Thousands of incidents reported to LKDSB safe schools forum

(From left to right) Taylor Robinson, Samantha Wiltschut, Makayla Riley, and Bradon Burnham taking part in the anti- bullying campaign at Great Lakes Secondary School in Sarnia. November 2019. ( file photo by Colin Gowdy)

A superintendent with the Lambton Kent District School Board [LKDSB] says thousands of incidents have been reported through their safe schools forum since it started online reporting a few years ago.

Gary Girardi, who is responsible for human resources and safe schools, said all school boards in the province have moved to online reporting to ensure a positive and safe learning and working environment.

“The use of the forum, and the movement to online, is to promote reporting of incidents at a school, specifically amongst staff in the building in our schools so that we can make sure that we are aware of incidents and we do a thorough investigation,” said Girardi.

He said the board has a process for monitoring and follow-up.

“Incidents that occur are important to us and we need to make sure that they’re properly investigated.”

The forum can be used to report a number of concerns for student safety, including; bullying, hate-related incidents and human trafficking.

“We’ve received roughly 3,000 incidents reported on the online format since about 2020, when we moved to┬áthe online format. That occurred in the midst of the pandemic, so we’re still trying to establish a baseline.”

Girardi said the level of severity can range from a brief investigation to something much more complex.

“We are encouraging of staff to use this format because it’s in the interest of the board that we are aware of things in the school that cause concern and we are interested in being able to document and then try to investigate and come up with a solution that works for the school, the community, the students and our staff.”

Girardi said the LKDSB has other methods for families to submit concerns, including; online, over the phone, or by speaking with staff directly.

Details can be found here.