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Hamilton public school board’s bullying review panel delayed by COVID-19

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has suspended its panel studying bullying in city schools indefinitely due to COVID-19.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has suspended its panel studying bullying in city schools indefinitely due to COVID-19. Don Mitchell / Global News Radio

The final report from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s bullying review panel has been delayed due to COVID-19.

The Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel says the remainder of its public consultation sessions, which were scheduled to be held last month, will now be held in the fall, which means the final report has been delayed indefinitely.

It was initially scheduled to be presented by a Sept. 30 deadline.

READ MORE: Review panel tackling bullying in Hamilton schools starts this week

An interim report will still be submitted to the school board on May 25 based on the sessions and feedback the panel has received so far.

An online survey that was initially scheduled for April will also be postponed until the fall.

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The panel says this is to ensure that the survey “has a high engagement rate and is reflective of all communities to allow the panel to make the most appropriate recommendations.”

READ MORE: ‘Everyone failed my son’ — Mother of slain Hamilton teen speaks out about bullying

The review was called for by the board after 14-year-old Devan Selvey was fatally stabbed outside of his east Hamilton high school last October.

Devan’s mother, Shari-Ann Selvey, said she repeatedly tried to get help for her son, who was frequently bullied at school before he was killed.

A 14-year-old boy is charged with first-degree murder in Devan’s death. An 18-year-old man who cannot be identified due to a publication ban is also facing charges.