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Tackling bullying

Workshop to address problem

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Jan 26/01) - Bullying is a big, if unnoticed, problem in Inuvik.

That's the opinion of Darryl Cook, project officer for Ingamo Hall.

The hall is holding a Bullying Workshop Feb. 16-17.

Cook explained the workshop will discuss the types of bullies and their behaviour, as well as the effects they can have on victims. The workshop is open to youth workers, educators, and anyone else interested in learning more about the issue.

Cook said one item which will be discussed is how schools can develop anti-bullying policies. He said after the workshop ends such a policy could be established here, and that the students would run it once it was set up.

"We'll teach them how to go about it, but we'll let them carry it," Cook said.

He said bullying has been largely ignored within the community up to now, and noted some parents get defensive when told their children are bullies.

"Parents are in denial too," Cook said.

"Bullying is very much part of our community. The signs are there, the actions are there."

Cook said the problem is bad at Samuel Hearne Secondary school. He said he and another person have spent time around the school, observing students and occasionally breaking up fights.

Cook said that, during lunch hour, some kids stop in and hide in downtown businesses to get away from bullies. He said he plans to consult with some business owners about establishing safe stops.