Violence and bullying: why is it still an issue?

Dear parents,

It seems like hardly a week goes by without hearing about a case of violence or bullying in the school community. After twelve years of mandatory anti-bullying and anti-violence plans in every school, and so many discussions about solutions, why is this scourge still so present?

What parents tell us

Parents feel helpless when their child is involved in a situation of violence or bullying, whether as victim, witness or perpetrator. For most, their first instinct is the right one: to contact the school. But sometimes it takes a long time to get a follow-up. And sometimes there is no adequate follow-up. When the situation isn’t handled by the school, the parent doesn’t know who to turn to. Especially as there are so many issues for parents to deal with at the moment.

Why is it so difficult to stop?

In my opinion, violence and bullying in schools are not taken seriously enough. Even today, cases between students are often reduced to childish squabbles. We need to rethink the way we approach the problem and stop minimizing it, because violence and bullying have far-reaching consequences. All the students involved need support.

Espace publicitaire

The world in which our children evolve has changed so much since the parents of today were the students, especially with the Internet and social networks. For the most part, young people stay connected, which extends interactions, both positive and negative, beyond the school day.

With recent high-profile cases, we can no longer say we didn’t know. We can no longer pretend that violence and bullying don’t exist when we see so many troublesome situations.


As parents, we need to be role models for our children, initiating conversations about the consequences of violence and bullying, and behaving respectfully both in front of our children and online.

Parents and school staff should establish fluid, two-way communication. In the event of a problem, the channels of communication are already known and open.

We need real prevention, by establishing a culture of respect and kindness in our schools. Reports should be treated seriously, not with suspicion or derision.

The procedures and recourses in cases of bullying and violence should be clarified for everyone: students, parents and staff. Those involved often don’t know what to do, or the administrative aspect of interventions and recourses discourages taking action.

These solutions seem so obvious but are far from being implemented everywhere.

The anti-bullying and anti-violence plan must be known and used as a real tool. It should not only be a prevention plan, but also an action and intervention plan, to ensure results. Those plans must now include sections on sexual violence. All those involved in the school should be aware of its content.

Lastly, Bill 47 aimed at reinforcing the protection of students, currently studied at the National Assembly, must be improved and adopted. The FCPQ is following this issue closely and is also calling for the study of a framework law to specifically prevent and counter sexual violence in the school environment.

We are also following the progress of another bill affecting student safety, Bill 48, which amends the Road Safety Code, and for which we have issued recommendations to extend its scope and further protect students on their way to and from school.

Parents have been talking about the same solutions for years. With recent high-profile cases of violence at school, I hope we can move forward together to put a stop to violence and bullying. And if talking about it one more time can encourage a parent to start a discussion with their child about a difficult subject, that’s something.

On that note, I’d like to wish you a wonderful spring break, or a safe return, depending on where you are in Quebec. I hope you were able or will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some family activities!

Mélanie Laviolette, président

Violence and bullying resources for parents

The portal : resources for parents
A Guide to assist parents whose children are facing violence or bullying issues at school.
School Violence and Bullying Prevention Plan 2023-2028
The National Student Ombudsman and the school complaints procedure

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