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Ontario College of Teachers Issues Advisory about Responding to the Bullying of Students

October 03 2017

*58 per cent of students are victims of bullying

Backgrounder, Professional Advisory: Responding to the Bullying of Students

October 3, 2017 – (Toronto) – The licensing body for Ontario teachers is issuing professional advice to its 238,000 members about responding to the bullying of students.

Research shows that bullying is constant:

  • 30 per cent bully others
  • 78 per cent have witnessed bullying, but fewer than half of those have intervened
  • 12 per cent report being bullied once or more per week.

“Caring teachers recognize the signs of bullying, intervene to prevent escalation, and stop it from reoccurring,” says Ontario College of Teachers CEO and Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT. “Because bullying is a persistent – and evolving – problem in education, members of the profession need strategies and tools to respond to and prevent bullying.”


Bullying devalues, disempowers and humiliates its victims. Bullied students often feel afraid, anxious, alone. They lose sleep, lose their appetites and become depressed. Their behaviours change. Absences from school increase. Self-esteem drops and learning suffers.

The College’s governing Council approved the professional advice to help Ontario teachers examine the causes and encourage discourse on the possible collective responses to student bullying.

“Awareness is essential,” says Council Chair Angela De Palma, OCT. “This advisory encourages members to reflect on their knowledge and practice. Are they aware of their employers’ protocols? Do they intervene early? How are they supporting students? Who can they reach out to for help when they need it?”

Talk to us

To promote discussion, the College is hosting presentations and panel discussions in six Ontario communities including Toronto, Ottawa, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Peterborough and Windsor. Panel discussions include local school board representatives, police services, and experts from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Canadian Safe School Network.

All events will occur between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the following locations:

  • Oct. 5 (World Teachers’ Day) - Toronto – 101 Bloor Street West
  • Oct. 6. – Ottawa – 200 Coventry Road
  • Oct. 24 – North Bay – 700 Lakeshore Drive
  • Oct. 26 – Thunder Bay – 550 Harbour Expressway
  • Oct. 30 – Peterborough – 150 George Street
  • Nov. 1 – Windsor – 1855 Huron Church Road

The advisory and backgrounder are available on the College’s website at oct.ca.

“As the regulator for teaching in the province, we are duty-bound to provide advice to our members on topical and relevant issues or in response to questions that promote professionalism in teaching and public confidence in the teaching profession,” says De Palma.


The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher education programs affecting more than 238,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is Canada’s largest self-regulatory body for the teaching profession.

For more information:

Brian Jamieson, Senior Communications Officer
416-961-8800, ext. 655
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655

Gabrielle Barkany, OCT, Senior Communications Officer
416-961-8800, ext. 621
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 621

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 0A1

Client Services:

Telephone: 416.961.8800

Toll-Free (Canada and U.S.A.): 1.888.534.2222


All Other Inquiries:

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Toll-Free (Canada and U.S.A.): 1.833.966.5588


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