Dec. 17, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is taking a tougher stance on bullying in schools, not just of students, but of teachers as well.
The Department of Education has released its updated Positive Learning Environment Policy. The new policy, called the Positive Learning and Working Environment, specifically includes teachers. Updating the policy was a commitment under the department's When kids come first plan.
"I am pleased that today, as anti-bullying Blue Day is being recognized in schools across the province, that I can release this updated policy in support of the elimination of all types of bullying in our schools," said Education Minister Roland Haché. "Including teachers and support staff in this policy is important to ensure that they, too, have a safe and healthy working environment and are treated with the respect that they deserve."
In addition to expanding the policy to teachers, the updated policy adds bullying and cyber-bullying under the "serious misconduct" section. A new section on conflict resolution and prevention of inappropriate behaviour by parents has been added.
"This updated policy is sorely needed to create a balance in schools," said Noreen Bonnell, co-president, New Brunswick Teacher's (NBTF). "Just as students need a safe environment for learning, teachers and other staff need a workplace that is free from threats, harassment and intimidation."
"Any form of bullying is unacceptable," said Monique Caissie, co-president, NBTF.
"We are delighted to see that schools will now be better equipped to manage this kind of problem and to promote an attitude of non-tolerance toward bullying.
Department of Education policies are available online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Department of Education, 506-444-4919; Blake Robichaud, communications, New Brunswick Teachers' Association, 506-506-452-1833; Rob Frenette, anti-bullying day organizer, 506-549-0367.