Wearing purple to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month
Students at all schools in the Upper Canada District School Board took part in Purple Day on Tues., Oct. 24, to bring awareness to child abuse. Here Grade 7 and 8 students at North Dundas District High School show their support.       Vetter photo

Candice Vetter
Record Staff
CHESTERVILLE – The Upper Canada District School Board marked Child Abuse Prevention Month with a Dress Purple Day at schools in the region.

On Tues., Oct. 24, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), Children’s Aid Societies (CAS), and key partners chose the day to raise awareness about how it takes a community to prevent child abuse. The provincial hashtag for the campaign is #IBREAKthesilence.

Schools across the province used specialized classroom resources developed by OACAS to support teachers to engage in conversations about safety and well-being with students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5.

“A teacher may be the only ‘helping’ adult that a child encounters on a daily basis,” Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS said. “This vital link between teachers and a child who may be abused or neglected means that they are one of our most important partners in keeping children safe.”

The OACAS classroom resources are built around the theme “It takes a village to keep kids safe.”

“Schools have a unique window into the lives of children and youth, and so play an important role in keeping children safe,” said Ballantyne.

“Speaking up and sharing the message that child abuse and neglect can be prevented, and that help is available, is an important message for all of us to share – not just today, but every day,” Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, said. “We all have a duty and responsibility to our next generation, and ensuring they are supported to reach their best and full potential.”