*58 per cent of students are victims of bullying
TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - The licensing body for Ontario teachers is issuing professional advice to its 238,000 members about responding to the bullying of students.
Research shows that bullying is constant:
- 30 per cent bully others
- 78 per cent have witnessed bullying, but fewer than half of those have intervened
- 12 per cent report being bullied once or more per week.
"Caring teachers recognize the signs of bullying, intervene to prevent escalation, and stop it from reoccurring," says Ontario College of Teachers CEO and Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT. "Because bullying is a persistent – and evolving – problem in education, members of the profession need strategies and tools to respond to and prevent bullying."
Bullying devalues, disempowers and humiliates its victims. Bullied students often feel afraid, anxious, alone. They lose sleep, lose their appetites and become depressed. Their behaviours change. Absences from school increase. Self-esteem drops and learning suffers.
The College's governing Council approved the professional advice to help Ontario teachers examine the causes and encourage discourse on the possible collective responses to student bullying.
"Awareness is essential," says Council Chair Angela De Palma, OCT. "This advisory encourages members to reflect on their knowledge and practice. Are they aware of their employers' protocols? Do they intervene early? How are they supporting students? Who can they reach out to for help when they need it?"
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To promote discussion, the College is hosting presentations and panel discussions in six Ontario communities including Toronto, Ottawa, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Peterborough and Windsor. Panel discussions include local school board representatives, police services, and experts from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Canadian Safe School Network.
All events will occur between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the following locations:
- October 5 (World Teachers' Day) – TorontoOntario College of Teachers, 101 Bloor Street West
- October 6 – Ottawa Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, 200 Coventry Road
- October 24 – North Bay Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre, 700 Lakeshore Drive
- October 26 – Thunder Bay Marriott Town Place Suites, 550 Harbour Expressway
- October 30 – Peterborough Holiday Inn Waterfront, 150 George Street
- November 1 – Windsor Holiday Inn Ambassador Bridge, 1855 Huron Church Road
"As the regulator for teaching in the province, we are duty-bound to provide advice to our members on topical and relevant issues or in response to questions that promote professionalism in teaching and public confidence in the teaching profession," says De Palma.
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 more than 238,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is Canada's largest self-regulatory body for the teaching profession.
Professional advisory – Responding to Bullying of Students
Why is the College issuing this advisory?
The Ontario College of Teachers regulates Ontario's teaching profession in the public interest. Professional Advisories guide members in their professional practice. The College has a legal duty and an ethical obligation to the public to provide such advice to its 238,000 members.
The advisory provides clear advice, which helps to support members' professional judgment in responding to the bullying of students.
To whom does this advisory apply?
This advisory applies to all 238,000 Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) including teachers, vice-principals, principals, consultants, supervisory officers, directors of education and those working in non-school board positions. It also affects members working in public, private, independent schools, and elsewhere.
What specific advice is the College providing?
We want teachers to:
- recognize the signs of bullying;
- intervene early;
- support students who are bullied;
- promote disclosure;
- provide guidance to students who bully.
Why are you releasing your advice now?
Bullying is a persistent and evolving problem in education and society. Teachers have said that they need clear, consistent advice about how to respond to the bullying of students.
Who was involved in the development of the advisory?
To develop the advisory, the College consulted with individuals and groups representing Ontario's education stakeholders, including teachers, employers, education faculties, and professional associations, as well as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, police, social workers, school counsellors, and Indigenous community members.
Where will it be available?
The advisory is available on the College website at oct.ca. It was mailed to all 238,000 members at the beginning of the current school year.
Where can teachers go for additional information on this topic?
Teachers can consult their employers, teacher federations and professional associations, or visit the College website.
SOURCE Ontario College of Teachers
For further information: Brian Jamieson, Senior Communications Officer, 416-961-8800, ext. 655, Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655; Gabrielle Barkany, OCT, Senior Communications Officer, 416-961-8800, ext. 621, Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 621