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Inspired to stop bullying
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:45PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2012 6:57PM MST
Bill Belsey's classroom at Springbank Middle School has something of a magic air as his love of technology and teaching is evident everywhere.
Belsey also uses his technical skills for another passion, to end bullying.
The 1999 Taber School shooting prompted him to take action after it turned out the shooter had been bullied for years.
Belsey was inspired to create a website to prevent bullying through education and awareness.
“I thought, well I have some skill with using technology and supporting kids in terms of learning and I thought well maybe I could create a safe place where kids could come and learn that being bullied, first of all to know that they're not alone,” said Belsey.
Belsey's grade seven and eight students appreciate what his expertise means for them.
“When we're doing like the pictures and stuff we offload it onto Vimeo, he always makes sure it's private and that no one else can see it except to us and that we're always doing safe things when we're doing things on the internet,” said Grade 8 student, Sarah Lambros.
“For grade 8s, we're on computers all day now pretty much. We bring our laptops so at the start of the year we did an online course about all different online safety,” said grade 8 student, Justic Ostertag
Springbank Middle School principal Dan Hoch recognizes what Belsey brings to the school and its students.
“This whole notion of bullying that all schools in Canada and virtually around the world are dealing with, it's just nice to have someone here who's got some expertise we can draw on and utilize that to serve our students,” said Hoch.
Belsey is encouraged by the fact that there is a slight decline in traditional bullying, but another trend troubles him.
“While those things are decreasing, we do see a spike in things like cyber bullying because now those who want to harm others think that they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet and may choose to do it online as opposed to more traditional ways,” said Belsey.
For using his technical skills and desire to end bullying for the benefit of kids around the world, Bill Belsey is our Inspiring Albertan this week.