Penelope Chester, CCLA
(416) 363-0321 ext 225
Anti-Bullying Bill 13 – CCLA To Make Submissions At Queen’s Park Today
TORONTO – May 14, 2012 – The Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of the Equality Program, will be speaking today at 3:30 p.m. to the Standing Committee on Social Policy during the public hearings for Bill 13, An Act to amend the Education Act with respect to bullying and other matters and Bill 14, An Act to designate Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in Schools and to provide for bullying prevention curricula, policies and administrative accountability in schools.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association applauds the spirit and intention of Bill 13 to protect vulnerable students from the kind of bullying and harassment that can transform an important educational and development experience into a terrifying and traumatic one. While CCLA does not challenge the merit of the new legislation, its submissions will focus on the following areas:
- The constitutionally protected fundamental rights and freedoms of young people (freedom of expression, freedom of association, equality, the right to life and to security of the person)
- Gay-Straight Alliances – and the rights of students to choose the names of their clubs
- The consequences of bullying
- The definition of bullying – creating a safe space for students that also allows them to engage in meaningful discussions about controversial issues of importance bullying
- Educational versus punitive approaches to bullying, and the disparate impact of mandatory punishments on minority students
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s submissions to the Committee will seek to reconcile the pressing and substantial concern of protecting vulnerable students from bullying, with a respect for students’ constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as freedom of expression, association and equality.
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv will be available for comment following the presentation.