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Auditor says Nova Scotia needs better prevention to address rising school violence

HALIFAX — Reports of school violence in Nova Scotia have increased by 60 per cent since 2017, with schools in the Halifax area accounting for half of all incidents.

In a new report released today, provincial auditor general Kim Adair says the number of violent incidents jumped to 27,000 from 17,000 over the past seven years.

Adair says training and prevention measures have not kept pace with rising violence in schools, resulting in teachers and administrators feeling “unprepared to deal with it.”

The report says the Education Department lacks a cohesive approach to preventing and addressing violence in schools, and Adair recommends it develop a provincewide strategy.

She adds that the province’s code of conduct for schools needs to be updated to better define violence and to offer more guidance to educators on how to deal with it.

Adair says 70 per cent of respondents to her office’s survey said they didn’t receive enough training to manage school violence, while many teachers said they often don’t report incidents because they fear the violence won’t be addressed.

The report says there was no record of action being taken regarding 26,000 of the 142,000 reported incidents over the last seven years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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