Anti-bullying program reaches down to roots

Roots of Empathy program having success in Manitoba

In the aftermath of the Amanda Todd tragedy, the Canadian media have been dwelling directly on bullying, its nature and the public hunger for retribution.

Very little has been said about programs that have been demonstrated to reduce bullying itself. A good example is the Roots of Empathy program (gov.mb.ca/healthychild/roe/) designed by Mary Gordon. It was adopted some 10 years ago in Manitoba and is made available there through the regularly funded school system.

This program uses a monthly class with neighbourhood parents and their infants as the focus and draws upon the innate empathy that youngsters have toward babies. Weekly sessions involve lessons and discussions relating to the experiences that the class members have had interacting with the baby in the presence of its mother or father.

The effects on pro-social development of the children are remarkable and have yielded solid results such as a reduction in bullying, teenage violence and teenage pregnancy: the payback period is lifelong.

While there is a cost associated with this program, trying to fix the consequences of widespread bullying is vastly more expensive and disruptive to society. Roots of Empathy is now also being used in schools in several other provinces. Is it in your school?

Barrie Webster

Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Camosun College team working to turn Indigenous art into virtual reality

Expert team will scan Victoria Indigenous artist Carey Newman’s work The Witness Blanket

Cherry Bomb Toys, which houses the National Toy Museum of Canada, has had a rough year

The property that’s home to Cherry Bomb Toys is listed at $2.6 million

Victoria hotel proposal threatens Old Town conservation, advocates say

Height requests defy historic district’s guidelines

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Most Read