MP calls for law requiring student fights to be reported
There seem to be two schools of thought with regard to student fighting: either let them sort them it out themselves, or have adults intervene to prevent further issues.
A recent incident in Ontario has one MP calling for a law that would enforce the latter policy. What do you think, is it a necessary or knee-jerk reaction?
Principals and teachers should be forced by law to report student-on-student crime, an MPP says after a Grade 1 student in York Region was allegedly whipped by older boys in the school washroom.
Under the Child and Family Services Act, teachers are only compelled to report adult-on-student crime or suspicion of harm to children's aid. Tory MPP Frank Klees says that must change.
Klees said the Opposition is willing to work with the government to close the loophole before school begins in the fall.
"There should be no question about whether an assault has to be reported to parents and to police," said Klees (Newmarket-Aurora).
In the assault, two older students allegedly whipped the young boy with belts.
The principal did not call police, and the parents learned of the assault from their older child.
The parents immediately called police, who laid charges of assault and assault with a weapon against the Grade 8 students.
The parents "looked at their child's back and it had welts that were swollen and they were obviously distressed at what had taken place," Klees said. "They asked the principal if she had any intention or had she reported it to police" and were told no.
Education Minister Kathleen Wynne said the Safe Schools Action Team is looking into an Ontario-wide policy and protocol for reporting, which is expected this fall.
"If there's a serious incident at school, parents should be told and told in a timely manner," she said. "It should not take a child going home to find out about a serious incident such as this."