Minister doesn’t know what Safe and Caring Schools policy will cost

James
James McLeod
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Education Minister Clyde Jackman launched a suite of policies Monday aimed at curbing bullying and inappropriate behaviour in the province’s schools.

Clyde Jackman

The Safe and Caring Schools policy is a revised version of an older suite of policies, and in a government news release, Jackman said it’s fundamentally about protecting kids while they’re in school.

“We started with the premise that every child deserves to feel safe, protected and accepted for who they are, within the school environment and, indeed, in all aspects of their lives,” he said.

But Liberal Education critic Jim Bennett had a simple question in the House of Assembly Monday afternoon: what’s it going to cost?

“I say to the minister: great announcements do not make for great government, but implementation does, and implementation costs money,” Bennett said.

“I ask the minister of Education: what is the budget that he set aside to implement the new Safe and Caring Schools policy?”

Jackman didn’t answer the question, although he assured Bennett that the policy will, in fact, be implemented.

So Bennett tried again, asking the question even more plainly.

“Mr. Speaker, it was a simple question: How much? How much money did the minister set aside to implement this policy?” he asked.

This time, Jackman responded by talking about all of the different “stakeholders” who were involved — the students, the police, the teachers’ union and the Federation of School Councils — but he didn’t say how much it will cost.

Bennett asked a third time how much the policy will cost.

“I cannot give the man an actual number,” Jackman admitted, saying that it’ll be implemented, no matter what it costs.

“We are going to work with our partners, all of those agencies from school councils to the NLTA. We work to now implement this program. There has not been a stronger program in the school to counter bullying and to seek out appropriate behaviours before.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Safe and Caring Schools, Federation of School Councils

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Recent comments

  • Dee
    December 03, 2013 - 10:15

    I have a young son attending Jr High he has been bullied for many years and still is in his final year of Jr High,why I don't know he is a good kid but he is not a fighter and I guess that's the problem,it don't matter what the cost these kids should be suppended not just spend their lunch break in the office they should be suspended for rest of the term.But then you have parents who will fight it saying my kid should not be suspended,if your childisselling drugs,beating on other kids,carrying knives to school well they shouldn't be in school with my kid.Why should my child get up in the morning and dread another day of school this should be the best days of their lives.Believe me I know where my son is and what he's does he won't even go to the mall to see a movie afraid to run into the same crowd.And that's a shame.

  • Sheila
    December 03, 2013 - 07:22

    If the parent/s of the bully were charged a fine that increased with every bullying episode by their child they would raise enough money I am sure. There is no real penalty for the bully or the parent/s as it stands now. It should be 2nd time and child welfare is brought in along with the police. For physical bullying the police should be called first time.

  • Ronnie
    December 03, 2013 - 07:20

    Here's some advise for Minister Jackman.... stop wasting money on anti-bullying measures, and start spending it on student safety, like bussing regulations. Anti-bullying starts at home and in the classroom.... we don't need to spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell us what we already know. It's high time Minister Jackman come to Paradise and walk from my house to the Paradise elementary school and then let me know if the current bussing policies are safe! Try crossing Topsail Road at 8 in the morning with four lanes, half asleep and the other half on their phones texting and checking the sports scores. I can assure you, there is going to be someone killed on their way to Paradise Elementary; and the Government doesn't give a damn. 1.6 km rule needs to change for certain circumstances.

    • Jim
      December 03, 2013 - 10:19

      With respect to this comment I would agree that anti-bullying starts at home and in the classroom, but is teaching kids to be aware of their situation while texting not the same? If kids are half asleep is that not also a family responsibility to ensure proper sleep. No amount of money is going to fix stupid either.