Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
The April 2013 tragic death of Nova Scotia teenager Rehtaeh Parsons reinforces the importance of bullying awareness and prevention both in Ontario and across Canada. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario has designated November 18-22, 2013 as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. OSSTF/FEESO encourages its members to become involved and participate in organized events that recognize and raise awareness of bullying within our schools and communities.
On June 5, 2012, The Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13) received Royal Assent creating legal obligations for school boards and schools to prevent bullying. Policy/Program Memorandum No.144 provided direction to every district school board on December 5, 2012. These obligations include developing a school bullying prevention and intervention plan that encompasses a process for investigation of bullying incidents and provides support for students who have been bullied, witnessed bullying or have engaged in bullying.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation supports these important initiatives. A safe learning environment is critical to every student, parent and educational worker within our publicly funded education system and contributes greatly to their rich educational experience. That is why OSSTF/FEESO has been engaged in both developing and providing professional development to our members and education partners. Information regarding OSSTF/FEESO Educational Services Professional Development Workshops can be found online at: http://www.osstf.on.ca/edservicesworkshops. OSSTF/FEESO members can also find Canadian bullying resources online at:http://www.osstf.on.ca/Default.aspx?DN=56733f05-75b0-4d31-9de1-01a1c52089f2.
OSSTF/FEESO policy states: "It is the policy of OSSTF/FEESO that students should be entitled to an education in an environment free of violence, harassment and bullying in any of its variant forms." Bullying affects all of us in its many forms. Members are encouraged to support the anti- bullying initiatives that occur in the designated weeks ahead and throughout the year within their schools and communities.