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Bullying Awareness Week, November 19 to 25, 2007

Schools nationwide to be recognized for promoting solutions to the problems of bullying during the 5th annual national Bullying Awareness Week, November 19 to 25, 2007

TORONTO, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - Earlier this fall, Astral Media's Family Channel

put out a call for nominations to its viewers seeking schools that teach and

reinforce effective strategies to help kids stand up to bullying. The network

received over 16,000 nominations from kids, out of which four schools have

been selected to host "stand UP!" rallies during the fifth annual national

Bullying Awareness Week, November 19 to 25, 2007.

School selections were made in consultation with PREVNet (Promoting

Relationships and Eliminating Violence), a national network of Canadian

researchers, community organizations and governments committed to bullying

prevention (www.prevnet.ca). The rallies will take place at schools in North

Vancouver, B.C. (November 19); Calgary, AB (November 20); Rothesay, N.B.

(November 22); and Richmond Hill, ON (November 23).

As an element of surprise intended to build anticipation, the schools

chosen will not be publicly announced until the morning of each rally.

Students will only discover that their school has been selected when celebrity

hosts make a surprise announcement over the school's PA system. Christopher

Massey ("Michael") and Matthew Underwood ("Logan"), who star in the series

Zoey 101, will host the North Vancouver and Calgary rallies, and Michael

Seater ("Derek") and Ashley Leggat ("Casey"), stars of Life With Derek, will

perform hosting duties in Rothesay and Richmond Hill.

Organized around the rallying cry "stand UP!" - a message that promotes

the part that bystanders can play to help stop bullying - the rallies will

deliver an exciting and unforgettable "behind the scenes" entertainment

experience. The Zoey 101 and Life With Derek stars will share their own

personal experiences with bullying and participate with students in a series

of fun activities, including a "stand UP!" video shout out and a photo shoot.

Students will also be treated to a sneak peak of a bullying-themed episode of

Life With Derek called "The Bully Brothers" and a PREVNet representative will

be in attendance to lead a discussion on the issues presented in the episode.

"The Bully Brothers" makes its Canadian television premiere on the Friday of

Bullying Awareness Week, November 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.

The "stand UP!" message is based on research findings that indicate one

of the biggest opportunities to reduce bullying is for bystanders to stand up

for peers who are bullied. Conducted by Drs. Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig,

Scientific Co-Directors of PREVNet, the research has shown that bullying stops

within 10 seconds 57 per cent of the time when a peer bystander intervenes on

behalf of individuals who are being bullied. This research has also

demonstrated that bystanders are present in 85 per cent of bullying episodes,

but only intervene 25 per cent of the time. Each November since the launch of

Bullying Awareness Week in 2003, Family Channel has spread the "stand UP!"

message.

"We know from our own tracking research that the 'stand UP!' message is

getting through to our audience, but we also understand from our partners at

PREVNet that this message needs to be consistently reinforced and modeled at

home, at school and within the larger community in order to effect real

change," says Joe Tedesco, Vice President and General Manager, Family Channel.

"It is our hope that the rallies, by recognizing and celebrating successes,

will help raise awareness for our collective responsibility to help kids deal

with bullying."


Other activities spearheaded by Family Channel during Bullying Awareness

Week include:


"stand UP!" Programming

Bullying-themed series and movies will air throughout the week along with

a new Public Service Announcement produced by Shaftesbury Films that feature

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