MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 – In coordination with the UNICEF Rights Respecting School program, on Friday morning, teachers at Westmount Park Elementary School (15 Park Place) will receive the first in one of many workshops intended to promote respecting rights in school.
Under the guise of Daphna Leibovici, Violence Prevention Consultant at the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and Helen Moise, Education Manager at UNICEF Canada, Friday’s session will introduce basic concepts of restorative justice practices to Westmount Park’s teaching staff. The workshop aims to provoke reflection and discussion on how schools can adopt restorative practices as an alternative to traditional means of dealing with conflicts and wrongdoings in school.
Also in attendance was Cédrick Beauregard, directeur général de La Fondation Jasmin Roy (Le Jasmin Roy Foundation). Last year, Westmount Park received a $10,000 grant from the foundation to fund ongoing work intended to foster the prevention of discrimination, bullying and violence in the school. The grant was vital in helping the school achieve their goal to become a UNICEF Rights Respecting School. The grant came as a result of former principal Nathalie Lacroix's initiatives to introduce, implement and support many violence prevention initiatives at the school.
The Rights Respecting School program is designed to be a framework for educational improvement that builds upon what schools are already doing to transform the whole school with a consistent, rights-based approach. The Rights Respecting School program reinforces provincial and territorial efforts to create a learning environment in which both children and adults feel respected and act responsibly. According to UNICEF Canada, schools which have adopted Rights Respecting School throughout the country have seen improved learning in the classroom, a decline in bullying and absenteeism, increased compassion, improved classroom and school atmosphere and increased global awareness.