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Professional Advisory - Responding to Bullying of Students - Backgrounder

October 03 2017

Why is the College issuing this advisory?

The Ontario College of Teachers regulates Ontario’s teaching profession in the public interest. Professional Advisories guide members in their professional practice. The College has a legal duty and an ethical obligation to the public to provide such advice to its 238,000 members.

The advisory provides clear advice, which helps to support members’ professional judgment in responding to the bullying of students.

To whom does this advisory apply?

This advisory applies to all 238,000 Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) including teachers, vice-principals, principals, consultants, supervisory officers, directors of education and those working in non-school board positions. It also affects members working in public, private, independent schools, and elsewhere.

What specific advice is the College providing?

We want teachers to:

  • recognize the signs of bullying;
  • intervene early;
  • support students who are bullied;
  • promote disclosure;
  • provide guidance to students who bully.

Why are you releasing your advice now?

Bullying is a persistent and evolving problem in education and society. Teachers have said that they need clear, consistent advice about how to respond to the bullying of students.

Who was involved in the development of the advisory?

To develop the advisory, the College consulted with individuals and groups representing Ontario’s education stakeholders, including teachers, employers, education faculties, and professional associations, as well as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, police, social workers, school counsellors, and Indigenous community members.

Where will it be available?

The advisory is available on the College website at oct.ca. It was mailed to all 238,000 members at the beginning of the current school year.

Where can teachers go for additional information on this topic?

Teachers can consult their employers, teacher federations and professional associations, or visit the College website.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

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