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New Mandatory Reporting Bill Would Make Schools Safer

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New Mandatory Reporting Bill Would Make Schools Safer

McGuinty Government Introduces The Keeping Our Kids Safe At School Act

Ministry of Education

Every Ontario student has the right to feel safe and be safe when they go to school.

As part of its efforts to make schools even safer, Ontario is today introducing new legislation that would require school staff to report serious student incidents, such as bullying, to the principal. It would also require that principals contact the parents of the victims.

If passed, Ontario would be the first province in Canada with legislation of this kind; making schools even safer and leading the way for its students to succeed.

If passed, this legislation would also:

  • Address reporting gaps between principals, teachers and parents about serious student incidents that could lead to suspension or expulsion.
  • Ensure parents are kept informed and principals are aware of serious incidents in the school so they can respond appropriately.
  • Require school staff to intervene and address inappropriate, disrespectful behaviour among students.

This builds on Ontario's safe schools strategy and is part of a comprehensive response to the recent Safe Schools Action Team report. The report calls for action to address serious issues like gender-based violence, homophobia, sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behaviour among students.

Quick Facts

  • About 25,000 teachers and 7,500 principals have received training to address and prevent bullying in their schools.
  • There are already clear requirements for principals to report any violent incidents to the police.
  • Bullying and harassment can affect a student’s health, mental well-being and school success, according to a 2008 study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
  • The Safe Schools Act was amended last year to treat bullying as an infraction for which suspension must be considered.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

“We are committed to student safety — and we know Ontario school staff are as well. This legislation is part of our ongoing efforts to make our schools safer.”

Kathleen Wynne

Minister of Education

“Bullying and harassment are not acceptable in our communities or our schools. I am pleased we are responding quickly to the report’s recommendations to help make our schools safer.”

Liz Sandals

Chair, Safe Schools Action Team and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education

“This is another step in the right direction to improve school safety. Parents and principals need to know what is happening in our schools so appropriate action can be taken.”

Stu Auty

member of the Safe Schools Action Team and president of the Canadian Safe School Network

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