For children and teens to learn, they must feel safe and cared for. Each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help every student develop healthy relationships, make good choices and achieve success.
At Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga, students heard from a youth empowerment rapper named Duane Gibson. Gibson, also known as D.O. is a Canadian rapper and Guinness World Record holder for the longest freestyle rap. He shared stories and life lessons with students about how he confronted bullies and dealt with issues including racism.
In Brampton, students at Eagle Plains Public School marched through the community on Nov. 23 to demonstrate their pride for being a bully-free-zone. Prior to the march, students took part in a school-wide flash mob to the song Spirit Indestructible by Nelly Futado. In addition to the Friday activities, an artificial cow was placed in the main hall all week with a sign that reminded students not to be a ‘cow-ard’ and to stand up to bullying.
Belfountain Public School in Caledon expanded their student-run anti-bullying campaign to the entire school. Last year, a few students started an anti-bullying club, which includes a website and blog. The club aims to raise awareness of bullying and provide an outlet for important discussions about bullying to take place. On Nov. 21, all students wore a student-designed anti-bullying t-shirt, and sign a plaque that will hang in the hallway as a school-wide pledge against bullying.
Across the Peel board, schools use many programs and initiatives to prevent bullying and to intervene when bullying happens. Students are taught to:
Every school has a Climate for Learning and Working Team which is required to develop a Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan as part of the School Success Plan. Also, every employee who is involved in the care and service of students is obligated to report in writing to the school administration any action for which the principal must consider suspension or expulsion. Bullying is an offence that must be considered for suspension. The Peel bullying awareness video, and resources are available at www.peelschools.org/aboutus/safeschools/bullying
“There are many ways students and their families can personalize their school experiences,” says Tony Pontes, director of education. “Each of our schools offer innovative, hands-on courses designed to appeal to students’ interests, needs and abilities. We know some students are looking for more focused, specialized programs. For these students, our Regional Learning Choices Programs provide additional options.”
Students have access to the following new programs or locations:
Other programs include:
For more information about the programs, including locations and descriptions, visit www.peelschools.org/parents/programs.
The Peel board opened seven new schools during the 2012-13 school year—Ingleborough, Ray Lawson, Mount Pleasant, Janet McDougald, Beryl Ford, and Southfields Village public schools, and Castlebrooke Secondary School.
With these beliefs in mind we encourage all parents and educators to come together for a conversation when they find themselves concerned about a student.