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Ontario government introduces new measures to combat bullying in schools

Teachers will be trained in de-escalation techniques


TORONTO (CP) — Ontario is introducing new measures to combat bullying in schools, including more training for teachers and a review of how incidents are reported.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says his goal is to keep students safe.

“We are taking action to root out bullying in our schools with one aim — keeping Ontario’s students safe,” he said in a release. “We are working to change the culture to one where everyone sees the inherent dignity and the value of a person, irrespective of their faith, heritage or orientation or race or their income, to build a more accepting and inclusive province.”

He says the death of 14-year-old Devan Bracci-Selvey, who was stabbed outside his Hamilton high school, is part of what motivated the government to take action.

As part of the plan, educators will learn anti-bullying and de-escalation techniques, and students will complete a survey about their experiences with bullying.

The government will also be reviewing the definition of bullying in its policies to ensure it captures all forms, including cyberbullying.

Tory backbencher Christina Mitas, a former teacher, has also been tasked with advising Lecce on education matters with a focus on bullying prevention.

Copyright (c) 2019 The Canadian Press