Police Association partners with Kids Now to help prevent bullying

New Social Campaign Encourages Ontarians to Take Selfies with Community Police Officers

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) and Kids Now Canada will be joined by the Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services at St. Simon Stock Elementary School in Mississauga to launch a new social media campaign aimed at understanding and preventing bullying in Ontario.

"This is a great initiative that will go a long way to build positive relationships between youth and police officers in communities across the province, while spreading the message that bullying is not okay," said Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "As we work together to combat bullying in schools and on the internet, we are building stronger and safer communities where acceptance and tolerance are paramount."

The Pink is the New Blue campaign will use social media to increase awareness by encouraging parents, caregivers, officers and teachers to take a quick and simple online quiz on how to identify a potential situation and how to listen to their children if they are being bullied.

"Whether it is with children in grades 6, 7 or 8, or with teenagers in high school, bullying can have a devastating impact on our child's social development," says PAO President Bruce Chapman. "As the voice of the province's police profession, we are excited that we can play a role in helping the public to understand what bullying is, what it is not, how to diffuse a potential situation and how to prevent it from escalating."

PAO and Kids Now Canada believe the best way towards increasing bullying awareness is through a positive and fun approach. The campaign is calling on Ontario's parents, teachers and kids to take selfies with their local police officers and post it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #lovethyselfiepledge to increase awareness.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Police Association of Ontario on their Pink is the New Blue campaign." said Janet King, Chief Kids Officer and Founder of Kids Now.  "Mentoring school kids about bullying prevention is extremely important and involving police officers to help this happen is fantastic. This is an aspect of police work that the public needs to see more often. Our partnership makes a lot of sense as we both share a positive, proactive approach to bullying prevention."

Kids Now Canada is a volunteer organization that helps children, primarily in Grades 7 and 8, build self-esteem and become confident as they enter high school. The organization provides Ontario's schools with programs and presentations for classes about what bullying is and what it is not.  

BACKGROUNDER

URL for parents, teachers and police officers about understanding what to do when a child is being bullied.

http://www.pao.ca/pinkisthenewblue/

Hashtag for social media: #lovethyselfiepledge

SOURCE Police Association of Ontario

Image with caption: "Police Association partners with Kids Now to help prevent bullying (CNW Group/Police Association of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151104_C8116_PHOTO_EN_536559.jpg

Image with caption: "Police Association partners with Kids Now to help prevent bullying (CNW Group/Police Association of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151104_C8116_PHOTO_EN_536561.jpg

Image with caption: "Police Association of Ontario (CNW Group/Police Association of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151104_C8116_PHOTO_EN_536557.jpg

For further information: Bruce Chapman, PAO President, Bruce.chapman@pao.ca, Cell: 905-599-4813; Stephen Reid, PAO Executive Director, Stephen.reid@pao.ca, Cell: 416-435-4455; Lauren Callighen, Press Secretary, Government of Ontario, Lauren.Callighen@ontario.ca, 416 325 5982; Jessica Sanchez, Kids Now, jsanchez@kidsnowcanada.org, 416 488 4848

RELATED LINKS
http://www.pao.on.ca

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