Ontario experts to begin Halifax school board review into Rehtaeh Parsons case

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METRO HALIFAX

Rehtaeh Parsons is shown in a handout photo from the Facebook tribute page "Angel Rehtaeh."

HALIFAX - The province says two Canadian experts have begun the review process into how the Halifax Regional School Board handled the events leading up to Rehtaeh Parson’s death.

On Thursday, the province announced Debra Pepler and Penny Milton of Ontario will begin the review immediately and will report their findings to Minister Marilyn More, who is handling the Parsons file.

“We need to take a close and sensitive look at the programs, supports and policies we have in place now, and figure out how to improve them,” More said in a press release.

Pepler is a professor of psychology at York University and has been on the Ontario Minister of Education’s Safe Schools Action Team since 2004.

Milton is former CEO of the Canadian Education Association and a former deputy minister of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Health, Wellbeing and Social Justice in Ontario.

Milton said a work plan hasn’t been developed yet, but is coming to Halifax “fairly soon” to meet with the board as well as the IWK and Capital Health.

“It is such an important case, and sad as it is, it provides an opportunity for looking again at how we provide support,” Milton said by phone Thursday.

She added she feels a real commitment to helping teens because they’re a “really important group.”

“The world for young people today is a complex place,” Milton said.

“Their lives are both enriched but also sometimes made more difficult by the access to modern … technologies and the social behaviour that goes with it.”

The panel has until June 14 to examine current policies and determine whether they were followed, and an interim report is expected May 10.

HALEY RYAN - METRO HALIFAX

Organizations: Halifax Regional School Board, York University, Ontario Minister of Education Safe Schools Action Team Canadian Education Association Advisory Council on Health

Geographic location: Ontario, HALIFAX

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  • Dana
    April 19, 2013 - 07:00

    Why do we need to bring in people from Ont to run this review , we have lots of people in N.S. that can do this review . It must be safe to say that Minister Marilyn More has no confidences in the people in this province to run these reviews. Good job Minister for sending our money out of the province.

  • Charlie Joseph
    April 19, 2013 - 06:46

    Oh brother, what a superb example of the publicly subsidized psuedo-intellectual class Ms. Milton seems to be. The world is so less complex for everyone else, and all other age demographics so much more less important. Please tell me she isn't being paid the standard sky is the limit rate for serial government academic welfare recipients. Another analysis in coil binding sitting on a dusty shelf is not going to do a single thing to correct this tragedy, nor will it stop future idiocy by prosecutors and police. Why is the default position by government always a study, an analysis and / or tossing tax dollars in the direction of academics?