July, 20 2018

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Board will review safe schools program

The recent death of a Strathroy TEEN has prompted the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) to review its anti-bullying and safe schools program.
Beginning this month, the review will be conducted by the new Committee to Review Environment of Safety in Our Schools.
The committee has been given a mandate to examine why young people do not report information regarding harassment.
They will develop strategies that will HELP schools create a culture that encourages students to speak out if they or someone they know needs HELP.
According to director of education Bill Bryce, recent tragic events suggest more work needs to be done regarding bullying.
�It is appropriate at this time for us to conduct a review and find out where we can build on our existing programs,� said Mr. Bryce. �We want to be sure that we are doing everything we can to address all forms and venues of bullying, including the Internet.�
Between January and June, the committee will develop a System Action Plan for the board based on its research in schools and school communities.
Initially, the committee will conduct surveys in high schools to determine how comfortable students feel about reporting information on harassment. The material gathered from these surveys will be reported back to schools in April.
Beginning in May, focus groups comprised of staff, students, and parents will be convened at each secondary school to discuss the results of the initial surveys.
The focus group responses will be used to formulate a Focus Group System Report that will provide the basis for a System Action Plan. The plan will initially be implemented in secondary schools and then extended to elementary schools throughout 2005-2006.
Mr. Bryce said it�s important that the entire community be involved in resolving the issues of bullying and school safety.
�To move forward, we need the full support and input of educators, students, parents, and community agencies with expertise on various forms of bullying, violence, and abuse,� said Mr. Bryce.
�If there is a change to be made, it will be made in the name of a 15-year-old Strathroy student whose sudden and tragic death has had a deep impact on all of us.�
The committee will be chaired by superintendent of education Mike Sereda.
Its membership will include board and school administrators, students, representatives from employee groups, and experts in violence prevention from the community including Ray Hughes, National Education Co-ordinator of the CAMH Centre for Prevention Science, and UWO Professor and Psychologist Dr. Alan Leschied, who specializes in the assessment and TREATMENT of at-risk youth.
It will meet regularly to:
� advise on the direction the TVDSB takes to improve the environment of safety in schools.
� continue the work of the Safe School Review Committee and the Action Plan to address issues of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
� gather information regarding the environment of safety in schools.
� analyze the results of system reports regarding the environment of safety in schools.
� report regularly to the Safe Schools Committee.

Related Articles:
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Needs of troubled girls get new attention 1/4/05
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