Ignite Press Release
Toronto City Mission Promotes Positive Relationships and Prevents Bullying!
Toronto, April 11, 2012 –Toronto City Mission (TCM) is honoured to announce that Dr. Debra Pepler, world renowned researcher and speaker on bullying prevention, will be the keynote speaker at Ignite (on April 17, 2012), TCM’s annual fundraising event. This event is made possible by the generosity of Bruce & Karen Etherington, KPMG, AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions, Chanho Productions and Elemental View Photography.
Dr. Pepler is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University and a Senior Executive Member of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research. At the Hospital for Sick Children, Dr. Pepler is a Senior Adjunct Scientist. Her major research program examines the social-emotional development of children and adolescents, in the family, school and peer contexts. Dr. Pepler has served on several advisory committees related to parenting, anti social behaviour, and safe school policies, within Canada and internationally.
What everyone needs to know about children and youth
Dr. Debra Pepler has been all over the world and heard hundreds of stories of bullying among children and youth. These stories strengthen her resolve and passion to communicate what she says “everyone needs to know about children and youth.” Everyone knows that bullying is destructive to those who are victimized but few people take the time to think about how it impacts those who initiate the bullying behaviour. For example, according to Dr. Pepler:
“In our research, one hundred percent of the girls who bully at a high or moderate rate through elementary and high school, have been physically aggressive with their boyfriends…Physical relationships are highly reciprocal. That means if a girl hits her boyfriend, he’s going to be hitting back.”
“One hundred percent of the children in our study who were high or moderate in bullying reported engaging in high or moderate delinquency.”
Also children who bully have very few “friends who are kind and caring.”
TCM in doing an important work
Andrew Schell (Executive Director at TCM) recognizes the need for early intervention for children with antisocial behaviour, “If you don’t address it early, it will have a long lasting and cyclical impact.” That’s why TCM provides preventative and transformational programming that focuses on building positive relationships and leadership skills.
“The kinds of programs that [TCM] offers are just the kinds of program that enable all sorts of children to come together with really caring, positive, and loving adult support…The data are clear that one caring adult who is not your parent can totally take a young person’s life off a trouble trajectory and onto a positive one” (Dr. Pepler). TCM staff, interns and volunteers build long-term and positive relationships with children and youth in five Toronto communities and the impact is obvious: transformed lives.
“The importance of the work [TCM does] can’t be underestimated because it gives the child another context in which positive relationships are being promoted.” (Dr. Pepler)
For more information contact:
Toronto City Mission
Andrew Schell (Executive Director)