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Safe Schools Action team to consult in Sudbury

(CNW)The McGuinty government is reviewing the safe schools provisions for the first time since the rules were enacted in 2001 to see if they are working.
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(CNW)The McGuinty government is reviewing the safe schools provisions for the first time since the rules were enacted in 2001 to see if they are working.

Liz Sandals, parliamentary assistant to Minister of Community Safety and
Correctional Services Monte Kwinter is leading the Action Team of safety
experts who are implementing the Safe Schools Action plan. The team is holding consultations in various communities including Sudbury.

A consultation session, in both English and French will be held Monday, Dec. 5 at Laurentian University's Science 2 cafeteria from 7 to 9 pm.

"This is the first time a provincial picture of suspensions and expulsions have been gathered and it supports the need for a public review," said Education Minister Gerald Kennedy in a news release.

Data collected, verified and made public this week indicated the act is not being consistently applied across the province and that northern school boards have a higher rate suspension than school boards in big cities.

Boards report an extremely large variance in the rates of suspensions from 0.5 percent of students in one board to 36 percent of students in another.

The most recent data collected from the 2003-04 school year shows that
the vast majority of students, over 92 percent, followed their schools code of conduct and did not receive a suspension and over 99.9 percent did not receive an expulsion.

In 2003-04, 152,626 students (or 7.2 percent of the total student population) were suspended. Of those: Over 65 percent were suspended only once; boys were more than three times more likely to be suspended than girls; and northern and rural boards were more likely to have higher suspension rates than urban boards.



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