timberland infant boots Bullying bylaw considered for city facilities
A potential city bylaw aimed at addressing bullying in city facilities could soon be drafted.
At Monday’s city council meeting, bylaw manager Dave Pruden put forward a recommendation that council task city staff with developing a community standards
“In some instances, issues have involved patrons feeling bullied by other patrons and in other instances issues have involved staff feeling bullied by patrons,” Pruden explained.
He highlighted efforts done through this year to gather input and information on the issue.
It was learned that in other jurisdictions, legislation is typically adopted to deal with behaviours throughout the entire community.
Throughout the consultation in Whitehorse, officials learned there was more support for an anti bullying bylaw that would be specific to city owned facilities.
In working with stakeholders, including First Nations, the Yukon government, RCMP and local non profits with an interest in the issue, Pruden said three major themes emerged.
It was clear there are issues of bullying in the community that impact youth, the elderly, vulnerable people who may have mental and physical disabilities, as well as the general public.
Involved were a number of services, including Many Rivers Counselling, the BYTE youth organization and the territory’s Department of Health and Social Services, among others.
Opinions differed on a potential bylaw, with some stating there shouldn’t be any bylaw around it, and others stating there should be.
Still others argued that while there should be a bylaw, it should only apply at city facilities, which officials are now proposing.
There were also comments that such a bylaw has the potential to “further criminalize bullies instead of getting them help,” as well as arguments that there just wouldn’t be enough resources to deal with bullying.
“A preliminary scan of the topic reveals the following when anti bullying legislation is adopted, including:
it provides a platform for education and compliance;
it allows victims to be emboldened and violators to seek counselling;
compliance is usually done by means of working to resolve the matter between the parties in a conciliatory fashion, limiting charges;
other jurisdictions with anti bullying bylaws see very few complaints and rarely charge anyone, so the cost of implementation would be minimal, as many reported cases in other jurisdictions are typically already criminal; and
having anti bullying legislation may save or even generate money as staff and patrons feel safe at city facilities; possibly there could be a reduction in staff sick time or an increase in patrons visiting facilities as they feel safer, Pruden said.
The bylaw would also likely include a provision put forward by the territorial Department of Education that in cases of possible bullying happening at school sanctioned events in city facilities, it would be Education taking the lead on dealing with the matter.
Questioned by Coun. Samson Hartland, Pruden said the territory has a bullying policy already in place, and the bylaw would clarify jurisdiction in such situations.
The article states “other jurisdictions with anti bullying bylaws see very few complaints and rarely charge anyone, so the cost of implementation would be minimal” . which pretty much supports that it’s a ‘words only’ bylaw. And BnR I agree with you how many by laws are on the books already that are dealt with only if someone complains (snow removal on sidewalks, rv’s and boats parked on streets etc etc).