SAFE Program launched in PEI

The SAFE (School Action for Emergencies) Program has officially launched in PEI.

Verbal Abuse Prevention Week raises awareness
People need to consider impact of their words…

Most people remember the rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” However, that’s not true as verbal assaults can cause a great deal of hurt.

Verbal Abuse, is a form of abusive behaviour involving the use of language in a negative way. It can seriously interfere with a person’s positive emotional development and can lead to a significant detriment to their self-esteem, emotional well-being and physical state. It can occur to individuals of any race, culture, age or gender and can increase in intensity over time. It often escalates to physical abuse. When it happens in and around Island schools, it is called bullying, and it impacts negatively on the health and safety of children.

The Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation, along with other prominent organizations, is committed to raising awareness of bullying and promoting verbal abuse prevention. This is a direct result of the inspired efforts of Tami Martell, an Island mother of six, who took a leadership role in September 1998 by walking across PEI to raise awareness of verbal abuse. “We must continue prevention efforts in our homes, schools and communities.” says Martell.

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz, who recently officially declared the week of October 5-11, 2008 as Verbal Abuse Prevention Week in PEI, urges all citizens to consider the impact of their words, and to support those who have been verbally abused or who have experienced violence in their lives and to guide them towards help and healing.

The Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation supports Martell’s efforts to raise awareness on what has become a social epidemic says Bill Whelan, president of the federation. “As a parent, I need to recognize the signs of bullying so that I can take action to help my children.”