Dear Families of the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board:
We are truly blessed to be part of a Catholic education community bounded by faith and which cherishes the dignity and respect of all people. Especially during this Lenten season, we reflect on Jesus’ suffering, sacrificial death and resurrection and remind ourselves to model Him in our actions and words. We are also reminded of our board’s Catholic values, which guide us every day within our teaching and learning environment.
In recent months, we have been witnessing more intolerance throughout society. Even in our own board, we have experienced a slight increase in incidents involving verbal abuse, bullying and aggressive behaviour. It is distressing for us to hear about these incidents as I know how traumatic they can be for those involved.
I wish to emphasize that no person - student, staff, family member or visitor - should be subjected to disrespectful and threatening words or actions. Students and staff have the right to learn and work in a harassment free and respectful environment. Staff and students who witness or feel threatened by an act of aggression should immediately report the incident. I have asked staff members to continue to be attentive and vigilant in addressing intolerance, use of inappropriate language and bullying among students. We will work closely with our students to ensure that their language is respectful and appropriate at all times.
Together, we model what it means to be people of faith who celebrate differences, are patient in nature and generous of spirit. It is our collective responsibility to speak out and stand up to injustice and unkindness so that we may all learn and grow with dignity and respect. I thank you in advance for your unwavering support of this important endeavour.
I look forward to celebrating the amazing work we will continue to do in each of our school communities throughout the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.
Yours in Faith,
Director of Education