A Victoria High School spokesperson confirmed that the school does not tolerate bullying, but would not comment on the student’s allegations.
“Bullying is extremely prevalent in our society. It’s deeply offensive, it’s hurtful, it’s sad and it’s always wrong,” said Commissioner of the Ministry of Education, Glenn De Baeremaeker.
“We know, for every case of bullying, there are three or four incidents of inappropriate communication that have resulted in harm. Our goal is to have zero tolerance for bullying, especially online. We have a dedicated team at the Ministry of Education’s Office of the Children’s Advocate to investigate cases of bullying and we know we are making progress. But we want to take it to the next level. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect all students, and, importantly, to prevent bullying.”
Mr. De Baeremaeker also stressed that an open and welcoming school community is vital to a healthy learning environment.
“We are committed to respecting all students, including those who may be different, or vulnerable. This means making students feel valued and welcome in our classrooms, on our campuses and online,” he said.
“We are partnering with hundreds of organizations to ensure students are encouraged to explore all forms of expression and expression is not limited just by language, sexual orientation or gender identity. Teachers and staff know how important it is to our students to feel safe and supported to explore their beliefs, and we work to provide the supportive environment we know will help them do that.”
While the school has not received any complaints of harassment or bullying, Mr. De Baeremaeker said staff are aware of any concerns students may have.
The provincial government says it has set a goal to see all Canadian public schools become inclusive and tolerant communities, but more work is required.
“All public schools have an obligation to create and maintain an inclusive and welcoming environment that is free from discrimination, harassment and bullying of any kind,” said Robert Chisholm, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“The Ministry of Education is committed to working with school boards across the province to promote an inclusive and respectful learning environment in every school, and we are partnering with a variety of partners to advance this goal. There is always room for improvement, and I would encourage school boards to share their experiences and learn from them so that all of our children can learn together in an environment that is respectful of all.”
Chisholm’s office did not immediately respond to calls from the National Post for comment on the allegations against the high school.