Reminder of bullying support in schools

Concerned parents should know they are powerful in shaping school environment

Parents can take a greater part in shaping their children's school environment.  Tina Adamopoulos/Toronto Observer

Bullying is part of every school experience — something that always has been and always will be.

Which is why concerned parents and students need reminders of services and support available in anti-bullying initiatives.

In the TDSB’s four year action plan works to “identify disadvantage and intervene effectively,” as one of their top priorities for a safe school environment. 

“As always, should parents or students have questions or concerns, they’re encouraged to speak with staff at the school,” TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said.

Parent dissatisfaction of anti-bullying initiatives has recently been reported in Chester Elementary School. In midst of the controversy surrounding the alleged bullying, the school has responded with new programs. 

The school will be working with Public Health Nurses to identify stress and assist students in respectfully expressing themselves, Chester principal Sean Hume wrote in a school newsletter.

Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu says parents are also welcome to talk to School Resource Officers about any concerns.

“We have School Resource Officers that attend and speak to the kids in regards to bullying and making it a safe place,” Const. Sidhu said.

There is an SRO in each of the 17 divisions.

“They know the principal and the students in the school, and are aware of any situations that the school wants to address,” Const. Sidhu said.

Bird said that school anti-bullying initiatives are made at school level, tailored to tackling the situations that would work best to the school’s needs.

Parents can also turn to the Parent Concern Protocol to raise concerns starting with the teacher, Principal, Superintendent, and Trustee.

One former elementary parent’s advice is to be an active listener to both sides of a situation.

“Everyone should do their part to understand the issue,” Helen Mavrakis said. “It’s not the TDSB’s or the parents’ fault — it’s both and somewhere in the middle you will find the truth and handle the issue.”

Bird says staff are also encouraged to “remind them (students) that there are caring adults within every school that they can speak to.”

The school council is not able to comment at this time.

The school is not commenting on specifics of the case, for privacy reasons.

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Posted: Feb 7 2017 12:58 pm
Filed under: News