Bullying and violence at school | The training promised to students will be optional this fall

(Quebec) Training for students promised by Bernard Drainville in his Plan for the Prevention of Violence and Bullying in Schools will be optional this fall, then mandatory only in 2025. The Autonomous Education Federation (FAE) fears that these courses are “sprinkled” throughout the regular program.


Posted at 5:53 p.m.

“I want as many people as possible to obtain this training. My first reflex is to ensure that they are compulsory,” expressed the Minister of Education on the sidelines of a first day of mobilization for the prevention of violence and bullying in schools, which took place Friday in Quebec.

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PHOTO JOSIE DESMARAIS, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

The Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville

However, the minister’s team then specified that training for students will be optional for the first year, and only compulsory from 2025. The educational content will be ready in time for the next school year or at the start of the year, confirmed Mr. Drainville. “Tools” will be provided to teaching staff to provide training.

When presenting its action plan to combat bullying and violence at school in October, Quebec committed to improving the compulsory education that will be provided to students regarding violence and mental health. The minister plans between seven and nine hours of teaching on these subjects per year for primary and secondary students.

The FAE admitted to having learned this Friday that these courses will be optional for the first year. “You’re teaching me,” the vice-president for educational life, Annie Primeau, told reporters. According to her, if the content is not found “within a particular curriculum,” it risks being “sprinkled” all over the regular program.

Or it is the materials with few hours or units that will find themselves crushed. For example, the Quebec Culture and Citizenship course […] risks being the course in which we could remove teaching hours to pass this optional content which will be added.

Annie Primeau, vice-president for educational life at the FAE

Teachers and school staff will also be trained on “the most effective preventive actions and interventions” that can be deployed. In their case, the training will remain optional, the minister’s office indicated on Friday.

A “simultaneous mobilization”

Bernard Drainville took advantage of his closing speech at the event – ​​which took place largely behind closed doors – to clarify the progress of the first violence and bullying prevention week which will be held in March 2025 in Quebec schools.

This measure is also part of the minister’s action plan. Mr. Drainville announced that during this week there will be a moment of “simultaneous mobilization” where in all schools in the province, students and all school staff “will talk about the fight against violence and intimidation.”

“We want to highlight the importance that this has, as a society, and the fact that we do not want “zero tolerance” to be just a slogan,” declared Mr. Drainville.

He stressed that the discussions with the approximately 300 participants in the forum on Friday will “feed” his thinking with a view to “strengthening” his action plan.

The minister considers that he has heard “very interesting” ideas such as the way in which certain school service centers count cases of violence and intimidation or the approach of supporting the child bully by community organizations outside. of the network.

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