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It's an issue common to playgrounds everywhere. Elder Steve Fobister says bullying is an issue among the youth in his community at Grassy Narrows, and he'd like to help victims get some relief.

"If we don't arrest it now, in some way, meet it head on," he sayd. "People don't want to be in the middle of it. I'm trying to be in the middle of it."

The elder has become concerned about what he's hearing from family members in recent weeks, noting community members have met to address the situation. He adds there are resources in the community -- such as the education authority, chiefs advisory, child welfare, police and band council staff -- who can also assist in a concerted effort.

Levi Kokopenace has been working with the youth for many years, and he's encouraging youth and their parents to come forward with their concerns, so he can help.

"As you know, all this bullying has to stop, because truly it really hurts us," he says. "The way to deal with that is to report this, talk with the kids first, get some information, gather as much as we can, and then we let the parents know. If there's any way we can help them out and prevent it from ever happening again."

He says incidents of bullying can occur, at times when kids think nobody's watching or paying attention, but Kokopenace emphasizes he's willing to work with parents and children, who may be victims.

For more information:

Grassy Narrows family fights back against bullying

Ministry of Education - Bullying prevention

Kids Help Phone

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