Welcome to the ESP Discussion Board! Feel
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For immediate information, please call 416-808-7430
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay you guys all seem to have addressed bullying at one time
or another as a big issue but you guys have never thought
about the bullying done to kids in special E.D. programs.
I should know.........Always as a little kid I was bullied
for being in a special E.D. program. I didn't have any friends
and I felt very alone in the world. I remember crying every
night before I went to bed. As I started middle school I made
friends and got out of my depression. This is a topic close
to my heart that I feel needs to be adressed. In grade 7 I
brought a learning disabled support group into my school called
Integra. It really moved people and made
a big impact on my school. Integra is located in Toronto.
If you think this is an issuse that doesn't affect your school
well it does. Did you know that for every 5 people in the
U.S. 3 have learning disabilities? For more info you can vist
their website at http://www.integra.on.ca
Thanks for your time.
Hey everyone! The E.S.P. Committee at East York Collegiate
this year is great. We have over 20 members, which is a big
improvement from last year, and have done many events, including;
cupcake giveaways, hallowe'en patrol and more. We look forward
to seeing everyone at the E.S.P. events this year! Remember,
the best way to fix a problem is to help solve it.
Response from Michelle Martin,
ESP Operations Manager
Thank you so much for your very positive message about your
ESP Team at East York Collegiate this year! That’s just
wonderful news. I am very happy that your committee is so
big and you are so involved in so many great activities. Your
message that the best way to fix a problem is to help solve
it is exactly the message that we want ESP to give to other
schools and communities. I will post your email on the ESP
website today so others can read your positive message!
Take care and keep up the great work!
are looking for ideas to help address the issue of weapons
in our school. Any suggestions??
Response from PC Diana Korn-Hassani
- Toronto Police Service
When weapons are brought
to school there are layers to this fact that need to be addressed.
Why are they bringing weapons to school in the first place?
What are the issues?
To start to unravel why you might want to do a survey that
asks the question: Why do you think a student would bring
a weapon to school?
a) to be cool
(The question is asked this way as we are not accusing anyone
- you are asking students to think of why someone would, they
may actually know someone who does and why they do and respond
accordingly - or they may in fact carry one themselves and
then answer for themselves).
So what are the layers?
If the answer is to be cool, you are looking at self esteem
If the answer is for protection - then you are looking at
If the answer is other - they'll tell you what it is.
In general, weapons coming to school mean that the subject
of violence needs to be addressed.
First of all the school may wish to remind students what a
weapon is according to school policy and what the school rules
are regarding possession of one.
As far as the law is concerned anything that is used to hurt
someone, ie. even someone's running shoe for example would
be considered a weapon and the charge would be 'assault with
a weapon'. The law takes into account violence in general
as it considers all 'things' used to hurt a person a weapon.
The message for students is that carrying a weapon can have
For example a student is being bullied and feeling badly,
so to feel better they carry a knife, only for protection
not intending to use it. However, the next time they are confronted
by the bully out comes the knife - the variations of what
may happen are not good.
1. If the victim does not use the knife - the victim is still
the police with possession of a weapon-even though they are
being bullied. The bully will have consequences as well, however,
weapons charges are taken very seriously by the courts.
2. If the victim feels they must use the weapon because the
bully won't stop - then the victim is charged with 'assault
with a weapon' which is considered a very serious offence
by the courts.
3. The bully could produce a similar weapon or bigger and
seriously injure the victim.
Street Crime officers can attest to dealing with all these
scenarios. I know I did when I was in street crime. None of
the possible outcomes of carrying a weapon are positive.
Skits are a good way to show students the possible consequences
of carrying a weapon as they probably had not thought of any
of theses possible outcomes.
Mixed Company helps students create and present forum plays.
ESP students could do this or perhaps a drama class and then
present to the school. Once students are aware of what the
possible outcomes are of carrying a weapon, a poster contest
depicting these possible outcomes could follow - the school
could vote on a winner and post it in the show case at school.
off all the posters around the school.
I would also suggest addressing the issue of bullying - bringing
weapons to school creates an imbalance in power amongst students,
whether students intend to use the weapons or not - this is
a form of bullying.
I hope this is helpful. Take what you need. Let me know if
anything further I can do.
Hi, I'm wondering if any of your ESP schools have a mentoring
program for students who need help in school, emotional suport,
I am currently doing a civics project on
how to set up a mentoring programe in my school. Thx for ur
time, cool site
Cheuk Ying, ESP Central Student Committee and Michelle Martin,
Project Coordinator, Canadian Safe School Network
A student from our Central Student Committee wrote the following
response to your question:
“Our school has a program called Oolagen. This is a
drop in area where students may go to if they have any sorts
of trouble and I mean ANY. Either regarding life in general
or school. There are two counsellors who would then confindentially
talk to the student. I don't know if this is the same thing.”
I think she is referring to a safe place
for students to go if they need advice, support or counseling.
