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Final two sessions of Hamilton school board’s bullying review panel will be online

The remaining sessions of the HWDSB's Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel are set to take place virtually in September.
The remaining sessions of the HWDSB's Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel are set to take place virtually in September. Google Maps

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has set dates for its final sessions contributing to a report on bullying.

The “Let’s Talk About Bullying” safe schools campaign was to be 15 sessions scheduled between February and March of 2020. However, the remaining discussions were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last two meetings, originally set to be in-person in Waterdown, will take place virtually on Sept. 22 at 6:00 p.m. and Sept. 29 at 6:00 p.m.

Those who wish to take part can register online through Eventbrite. Registration closes for the Waterdown on Sunday, September 20 at 6 p.m.

Read more: Review panel tackling bullying in Hamilton schools starts this week

“We remain committed to providing feedback and recommendations on how to prevent, intervene, respond to and report bullying thanks to the valuable input provided by participants across our community,” review panellist Jean Clinton said in a release on Thursday.

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“The panel and HWDSB aim to build collaborative solutions that further contribute to safe learning environments, equity and social justice for all HWDSB students.”

Click to play video 'Hamilton Police charge two teens in murder of 14-year-old Devan Selvey' Hamilton Police charge two teens in murder of 14-year-old Devan Selvey
Hamilton Police charge two teens in murder of 14-year-old Devan Selvey

The panel includes Clinton, a clinical professor in the department of psychology, psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster University, Brenda Flaherty, an assistant professor at McMaster’s school of nursing, and Gary Warner, a former professor who has experience with issues related to poverty, human rights, anti-racism, immigration and social justice.

The deadline for the final report is now set for no later than Dec. 16, according to HWDSB spokesperson Shawn McKillop.

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

An interim report has already been submitted based on previous sessions and feedback the panel has received so far.

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

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.