A small group of protesters gathered outside Saskatoon City Hall on Monday as council debated a proposed anti-bullying bylaw inside.
The bylaw would see people aged 12 and older be charged for things like shunning, gossiping and “name calling.” Fines would start at $300 and escalate for repeat offenders.
Aaron Marienepoose, a member of the Circle of Voices theatre group, joined the group protesting against the anti-bullying bylaw. She doesn’t think many people will be able to pay the proposed fines. She also worries the bylaw might silence young people, while giving the police more power.
“The youth are very strong when they have a voice. I would tell the parents is, teach your children to utilize that voice in a powerful, positive way.”
Nineteen-year-old Johannah Angus, also with Circle of Voices, believes the bylaw needs to be properly thought through.
“I feel like it’s kind of creating like a Big Brother atmosphere where I feel like people are going to start worrying if someone’s going to tell on them if they can even talk about a certain issue,” Angus said outside City Hall.
If approved, the anti-bullying bylaw could be in effect by September.