Ontario College of Teachers issues advice on safety in learning environments

TORONTO, May 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The self-regulatory body for Ontario's teaching profession has issued a professional advisory on safety in learning environments to help inform teachers' professional judgment to keep students safe.

The College will host symposiums in schools in four Ontario communities beginning today in Toronto to release the advice, share research and to encourage dialogue about school safety.

The symposiums will include presentations from experts about research on lockdown enhancements, violence prevention, use of social media in a school crisis and an overview of what is happening now in Ontario schools to keep students safe.

"Safety in Learning Environments: A Shared Responsibility sets out a '4Rs for safety' framework to help members recognize responsibilities and dangers, respond professionally, report incidents properly and reflect to prevent future occurrences," explains College CEO and Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT.

The advisory and a backgrounder are available on the College's website.

The College has a legal duty and an ethical obligation to the public to educate its 237,000 members.

"The advice will help teachers think, act and collaborate in ways that keep students safe," says College Deputy Registrar Joe Jamieson, OCT, who led the document development. "The advisory informs professional judgment and reminds us that safety is a shared responsibility. Everyone is accountable."

The advisory provides advice within the education context and is rooted in the teaching profession's ethical standards and standards of practice.

"We are keen to demonstrate to the broader community in Ontario that student safety in all learning environments is top-of mind for the profession. This document encourages greater awareness and dialogue within the entire school community, which includes police, parents and social service providers," says College Council Chair Liz Papadopoulos, OCT.

"Ontario's police leaders are proud of the work that has been done in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Education, school boards, and our educational partners to develop strong protocols for a school lockdown process that we feel is second-to-none," says Chief Steve Tanner, President of The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. "We are also always willing to take part in dialogue and to consider options within the Canadian context that could lead to further enhancements when it comes to the safety of our children and students in Ontario."

Members of the media are welcome to attend the symposiums.

Date:   May 22, 2013
Time:   9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location:  Le Collège Français  
100, rue Carlton, Toronto
Who:   Michael Salvatori, OCT, CEO and Registrar
  Joe Jamieson, OCT, Deputy Registrar
  Liz Papadopoulos, OCT, Council Chair
  Chris Buck, former Toronto Police Services detective sergeant
  Stu Auty, President, Canadian Safe School Network
  Dr. Amy Klinger, teacher, researcher and author of In Search of Safer Schools
  Amanda Klinger, teacher, lawyer and member of Students Against Violence Everywhere

Additional Symposiums:

Ottawa - May 23, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Notre Dame Catholic High School
710 Broadview Avenue, Ottawa

London - May 24, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
John Paul II Catholic Secondary School
1300 Oxford Street E , London

Thunder Bay - May 27, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Sir Winston Churchill CVI
130 Winston Churchill Drive, Thunder Bay

The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher education programs affecting its more than 237,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is the only self-regulatory body for the teaching profession in Canada.


SOURCE: Ontario College of Teachers

For further information:

Brian Jamieson
416-961-8800, ext. 655
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655

Gabrielle Barkany, OCT (Bilingual)
416-961-8800, ext. 621
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 621

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