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Home News HWDSB report suggests 2022-23 school year may set a record for violent incidents

HWDSB report suggests 2022-23 school year may set a record for violent incidents

A report prepared for Hamilton Wentworth District School Board trustees paints an alarming picture of student violence, hate events, bullying and disrespect for authority. The HWDSB has been averaging 4,000 suspensions per year since 2017-2018, That figure excludes the school year 2020-21 when the schools were closed most of the time because of the pandemic.

Most frequent infractions that resulted in suspensions were:

  • Code of Conduct violations (vaping, repeated disrespect) 1,114 suspensions
  • Fighting/violence not requiring medical attention: 809 suspensions
  • Board-set infractions: 926 suspensions for acts that include:
    • Throwing, shoving pushing: 442 suspensions
    • Biting, spitting, kicking:187 suspensions
    • Throwing items, pulling alarm: 145 suspensions
    • Using Social Media negatively: 129 suspensions

Serious incidents where expulsion must be considered include:

  • Acts motivated by prejudice, hate or bias: 207 events
  • Possession of a weapon: 81 events
  • Possession of a weapon to threaten/cause bodily harm: 29 events
  • Assault requiring medical attention: 52 events
  • Sexual assault 29 events

All of these events led to a total of 46 expulsions. The average for the four school years, excluding 2020-21 is 38 expulsions.

Current school year could set a record

The current year looks like it could be the worst for serious incidents. For the first five months of the current school year there have already been 2500 incidents, mostly made up of swearing at teacher (481), Threatening bodily harm (431) and bullying (365). There have already been 114 incidents of physical assault requiring medical attention, over 100 weapons incidents, 86 hate incidents and 92 incidents of repeat bullying where the perpetrator has already been suspended for bullying.

The report identifies several reporting procedures that must be followed. The suspension and incident stats are part of a Positive Culture and Well-Being report that the trustees will discuss at their Monday meeting of the Program Committee. The board has hired Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA’s) whose task will be to “assess behaviour concerns, student participation and skills development targeted at improving safety.” They already have social workers, psychologists and other experts on hand to assist.

15 percent of students seeking mental health support

The board also conducted a survey of students from Garde 7-12 that identified 80 percent of students experiencing some stress from the academic aspect of school and fully 15 percent had accessed mental health supports.

The report says principals and vice principals are getting training “regarding safe and inclusive environments, suspension/expulsion processes and responding to hate/bias and secure schools. New vice-principals and principals also learned about HWDSB Secure School Protocols (e.g., Lockdown, Shelter in Place, Hold and Secure).  Throughout the fall, schools reviewed their outdoor lockdown processes and procedures to ensure outdoor lockdowns could be initiated safely. “

70 Percent of Toronto principals say they are losing control of student behavior crisis

The Hamilton report comes as nearly three-quarters of principals and vice-principals at Toronto schools say that they are finding it increasingly difficult to manage student behaviour, with many of them expressing a concern about an uptick in violence.

Nearly four of 10 respondents (36 per cent) also indicated that violence was on the rise in their school, “including fighting, verbal abuse, and in some cases, the possession of weapons.”

The report went on to say, “Some administrators have indicated that almost 90 per cent of their days are spent dealing with issues related to student behaviours, crisis intervention, or student well-being. At the same time, administrators note that at times, parental support in dealing with serious behavioural issues has led to harassment from parents and/or community members, with 40 per cent of respondents indicating a lack of support when dealing with confrontational interactions with parents and workplace harassment.”


  • hmmmm. bunch of reckless citizens and pundits stoking unwarranted fears about “woke”, “predator” teachers and school staff “brainwashing” and “grooming” the children. bunch of reckless pundits and citizens stoking fear and loathing about one single teacher in the GTA being a bad influence on students and “destroying” the education system while the students and their parents call in daily bomb threats and stand outside the school cursing and swearing and threatening harm to the gay or trans community. and look at the results.

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