Ontario's New School Safety Rules Take Effect Today
McGuinty Government Making Schools Safer, More Positive Places To Learn
Ontario is the first province in Canada to require all school staff to report serious student incidents -- including bullying -- to the principal.
Principals are also required in these situations to contact parents of victims -- another first in Canada.
The new reporting measures came into effect today. They are part of the Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Act. The legislation makes schools safer and helps students achieve their full potential by:
- Addressing the reporting gap between principals, teachers and parents about all serious student incidents that must be considered for suspension or expulsion.
- Ensuring that parents are kept informed and principals are aware of serious incidents in the school so they can respond appropriately.
- Requiring school staff to respond to inappropriate, disrespectful behaviour among students as well as activities which can lead to suspension and expulsion.
- The Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Act was passed in the legislature on June 1, 2009, and comes into effect on February 1, 2010.
- Staff at schools and school boards have received training on the new requirements.
- 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.
“Students need a safe and inclusive learning environment to focus on their studies and reach their full potential. By making schools safer, we are helping to boost student success.”
“By acting quickly on the recommendations in the Safe Schools Action Team report, we have demonstrated to school staff, students and parents how deeply we are committed to making schools safer, more positive places to learn.”