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Ontario Hansard - 14-November2005

Mr. Frank Klees (Oak Ridges): This week is designated as Bullying Awareness Week across Ontario. For the past two years, parents and advocacy groups have been asking this Minister of Education to assume his responsibilities by ensuring that every student in this province knows that their hotline for protection from intimidation and bullying is their principal or the nearest teacher in their school.

Teacher training needs to include practical methods for detecting and dealing with bullying. Principals need to know that they will be held accountable for what is going on in their schools.

Student-to-student bullying is the face of this issue. However, we need to be aware that teachers, education workers and parents are also victims of bullying. The problem is significant and it isn't going away.

The excellent work being done by the 200-member London Anti-Bullying Coalition was the subject of a newsmagazine by TVO's Studio 2 entitled Battling Bullies. It has been nominated for a Gemini Award, in the best news magazine segment, to be awarded later this week. It profiled the devastating consequences of bullying, the role of the Internet, which is the latest method of bullying, as well as examining the behaviour of bullies.

We owe a thank you to the London Anti-Bullying Coalition for their determination in bringing this issue forward. They are part of a growing network of parents and educators who want real solutions to this very real and dangerous problem that plagues our schools and our communities, and threatens the right of every student to a safe and supportive environment.

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