I also know of ESP programs where the senior students act
as mentors for the younger students. They have a room dedicated
to ESP and offer advice and support to their Grade 9 &
10 students who are having challenges or want to get involved
in projects like ESP. Some schools provide workshops for the
senior students on conflict resolution, peer mediation and
group facilitation. You can access some of these workshops
from Trinity Theatre. Perhaps your school principal or ESP
staff advisor could research this company and see if they
have the funds to bring them in. Their website address is
That way, your senior students will have some training to
help the younger students and act as mentors.
There are also some secondary schools that
go into their middle schools and offer workshops on ESP and
how to keep your school safe. They share ideas and present
skits about their experiences in high school. If you would
like to set up a mentoring program in your school, perhaps
you could follow this model.
Good luck! Thank you for your interest in ESP.
All the best,
I recently started an ESP group at my school and I was wondering
if students in Peel Region Schools are allowed to participate
in the ESP program?
P.S. COOL SITE! Love it
P.C. Diana Korn-Hassani - Toronto Police:
I am a Police Officer with Toronto Police involved in running
program across the city of Toronto. We are thrilled when other
around the country (as this program will go around the world)
interested in this fabulous program. We have close to 20 schools
Sudbury who are running the program this year.
Congratulations on starting something in your school.
A very important component to this program is to have the
Police involved. I would suggest that you contact your local
Police Division in Peel, that is responsible for dealing with
issues in your school and find our which officers deal with
youth issues. Explain the program as you see it and by all
means refer the officer(s) to me. I would be happy to speak
to any officers in Peel region about this program. My phone
number is 416-808-7295. If you are able to get the name of
an officer and would like me to talk to them, if you provide
me with a name and number, I would be happy to call them and
see if I can generate interest. This program is about partnerships
to make our schools and communities the safest places to be,
and the Police component is essential. If you have any further
questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Good luck with your endeavour and keep me posted with your
This E.S.P idea is working great for us here at St Mary's.
We have started our ESP team and we are very confident about
ourselves. Just recently, we have prevented one student from
being bullied and due to anonimity they have chosen to keep
their names confindential. In conclusion, the message that
the team is currently trying to send is that we can all make
a difference as long as we try.
Tom Grinnell, Youth ESP Program Advisor
Congratulations on the success of your ESP
program at St Mary's. It will be great to see the success
stories of your program at the year end showcase!
Bullying is a serious problem in high school.
People always seem to forget that others have feelings that
can be hurt. The old saying “sticks and stones can break
my bones but names will never hurt me” is incorrect.
Names and bullying does hurt a person. I am happy to hear
that your school is taking a stand against bullying. Making
everyone feel included and wanted is the best thing you can
do. Saying hi, or smiling at fellow students can make or break
someone's day! I wish people in my high school were more like
that. Looking back, there were so many days where a smile
from someone or a hello would have made the day so much nicer.
I hope your ESP group continues to teach
other students to be friendly and nice to others. Remember
- be proactive!
When it comes to bullying, I would like
to suggest a guest speaker to you. His name is Mike Bonnici,
you can find his information at
http://www.esponline.ca/speakers.htm at the bottom of
the page. He does a very touching story about caring, and
why people should care about others. Look into booking him
for your school ESP program.
A group of students and myself are trying to get ESP launched
at our school but our administrators feel it has a negative
connotation, meaning if we need ESP its because we have serious
issues at our school. How do we get them to see past this
narrowed minded and paranoid mind-set? HELP.
Response from Tom Grinnell, Youth ESP
Everyone faces obstacles they have to overcome when they begin
a brand new ESP program. Sometimes it is apathetic students,
while other times it may be a negative stereotype about your
ESP group. All of these challenges can be overcome.
When dealing with your administration remind them that ESP
is a proactive program. It is there to prevent problems from
happening, and not because problems already exist. However,
the truth of the matter is that all schools have some sort
of challenges. ESP is there to make the school a better place.
Things you do in your school do not necessarily have to address
a prevailing problem, although you should make an attempt
at doing this. However, you can do something simple like raffling
off cakes, or selling candy-grams in the cafeteria. These
events don't outwardly display anything to make the school
look bad. ESP is about building community, because that is
how we achieve safety.
Remind your administrators that over 100 schools across Toronto
participate in the program. It is not that these schools have
admitted to having safety problems, it is more that they want
to build community, and partnerships that will make everyone
more friendly and happier. Being proactive, getting to know
the student body, making people interact with one another
is the key to safety, and prevention of crime. People are
less likely to do harm to someone they have talked to in the
halls, or said hi to. Whereas if you never get the chance
to know others, it is much easier for people to be mean to
My suggestion is to try and talk more to your administration.
Bring up the points I have mentioned. Remind them that ESP
is there to prevent problems from happening. It would look
better on the administration to have an active ESP program,
versus no ESP program because like I said before, over 100
schools across Toronto have already realized that ESP is a
If you cannot get results from any of this, it does not hurt
to talk to other members of the staff and get as many of them
as you can on your side. Explain to them the benefits of the
program, and assemble a team that can show the administration
there is support for ESP in your school.
And finally, if this doesn't work, contact someone with the
Board of Education. They are partners in ESP who recognize
and actively participate in administering the program. ESP
is 100% supported by your school board if you go to any school
in the city of Toronto.