Hamilton

Panel established after stabbing death of 14-year-old to deliver final report to HWDSB trustees

The review panel set up following the death of Devan Selvey has delivered its final report to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) Trustees.

Report based on extensive community consultation on how HWDSB can better address and prevent bullying

Photos of Devan Selvey sit among stuffed animals, flowers and messages of support at a makeshift memorial outside the 14-year-old's Hamilton home following his death on Oct. 7, 2019. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

The review panel set up following the death of teen Devan Selvey has delivered its final report to Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) Trustues.

The panel was announced on Nov. 12, 2019 after Selvey, 14, was stabbed to death behind Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School on Oct. 7.

Many details about his death remain unclear, but friends and family say Selvey had been a victim of persistent bullying.

The Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel says its report "is based on extensive community consultation on how Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) can better address and prevent bullying."

Trustees will receive the report and discuss its findings and recommendations during their board meeting on Monday, Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be streamed live on HWDSBtv.

In December, the review panel made 10 recommendations for ways Hamilton's public school board can improve how it handles bullying.

Sixty per cent of the students it heard from experienced bullying of some kind pre-COVID-19, with 20 per cent reporting they were bullied frequently, reads the report.

"Bullying is a significant problem in HWDSB schools that affects multiple demographic groups and identities," reads a portion titled "What we heard and learned."

The panel also says parents who shared concerns that the board's existing bullying policies and procedures are applied inconsistently, pointing to "lack of action" and "poor follow through" as problems.

Seventy-one per cent of staff who were surveyed reported witnessing frequent student bullying in the last school year (pre-COVID-19), according to the panel's findings.

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