Giving Bullied Students Hope
McGuinty Government Joins The "It Gets Better" Project
Today, Premier Dalton McGuinty delivered a simple message to Ontario students who are bullied or feel alone: it gets better, and we can make it better, together.
The Premier met students at L'Amoreaux Collegiate Institute in Toronto, where he also released his "It Gets Better" video, which encourages students, teachers, parents and community members to do their part to help end bullying and intolerance.
New legislation, to be introduced today would, if passed, help make Ontario schools safer and more accepting places to learn by proposing:
- Tougher consequences for bullying and hate-motivated actions -- up to, and including, expulsion
- Requiring all schools to support any students who want to lead activities that promote understanding, acceptance and respect for all.
- Requiring school boards to develop policies and guidelines that include greater supports for students.
- Ontario was the first province in Canada to legally require school staff to report serious student incidents to principals.
- Bullying is a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour intended to cause fear, distress, or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation.
- A 2011 national survey found that 64 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) students and 61 per cent of students with LGBTQ parents feel unsafe at school.
“For our kids to learn and reach their full potential they need to feel safe, secure and free to be who they are in our schools. Too many of our kids are being bullied and we all need to do more than just tell them it gets better -- we need to work together to make it better now.”
“We have taught our children three fundamental "Rs" in school -- Reading, Writing and Arithmetic -- but now we need to also focus on the fourth "R" -- Relationships.”