LaMarsh Centre gets $600,000 for anti-bullying project

The federal government has just made it a little easier for York’s LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution to help prevent bullying.

The centre has received $600,000 under the government’s National Crime Prevention Strategy to create a national strategy on bullying to make Canada a safer place for children and youth.

Solicitor General Wayne Easter (below, right) announced the grant at York on Friday, along with funding for 119 other crime prevention projects across Ontario, totalling $8 million. The LaMarsh Centre’s three-year project combines the expertise of researchers and practitioners in the field of child development at York University, the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia.

York Professor Debra Pepler (above, left), lead researcher in the LaMarsh project, noted Canadians’ growing concern about bullying, particularly in relation to a number of cases where children died or were seriously injured.

“A national strategy on bullying represents an important crime prevention initiative because children who bully are at increased risk for engaging in illegal activities, such as delinquency and substance abuse,” said Pepler. She has found that the use of power and aggression found in playground bullying is a key component of sexual harassment and dating aggression. It may also lay the foundation for workplace harassment, marital aggression, child abuse, and elder abuse.

“It is our belief that all children in Canada have the fundamental right to be safe from bullying and harassment in their homes, schools and communities,” said Pepler. She said a national strategy on bullying would build a broad coalition of national and local organizations supporting grassroots efforts to combat the problem, with leading-edge research on the most effective ways to assess and intervene in bullying.

“The aim is to promote more effective practice based on research evidence, leading to a system-wide change in the way organizations and communities respond.”

Easter and York VP Research & Innovation Stan Shapson spoke of the need for partnerships between government, the private sector, schools, community groups and individuals. Shapson praised the government’s national crime prevention strategy for supporting both academic research and community action.

“York University’s interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research combines expertise in many fields to address complex issues and deliver real-world solutions. This approach is yielding more comprehensive results that translate into better public policy and practice in the community,” said Shapson.

For further details on the funding, visit the Media Relations site at