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LETTER: It's time parents step up to help with rising violence in schools

Schools are experiencing an increasing number of incidents of disruption, aggression, destruction, and disrepect by students with significant behavioural challenges, says the Newmarket Parent Network

Violence in our elementary schools: What can parents do?

Ontario’s elementary school teachers have been saying for years that the critical lack of support for children with serious behavioural issues has led to a rise in violent outbursts that puts students and teachers at risk. Our school board and the provincial government need to address it with more funding for special education and children’s mental health.

We definitely need more supports in classrooms and schools, from kindergarten through Grade 8. We need more educational assistants, child and youth workers, social workers and psychologists. We need all of this quickly to get rid of the long wait lists for assessments and interventions. 

Schools are experiencing an increasing number of incidents of disruption, aggression, destruction, and disrepect by students with significant behavioural challenges. These students need help. The students who are witnessing these incidents also need help. School staff need help. As a community, I feel that it’s time that parents step up to help. Our children deserve better. 

Please join us on Tuesday, March 19th at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Church at 461 Park Ave. at Main Street in Newmarket. We’ll hear from David Clegg, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario - York Region, for the teachers’ perspective. We’ll also hear from Roxanne Francis, psychotherapist and social worker from Newmarket Psychotherapy Team, who will provide information regarding the possible effects of witnessing violent incidents in their classrooms and how we can help our children. 

Our goals for this event are to make parents and guardians more aware of the frequency of violent incidents in our schools, as well as the issues and complexities that we as parents face when we turn to the school administration and school board for help, to help parents advocate for their children, and to inform parents of where they can direct their questions and concerns around the alarming increase in violent incidents in our elementary schools.

We want to help parents advocate for their children. We hope to work together as a community for solutions and positive outcomes.

Please RSVP through http://www.eventbrite.com

For more information about this event, please visit Newmarket Parent Network’s Facebook or Twitter feeds. You can also email shameela.shakeel@yahoo.com

Shameela Shakeel, Chair of Speaker Series, Newmarket Parent Network