About a month ago, Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey lost his 14-year old son Devan. The late Hamilton teen was a victim of bullying in his school. He was stabbed and later died. The suspects were his fellow schoolmates, all teens.
This case caused a lot of talk across the province and it opened up issues whether school boards submit reports of violence to the ministry. And the results have shown that not all provinces do.
Cases of bullying and school violence have been increasing. These include all sorts of bullying and abuse. Whether physical, verbal, or sexual. According to Canadian teachers, out of six other listed concerns, cyberbullying ranks the highest.
But what’s the case in Toronto?
Ryan Bird, Manager, Corporate and Social Media Relations of the Toronto District School Board assured us that they have been submitting annual reports regarding incidents of violence in school that resulted in suspensions and expulsions. Ryan confirmed that violence is indeed one of the major reasons why students get suspended.
It also showed in their report that most of these incidents happen in the classroom. Even with the school board’s detailed report, there are probably more unreported cases, especially if students feel scared of informing these issues to school staff.
TDSB has several anti-bullying programs and initiatives that individual schools are trusted to communicate with the students’ parents.
“If someone is being bullied or knows someone else that is being bullied, we want them to let a staff member know so that we can help support them,” Ryan says.