School staff now required by law to report bullying
Published Monday, February 1, 2010 2:06PM EST
As of today all school staff in Ontario are required to report serious student incidents such as bullying to the school principal.
Principals, in turn, must contact parents of victims under terms of legislation that was announced last March and adopted last June.
Reporting is now mandatory for all behaviour that would be grounds for suspension or expulsion, including bullying and swearing at a teacher.
Threatening to seriously harm someone or a physical fight that requires medical attention are also covered by the mandatory reporting rule.
Staff who fail to report serious incidents could face sanctions under the Ontario College of Teachers Act for failing to comply with the Education Act.
The legislation was prompted in part by a 2008 study that suggested bullying and harassment can affect a student's health, mental well-being and school success.