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April 12th, 2016

Pledge to End Bullying – April 2016

This past Friday, we took the Pledge to End Bullying.

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In concert with CTV Kitchener, Bell Media, Kool FM and KFun, Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region joined hands with many organizations across the region to support The Pledge to End Bullying. With local dignitaries on hand, including the City of Kitchener’s Ward 10 Councillor Sarah Marsh and Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Chief Bryan Larkin, the Pledge aims to spread the word about being respectful and kind to one and other.

Local Champion: Paul Burke

Paul Burke is the living embodiment of selflessness, hard-work, dedication, and community spirit. He has dedicated decades of his time to volunteer work and helping others. Paul believes in the importance of people getting along with each other, and making friends with everybody.

Local Champion: Paul Burke from CTV London on Vimeo.

Paul is this year’s ambassador against bullying. He was joined by many other ambassadors, including Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s Peter Lawryniuk. Check back to see Peter’s video and other great stories about the need to end bullying.

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Five Action Steps to disable the bullying of children with developmental disabilities:

Educate

Change starts with each individual. Stereotypes and misconceptions about developmental disabilities still exist in our classrooms and communities. Parents, educators and community leaders should lead by example so others can follow in demystifying myths which perpetuate the problem.

Speak Up.

If one suspects or witnesses a child with developmental disabilities being bullied, speak up, notify educators, parents, politicians or community leaders. Don’t be a bystander. A zero tolerance for bullies should exist in our communities.

Disable Bullying.

Share the possibilities and successes of people with special needs through each person’s social network. Examples include raising funds for for awareness and support programs.

Ask Questions.

Many youth with developmental disabilities sometimes aren’t aware they are being bullied. Or because of their language and speech delays, it may be difficult for them to communicate when a bullying incident occurs. Caregivers and educators need to frame questions to children that allow insight into schoolyard or online activity.

Build Community.

Children with developmental disabilities and their families are important member of each community. Invite them or their parents to participate in book clubs, PTA meetings, church groups, block parties, play dates and birthday parties. Get to know the neighbours regardless of their ability; it benefits the family, child with a developmental disability AND the entire neighbourhood as well. Students can create community by creating disability awareness programs or simply becoming a friend to a student with a disability. Civic leaders should always keep in mind this vulnerable demographic when voting or creating legislation to protect students.

Source: abilitypath.org

To learn more about the Pledge to End Bullying and to take the Pledge yourself, visit: http://ctvnewslondon.ca/ThePledgeToEndBullying/kitchener/