Family Channel ’s annual Bullying Awareness Week is back and the network is promoting the message of bullying prevention with an entire week of dedicated programming. This year’s lineup features brand new bullying-themed episodes, special messages from musicians and stars depicting their own experiences, and exclusive footage from the 2014 Rally Tour. Bullying Awareness Week runs from Monday, November 17 – Sunday, November 23.
Last month, Family Channel took the message of bullying prevention across the country, bringing network stars Jennie Pappas and Alexandra Beaton (both of The Next Step) into four elementary schools to host Stand UP!  rallies. The schools were selected in early October after Canadian students were encouraged to enter a contest by telling Family how their school stands up to bullying. Chosen from nearly 1,600 entries, the winning schools were:
- Luxton School in Winnipeg
- Brendan Catholic School in Scarborough
- Westmount School in Strathmore
- Winding River Consolidated School in Stewiacke
At each rally students were treated to a sneak peek of a bullying-themed Austin & Ally episode which was followed by a discussion led by a representative of the national research organization PREVNet  (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), Family’s longtime partner. In addition, a guest speaker from a local organization was invited to give a presentation showcasing a community-related bullying prevention initiative for students. To wrap up the fun, hosts Alexandra and Jennie kicked off a school-wide dance party to the 2014 Stand UP! anthem “I’m Ready (Stand Up Edit)” by Canadian pop-rock band Eleven Past One. Footage from this year’s Stand UP! Rally Tour will be featured in short documentaries that will air on Family Channel and Family.ca  as part of Bullying Awareness Week.
Headlining this year’s Bullying Awareness Week on Family are two important nights of bullying- themed programming designed to empower and encourage viewers to Stand UP! On Wednesday, November 19 the network will air a marathon from fan-favourite series Jessie beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT, featuring three back-to-back episodes reinforcing Family’s bullying prevention message.
On Friday, November 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, The Next Step stars Alexandra Beaton (Emily), Jennie Pappas (Chloe), Lamar Johnson (West), Brittany Raymond (Riley) and Trevor Tordjman (James) take over Family to host A Night to Stand UP! For. After each new episode in the lineup the cast discusses the bullying behaviour displayed, shares their own personal stories about bullying and offer information and resources for viewers who are being affected by bullying. The evening’s premieres include:
- Austin & Ally – “Beauties & Bullies” – 6:30 p.m. ET/PT: When Trish gets the lead role in the school play, she drops out because someone is making fun of her online.
- Girl Meets World – “Girl Meets Flaws” – 7 p.m. ET/PT: When Farkle skips class after another student tells him he is weird, Riley, Maya and Lucas go around trying to figure out who said it and why.
- The Next Step – “Run This Town” – 7:30 p.m. ET/PT: Successful choreographer Luther Brown visits The Next Step studio to help the boys with their small group routine.
- Contest – Feature Film – 8 p.m. ET/PT: A bullied high school student is suddenly befriended by his chief tormentor (Kenton Duty, Shake It Up) and together they face challenges that will change their lives forever.
In addition to the dedicated evenings, Family will air brand new PSAs and interstitial content featuring Family stars and musical celebrities opening up about their own bullying experiences. Interviews include:
- Cody Simpson
- Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World)
- Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally)
- Megan Nicole
- Austin Mahone
- Nikki Yanosky
- Cast of The Next Step
Throughout the week Family will also air bullying-themed episodes from a variety of favourite series, as well as the lyric video for the campaign’s anthem “I’m Ready (Stand Up Edit)” which debuted in September as part of the campaign’s launch.
For more information on Family’s 12th annual Stand UP! campaign viewers can visit Family.ca/StandUp . Bilingual bullying prevention resources for students, parents and educators are also available for download, including printable tip sheets and activities from an extensive Teacher’s Guide prepared by PREVNet for Family.
Family Channel co-founded Bullying Awareness Week in 2003 and developed the Stand UP! campaign in association with PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), a national network of Canadian researchers, community organizations and governments committed to ending bullying and promoting positive relationships.