Charlottetown, PE - Children are one of our province’s most vulnerable populations. With 19,000 children in our Island schools we have an obligation to ensure their safety and protection. Recent events have shown us more should, and can, be done to address misconduct in our schools.
It’s important for all sexual misconduct policies of Island schools to be updated regularly. It is also important that the public - family members, friends, and concerned Islanders - have the ability to provide their valuable input into the policy creation and review process.
Karla Bernard, MLA for Charlottetown-Victoria Park and Official Opposition Critic for Education and Lifelong Learning, is proposing legislation to amend the Education Act. These amendments are designed to provide greater accountability, transparency, and public input on the issue of sexual misconduct in Island schools.
The proposed legislation would:
require each education authority (school board) to include information regarding sexual misconduct in its annual report, including the number of complaints of sexual misconduct reported under its sexual misconduct policy and information about the supports, services, and accommodations available to students as they relate to incidents to sexual misconduct;
establish new requirements for an education authority to solicit public input when creating a new policy or reviewing an existing policy;
require each education authority to review its sexual misconduct policy every three years or on request of the Minister;
provide new regulation-making powers to the Minister to prescribe the required contents of a sexual misconduct policy.
The Office of the Official Opposition is seeking public feedback on this proposed legislation. Islanders are invited to review the proposed legislation at:
Public feedback can be submitted online by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be accepted until 12:00 PM on Monday, June 22, 2020.