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Board hosts bullying town hall at Ottawa school


Parents had their say at a Vimy Ridge Public School town hall Wednesday night as the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board addressed concerns around harassment and bullying.

“Up until now there's been a feeling not enough has been done,” said parent Stephanie Lewis.

The town hall was held Wednesday evening after more than a dozen parents protested outside of the school in February. They argue the OCDSB’s policy is not working and bullying has been an issue at the school for months.

A month later, the school says additional steps are being taken in and out of the classroom.

“They meet with the students through assemblies to talk kindness,” Superintendent Reg Lavergne said. “They've had professional learning from staff and take it into the classrooms.”

School principal Sandra Walker, who arrived in January, told the crowd of about 75 people that bullying happens during recess and the school is working on ways to increase supervision in a school that’s already over capacity. The school has also sent letters home to parents outlining expectations.

Some are hopeful change is in the works.

“This is more than we have been hearing, which is good,” said Lewis. “However the school board has a long way to go to prove to me they are taking this seriously.”

Others calling into question the schools disciplinary measures particularly suspensions, arguing there should be other solutions

“Actually taking the time to have these kids hooked up with psychologists, have them build these skills to address bullying, what's going on at home, what's going on at school would be better to counter it,” said Nour Yousif, whose brother attends the school.

The school board says suspensions are a last resort. And although parents know the issue won't change overnight, some were encouraged at what they heard.

“You can always do more and it’s good to hear they're open to that,” said parent Intiaz Rahim. Top Stories


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