POLITICS

New Brunswick school principals would have to report bullying under new law

05/16/2012 11:14 EDT | Updated 07/16/2012 05:12 EDT
FREDERICTON - School principals in New Brunswick would be required to report all incidents of bullying under legislation introduced Wednesday by the provincial government.

Changes to the Education Act would see principals report instances of bullying to district superintendents, Education Minister Jody Carr said.

Two provincial anti-bullying co-ordinators would also be appointed.

Carr said the changes would mean that bullying would also include incidents that occur outside of school hours and off school property.

He added that the amendments would put greater emphasis on prevention and addressing bullying in schools.

"Solving the problem of bullying requires a multi-faceted solution where everyone works together," Carr said.

Opposition education critic Hedard Albert said the Liberals support the legislation in principle, but wanted to see the details of the legislation before commenting further.

The legislation was welcomed by Rob Frenette, executive director of Fredericton-based BullyingCanada.

"Although legislation and policy won't completely remove bullying from schools, I believe it will be a way of ensuring the issue is not swept under the rug and forgotten about," Frenette said in a statement.

"To also introduce two provincial anti-bullying co-ordinators ... will also be a great way to ensure that schools are equipped with the best tools when it comes to ensuring their students are safe and secure."

An annual bullying awareness and prevention week would also be held.