Rainy River District School Board recognizes International Day of Pink

The Rainy River District School Board is committed to providing a safe and positive learning environment for all of its students. The School Board recognizes that the International Day of Pink – April 9, 2014 – highlights an issue of critical importance, and as such, schools throughout the District will celebrate the Day of Pink with the launch of an online bullying incident report for students to use if they are experiencing or witnessing bullying at school.

Students and staff are encouraged to wear pink, and will be engaged in various activities on April 9, 2014 to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being. A number of Rainy River District School Board initiatives, programs and strategies are in place to create a learning environment where everyone feels welcome and respected. The Board's Character Education curriculum helps students to understand, to care about, and to act upon core ethical values. Student mentorship and mediation programs build leadership and conflict management skills. Me to We activities and events inspire and empower students to make their schools and communities a better place by starting a positive chain reaction. In partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police, schools throughout the Board have implemented the commonsense.org curriculum to promote digital citizenship and helps children recognize and prevent online risks.

In 2013, the Rainy River District School Board was one of two school boards in Ontario that piloted the Respect in School online bullying and harassment prevention training for staff, with the pilot continuing throughout the 2013-14 school year. Diversity and inclusiveness training, such as Egale has been received by many of the School Board’s staff members and high school students to remove discrimination and stigma and to provide support so that all persons can achieve their full potential. Plans are underway and teaching staff and secondary level students from across the region are invited to the Celebration of Inclusive Schools, a symposium on LGBTQ-Straight Alliance school based programs, sponsored by the Rainy River District School Board.

According to statistics, most students in Canada have been bullied at one time in their lives. In some cases, bullying is an ongoing issue that can seriously affect the lives of both those being bullied and the bully. Despite best efforts, incidents of bullying do occur and to assist schools in responding to such incidents, the Rainy River District School Board’s Code of Conduct sets out clear standards of behavior for everyone involved in the school system. The School Board has also trained staff members from across the District on restorative practices, holding students accountable for their actions, while promoting understanding and restoring the relationship between the victim and the offender.