norms throughout their years in school.

But for Zsilavetz, the idea isn’t so much about catering to children who experience bullying because of their own gender or sexual identity. It’s about reaching LGBT parents and teachers who often have to hide behind the rigid gender norms of the schools where they work and send their children.

“We’re not the gay kids’ school,” Zsilavetz said. “Our school is about a community within a community. You’ll have straight parents with queer kids, queer parents with straight kids, along with queer and straight educators.” Teachers are already contacting him about jobs. Some are LGBT people hoping to work in a more open environment.

Still, the school has an uphill climb before it becomes reality. It’s still trying to secure space, and Zsilavetz says students and staff will start crowdsourcing campaigns in about two weeks to raise tuition and salary costs. It also doesn’t have accreditation, which apparently isn’t an issue for younger students. Older students will be able to dually enroll in online programs to meet accreditation standards. But Zsilavetz says the timing is right.


Article published March 28, 2015 By Jamilah King


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Coming Soon: A famous “AUTHOR” Guest Post

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imagesI am so excited and very proud to announce our first Guest “Author” to take control of B.P, so watch for her she is a well known Author and writer of Fiction, her most recent work is called “The Basement”.

coverThe Basement is a suspense/thriller aimed at a preteen/teen audience. Although many adults have read and enjoyed the book too. If you have a preteen or teen in your life this is a great book to read and discuss together.

Well that Guest is Author and a great friend whom I have followed these last few years, but most of all she was there when I needed support the most, but more than that, when she was not asked, she showed genuine concern. I am so pleased and excited to introduce her to you right here so keep watching, she is none other than the Amazing and Fabulous:

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VASHTI QUIROZ-VEGA

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