Ontario government introduces anti-bullying bill, expulsion could be a consequence

Loooooooong overdue! Too bad this wasn’t in place when I went to high school back in the 90’s. I would of completed high school much sooner when I went to school in the 90’s, as I had to change high schools 5 times.  A ZERO tolerance everywhere in every school. Everyone is entitled to an education and a teenager can’t get that if they’re being bullied.

Stand up and say something about bullying, it has to stop, you just don’t know the impacts it has on someone who’s bullied. Not everyone can stand up for themselves, take action and do what’s right.

The Liberal government is introducing tough new anti-bullying legislation in wake of high profiles youth suicides in Ottawa and Durham.

Speaking at L’Amoreaux Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, Premier Dalton McGuinty said the anti-bullying bill toughens up consequences against bullies.

If the bill passes, expulsion could be a consequence.

The Progressive Conservatives are also expected to introduce a private member’s bill on bullying.

“We will not tolerate bullying of any kind, for any reason,” McGuinty told reporters Wednesday morning.

“As a premier and as a parent … I want our students to be free to be who they are, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or (cultural) traditions.”

School boards must intervene when bullying has taken place, he said.

The suicide of Ottawa teen Jamie Hubley, who took his life last month after becoming a target of bullying due to his sexual orientation was top of McGuinty’s mind when this legislation was created. So was the death of Mitchell Wilson, an 11-year-old Ajax boy who took his life recently.

McGuinty also followed the federal Conservative’s lead by creating his own “It Gets Better” YouTube video.

Teachers and parents have a responsibility to make it stop, he said.

“If we are going to make the appropriate changes in our society I am going to call on our parents,” he said. “Bullying is wrong.”

Bullying is not okay in our schools, said Education Minister Laurel Broten. “Every single student has seen it and suffered some form of it.”

It would have been Hubley’s 16th birthday last week.

PC education critic Elizabeth Witmer also announced her party’s own private member’s bill addressing bullying, including a provision to introduce anti-bullying curriculum in kindergarten.

She said the Anti Bullying Act, 2011, looks at reporting, accountability, education and remedial programs for bullies.

“It provides for a formalized process, clear responsibilities and resources for victims and perpetrators,” she said.

Last year, Witmer was successful in naming a bullying awareness and prevention week.

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