Changes to Safe Schools Strategy Assist Student Progress

    ETFO welcomes provincial government initiatives announced today

    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - Classroom teachers welcome the province's
announcement of clear and progressive guidelines for student suspensions and
expulsions, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario said today.
    "It is our understanding that suspensions and expulsions are now solely
the responsibility of principals and boards. We have always maintained that it
is not the teacher's role to suspend students," said Emily Noble, ETFO
    Noble was responding to Education Minister Kathleen Wynne's announcement
today clarifying decision-making authority regarding suspensions and
expulsions for principals and school boards.
    "We are also pleased to see that the 'zero tolerance' philosophy has been
rejected by the government," added Noble. "Proposing a progressive discipline
approach to address inappropriate student behaviour and providing programs for
expelled students and those on long-term suspensions are progressive changes
that allow students to continue their education while taking responsibility
for their actions."
    Noble added that teachers appreciate the addition of bullying to the list
of infractions for which suspension must be considered.
    "Bullying is a form of violence that should not be tolerated within our
schools. It can lead to serious forms of anti-social behavior that can
interfere with a child's ability to develop social skills and learn."
    Noble stressed that the province's Safe Schools Strategy is not the
ultimate panacea for student discipline and behavioural problems.
    "It also takes the support of teaching assistants, lunchroom supervisors,
full-time secretarial and caretaking staff, together with the support of board
psychologists, social workers and professional support personnel to ensure
schools are safe places to learn and work."

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents more than
70,000 public elementary school teachers and education workers across Ontario
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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