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Petition Tag - antibullying
Currently children who are in special education are still presented to the student body and public in a separate category labeled "Special areas" or the like.
A child who is at a certain grade level but needs one on one instruction and is included in the special education program will be referred to as "special" in many awards programs and sometimes even yearbooks. This way of categorizing children is a very outdated notion, for we as a society are trying to stop the bullying and teach our children acceptance of the differences of their peers. This is teaching all the children that there is something different and perhaps less about the children in special education.
This makes these children more of a target for bullying and stereotypes and also will attach a social stigma to that person that will last throughout their lives. Mostly the schools have done a good job with inclusion as far as academics and socially, but there is still some work to do. As a parent of 2 children with autism and a former student at the schools they attend, I have been on both sides of the situation.
I remember how cruel children would be to other children only because they were labeled as special needs and they wouldn't be socially included. To this day when I see these people out and about the first thing I remember about them is the fact that they were in special education and how they were categorized. Also, it could have undesirable effects on the self esteem of the children in special education, as they could feel ostracized.
This is really unnecessary and can easily be altered to preserve the dignity of our children who will be productive adults in our community one day. Thank you for your time.
Ontario - Bill 13, Accepting Schools Act, 2012 is before the Ontario Legislature. In short the bill amendments to the 'Education Act' are to:
- Provide a clear definition of bullying of "the behaviour is intended by the pupil to cause, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would be likely to cause, harm, fear or distress to another individual, including psychological harm or harm to the individual’s reputation, "
- Bullying behaviour includes the use of any physical, verbal, electronic, written or other means.
- Require boards to develop and implement an equity and inclusive education policy
- Promote a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils, including pupils of any race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability;
- Promote the prevention of bullying
- The third Sunday in November in each year is proclaimed as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.
Note: All facts can be validated here: http://ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=2549