Background

Cases of bullying and school violence are a major concern and alarming reality for most people in our society.

In 2005, the Auditor General of Quebec became interested in the phenomenon of violence in schools and made recommendations to the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) and school boards. He notably recommended that they develop a more accurate outline of the current situation, implement efficient intervention protocols and evaluate the impact of these practices.

In 2008, the MELS launched its three-year action plan to prevent and deal with violence in schools called “Violence in the schools: Let's work on it together!” Many measures were presented, including hiring regional support officers, creating regional resource groups with stakeholders from the educational field and partners of the schools and school boards, organizing support services to foster the reintegration of suspended or expelled students and foster the implementation of effective means in order to act early, and establishing a reporting system to provide an overview of the situation by listing any manifestations of violence observed in Quebec schools and school boards.

The action plan also put forward a localized intervention plan. This strategy is a reflective, structured and concerted process involving all parties of the school team, which is rooted in research findings that contribute to a safe and healthy environment and for which we have a capacity for action in school contexts. Since 2008, the action plan team has been working in close collaboration with school boards to implement regional intervention plans in schools.

In 2012, the Government Strategy Against Bullying and Violence in the Schools was launched. This strategy translates into four components: mobilization, communication, legislation and action.

Falling within the “legislation” component, the adoption of Bill 56 amended the Education Act and detailed the duties and responsibilities of students, school administrators, governing boards, parents, school boards and student ombudspeople. The Bill notably requires that every public and private educational institution adopt and implement an anti-bullying and anti-violence plan.

The application of the provisions of the law prompts educational institutions to reflect on their practices. Such a reflection must necessarily take into account students’ specific needs, especially when considering students which present a high level of vulnerability.

This is the case for students with handicaps, social maladjustments or learning difficulties (SHSMLD).

The information presented in this website is based on ministerial guidance and on Bill 56. It is no substitute for the thought process and concerted efforts of the school administration and its team with regards to the special needs of students with handicaps, social maladjustments or learning difficulties as they pertain to the prevention and fight against violence and bullying in schools.

This tool is of a changing nature in that its contents are influenced by the support requirements of educational institutions and ministerial guidance in relation to the prevention of and fight against violence and bullying. Its application is therefore not systematic, but rather left up to the judgment of school boards, school administrators and school personnel.

This tool is not an official document of the Ministère, but an initiative that introduces support measures in an effort to meet regional needs. As such, the website serves as an additional tool to supplement existing reference material.