Hamilton’s school board delays final report from bullying review panel to 2021

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is offering asymptomatic testing at Saltfleet Secondary School this weekend. Don Mitchell / Global News

Hamilton’s public school system has put off its final report from a bullying prevention panel until 2021 in order to add consultation sessions considered to be “essential” to the process.

The review was originally set for release in December, however, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) trustees granted executive director Manny Figueiredo’s ask for a new target date of Jan. 25, 2021.

The director said the panel requested the extension to complete a literature review, analysis of previous consultation sessions and more feedback through a pair of virtual sessions in early December.

Read more: Conversations about bullying continue a year after the death of Devan Selvey

“They wanted to make sure that the report is presented in a comprehensive way and they want to complete their commitment to these additional sessions,” Figueiredo told the board on Monday night.

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The delay will also provide time for an online thought exchange that will go live in early December and a followup with a student senate session.

Click to play video 'Hamilton-Wentworth district school board votes for panel on bullying intervention' Hamilton-Wentworth district school board votes for panel on bullying intervention
Hamilton-Wentworth district school board votes for panel on bullying intervention – Oct 28, 2019

The panel is targeting the week of Dec. 7 to reveal their draft recommendations to the public and provide an opportunity for more insight from the community before January’s final report.

Figueiredo told the board any additional costs will be picked up through funding provided by the ministry of education and the Hamilton Community Foundation.

The Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel — conceived just months after the stabbing death of Devan Selvey in October 2019 outside Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School — had originally planned for local in-person community meetings prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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