UVic prof recognized for anti-bullying work

Saanich resident Bonnie Leadbeater awarded a B.C. Community Achievement Award

Bonnie Leadbeater

Bonnie Leadbeater

University of Victoria professor Bonnie Leadbeater was named a recipient  of a B.C. Community Achievement Award last week.

The Saanich resident and psychology prof has worked with a team of educators and police officers for more than 15 years on developing and implementing the WITS anti-bullying program in B.C. and Canada.

“This is a team award – it’s a huge team of people that work on WITS,” Leadbeater said. WITS (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk It out and Seek Help) is used in schools to “talk to kids in a non-threatening way and talk about how to problem solve, instead of who’s going to be punished or who’s tattling,” she explained.

WITS began in the 1990s, first initiated by the principal of the former Lampson elementary school in Esquimalt and then taken up by a police school liaison officer. Leadbeater and a UVic-based research team joined in 1998 when WITS was formalized as a program.

“When Reena Virk died (in November 1997), people were very concerned about youth violence. The feeling was we need to start early, need to do something to help kids deal with peer conflict in a peaceful and proactive way,” Leadbeater said. “I got involved as a consultant, and then as someone to do the research. They were pretty sure that they had evidence this program worked and everybody wanted to know (definitively) if it did.”

Leadbeater said the B.C. Community Achievement Award is “a great honour,” especially as an academic.

“What pleases me most is it’s a non-academic award. To be honoured for something where everyone else is being honoured for their contributions and volunteer work – that’s a rare experience for an academic to be recognized for the application of their work,” she said. “It’s extraordinarily flattering for me.”

Two other Greater Victoria residents – Donald Brown and Daphne Goode – were named recipients of a B.C. Community Achievement Award. Brown is a longtime community leader in a number of fields, while Goode has spent more than 40 years volunteering for a variety of Greater Victoria organizations.

The awards are given out by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, which was launched specifically to highlight the work and community contributions of British Columbians.

The 34 award recipients will be recognized in a ceremony at Government House on April 29. Each receives a certificate and medallion for their recognition.


Just Posted

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

Victoria police are looking for the owner of a pink and white bike they recovered in North Park. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for owner of child’s bike

Officers recovered the pink and white bike in North Park

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

Most Read