Bullying is a growing problem that has attracted increasing attention in Canada and internationally. Many children have suffered through this terrible experience, including a number of students who have participated in the COPE program, Canines in the Classroom.

What happens to students who are bullied is not easy to counteract. Often they feel that they don’t matter – to anyone at school – and are completely unmotivated to continue their education. Without the self-confidence to stand up to those who are tormenting them, school is not a place of refuge.

However, within the COPE program, when students are matched with service dogs-in-training, they suddenly matter to their canine partner. As they develop a bond through their training experience, they receive unconditional love from their COPE dog.

Not only are they important to their partner, they are carrying out important work. They are part of a team training a service dog that will make a real difference in the life of a life partner with disabilities. Students begin to gain confidence in themselves as they experience success, and they develop new perspectives as they take on the leadership role of a trainer.

In the COPE class, dogs don’t judge their student partners – they accept them just the way they are. It is no wonder that some students explain they can’t wait to get to their COPE. class. It is no wonder that students begin to unleash their potential and develop more skills to combat bullying.

Student Trainer Kim

Kim’s Story

Four years ago, when Kim started in the Canines in the Classroom (CIC) program, she was worried that she wasn’t going to make it to graduation. Dropping out of school was starting to be a likely……read more

Without the self-confidence to stand up to those who are tormenting them, school is not a place of refuge for someone being bullied.

Student Stories - Overcoming Bullying
Student Trainer Stefan

Stefan’s Story

In June of his Grade 8 year, Stefan Meade came to Nantyr to see his new high school and meet his future teacher. He had an Educational Assistant with him who had helped him… more

Student Trainer Julia

Julia’s Story

My Name is Julia and I am a grade ten student. I choose to be in the COPE Canines in the Classroom Program, not only because I get to play with an adorable COPE dog every day but because……read more

Nantyr Shores Secondary School at Georgian Mall Photo 3

Jordan’s Story

COPE Service Dogs’ Canines in the Classroom program has given me leadership and workplace skills as well as patience. This will definitely help me ……read more

Student Trainer Caitlyn

Caitlyn’s Story

My COPE teacher helped me take leadership opportunities. She helped me feel confident that I could do anything and… more

Student Trainer Mercedes

Mercedes’ Story

I’m less aggressive, [and have] lost a lot of anger… COPE has made me open my eyes to reality and has helped me want to make friends. I’m usually very mad and upset but when I go in to……read more

Student Trainer Erin

Erin’s Story

When Erin came to Nantyr in Grade 9 and began her first COPE class, she had never had much success or joy at school. Erin loved animals however, and was game to learn how to train a dog. She was a… more