The Canadian capital city of Alberta has brought back legislation to take on schoolyard bullies as part of a sweeping overhaul of the Education Act. “We’ve outlined the expectations for both students and school boards to prevent bullying, to take action when it happens and protect children from the horrible consequences of bullying whether it happens in the schoolyard, on buses, or online,” said Education Minister Jeff Johnson.

Under the new bullying provisions, school principals and trustees will have more authority to address not only the bullying that happens on school grounds, but also bullying that happens on websites or off the grounds – such as hazing – that affects a student’s ability to learn. The principal and the board will also have the authority to issues suspensions and expulsions.

Edmonton Catholic Schools Board chair Debbie Engel welcomed the bill and said she was pleased to see cyber bullying put front and center. “One of the biggest positives is the strict anti-bullying legislation that is coming out,” said Engel, who believes the tragic death of Amanda Todd is proof legislation is needed to keep up with the times. “A good part of that bullying took place through technology and not necessarily on the school grounds.”

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