Two schools in Kamloops are members of the Stop A Bully program, developed in 2009 by a B.C. teacher at a time when a student was suspended for an assault. It has grown into an unincorporated, non-profit organization that allows students to report bullying without making a target of themselves.
Summit elementary and Kamloops Christian school are Stop A Bully members. According to the organization's website, several other Kamloops schools have been invited to join, including McGowan Park, Beattie, Parkcrest, Marion Schilling, Dufferin, Brock and South Kamloops secondary.
Kamloops Christian school principal Gordon Hohensee said a school supporter signed on for the membership as an anonymous way to report bullying.
But when he did a couple of tests and sent in reports, he didn't hear any response to.
"They were supposed to contact me and make me aware (of the bullying report he sent in as a test). I didn't get contacted. We didn't pay for the membership ourselves, so what can you do with that?"
He gives presentations to the students every year about bullying and the different forms it can take.
"We don't accept it, we don't tolerate it."
Monika Wierzbicki with Stop A Bully said the organization is run by volunteers, so it is possible whoever took Hohensee's messages was overwhelmed at the time. The agency gets dozens of calls every day.
Members get a package that includes pink T-shirts, anti-bullying bracelets and materials for teachers to use in class.
"It's a different system because if people do see bullying in their schools, it's confidential. No one knows who made the report."
There's no real cost, any school can sign up.
With news of Port Coquitlam teenager Amanda Todd committing suicide after being bullied, the agency was getting a flood of calls, she said.
Wierzbicki said her advice to parents is to be as involved as they can in their children's lives. It is a challenge to know about all facets, however, especially when they're on Twitter and Facebook, she said.
Social media also means kids can be bullied around the clock, while it used to be restricted to the schoolground.
"It's kind of relentless these days. It doesn't stop with social media."
Anti-bullying and suicide prevention resources:
* On Facebook: Kamloops Parents Against Bullying
* Stop A Bully, www.stopabully.ca
* Bullying.org, established by Alberta teacher Bill Belsey. The website provides information to kids, parents, teachers and school administrators and lets victims know they are not alone and bullying is not their fault.
* Canadian Red Cross Stand Up 2 Bullying, www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=24700&tid=108
* Pink Shirt Day, www.pinkshirtday.ca
* Kids Help Phone: www.kidshelpphone.ca
The B.C. government issued a press release on Friday highlighting more resources:
* 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
* Youth in B.C.: 1-866-661-3311 (toll-Free). Youth in B.C. is an online crisis service, where you can chat one-on-one with a trained volunteer 24 hours a day.
* Aboriginal People Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
* Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
* Suicide Prevention Lifeline: A free 24-hour hotline in Canada or the U.S. 1-800-273-8255