Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Des young people are tired of waiting for a law on sexual violence in schools

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Members of the Youth Voices Count collective spoke to the media. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

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Young people are tired of waiting and want the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, to agree to move forward quickly with a framework law on sexual violence in schools .

This was supported on Sunday afternoon by members of the Youth Voices Count collective, who once again spoke to the media to argue that current measures aimed at preventing violence in sexual character in schools are not sufficient.

According to them, the only way to bring about drastic change in the school network would be to adopt a law dedicated to this issue, similar to that which was adopted in 2017 for colleges and universities.

Minister, with the labor shortage, this situation is not going to get better, warned Theryanne, who is a member of Youth Voices Count.

The case of sexual violence is once again brushed aside by the lack of resources and we note that the safety of young people is not the “number one” priority of the government.

A quote from Theryanne, member of Youth Voices Count

At his side, Kenza, another member of the collective, noted that the group expressed its concerns to Minister Drainville in person in Quebec last spring, but that to this day, we are still waiting for a return call.

We realize that young people are still not part of government decisions, she lamented. Young people should be more included, listened to, and their needs taken into account, because they are the first concerned in these situations.

Addressing his remarks to the first Minister François Legault, Kenza maintained that the government's inaction in regulating sexual violence at school has immeasurable consequences, since it gives the perpetrators the opportunity to pass to the act with complete impunity.

In this sense, she calls for measures that will go beyond awareness posters in toilets.

We demand the law and we officially ask to meet Prime Minister Legault to put an end to this mess, because young people deserve better, pleaded the young activist.

In April, Quebec solidaire MP Ruba Ghazal tabled a bill on this subject, but despite the support of the two other opposition parties in the National Assembly, it did not been placed on the agenda by the government.

At the same time, Minister Drainville launched a general investigation into this issue in March, following several incidents of sexual violence which had occurred in the previous months in several school service centers and which had been reported by the media. /p>

In its report, the Investigations Directorate of the General Directorate of Internal Affairs concluded that there are several flaws in the management of complaints concerning the sexual violence, notably the lack of communication between different employers, the lack of support for teachers and a lack of training for the various stakeholders.

The minister had promised, following the publication of the report, to make legislative changes to respond to the various recommendations, which was reiterated on Sunday by his office in reaction to the public exit of the collective.

When the minister unveiled the investigation report, as he had promised to do, he said he was not ruling out making legislative changes. This option is still on the table.

A quote from the office of the Minister of Education

But during the Youth Voices Count event, Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy and the national spokesperson for the Parti Québécois, Méganne Perry Mélançon, questioned the real will of the government, since things are not progressing. as quickly as they would like.

There has been some progress, but we still do not have this framework law, lamented Ms. Rizqy.

Recently, the government held a press conference, once again, to say that it was coming up with a bill. The press conference was in August. They received the report on violence in schools in July. It seems to me that we are capable of legislating more promptly, more quickly. It seems to me that there is a necessity and an urgency to act.

For her part, Ms. Perry Mélançon recalled that members of Youth Voices Matter, who launched their first call for change six years ago, are no longer even in primary and secondary schools.

In his opinion, young people have done their job to explain why the issue of sexual violence in schools is a priority for them, and the ball is now in the government's court to choose how it wants to tackle this problem.

There, he has the portrait, an investigation report — yet another investigation report x27;investigation –, what we are waiting for is a legislative change, she pleaded.

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