Students at four different high schools across the city are staging a walkout today as part of the "Not Just Rumours" movement. The movement calls attention to sexual misconduct and abuse in schools, and hopes to get the Ministry of Education to do more to keep students safe.
The walkouts are happening at 1:30 pm at Harbord Collegiate Institute, Etobicoke and Rosedale School of the Arts and Central Toronto Academy.
All Harbord Collegiate Institute students help us in our movement by joining us Tuesday April 24th for a lunchtime walkout in front of our school. This is a first step, on May 11th everyone walk with us to Queens Park at 1:30pm.— Not Just Rumours (@NotJustRumours)
According to the movement's organizers, most cases of sexual abuse against students are treated as "just rumours" and aren't taken seriously. Ontario's current "Protecting Students Act" doesn't give students and teachers enough resources to report sexual misconduct, so the reports often get dropped and forgotten.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education made their first major improvement to the system. Ontario teaches will now lose their license if they're found guilty of sexually touching a student.
But, participants in the "Not Just Rumours" movement say that there's a lot more that needs to be done. They're fighting mandatory training on sexual misconducts in schools, including how to define sexual misconduct, recognize signs, and report it.
The "Not Just Rumours" movement has started an online petition, and they have nearly 18,000 signatures so far.
Source: City News