Halifax mom says lunchroom supervision lacking in elementary schools
HALIFAX -- A mother is speaking out about what she calls a lack of adequate lunch hour supervision for some Halifax elementary school students.
Candice McPhee's nine-year-old son was home from school on Wednesday. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and has been having some issues in school -- especially during lunch time.
"That seems to be when the supervision is not there," says McPhee. "There was some issues with bullying and things like that, that were going unseen because there was no supervision."
On a recent community group Facebook post, more than 80 parents commented with similar concerns at schools throughout HRM.
"I wouldn't leave them at home unsupervised so they need the supervision at school," McPhee said. "I'm entrusting my children to you, so if my children are entrusted to your care during the day, I expect them to be supervised."
The Halifax Regional Centre for Education says student supervision is the responsibility of each individual school and is not regulated by the HRCE.
"We provide each school with an allowance to provide for supervision at lunch, so how lunch might look at every school is going to be different because every school looks different," said HRCE spokesman Doug Hadley. "At the end of the day, the responsibility of that falls to the school principal."
Because schools can only offer a few hours a week, it's a difficult role to fill. Often teachers end up volunteering and then not getting a lunch break themselves.
"There are some schools where teachers feel forced to do duty," said Nova Scotia Teachers' Union President Paul Wozney. "The union has concerns, especially around early career teachers, teachers who are just getting started trying to build a good name for themselves, feeling like they have to do lunch duty in order to get that positive recommendation from a principal."
McPhee says there was a substitute monitor this week when her son had an altercation with another child. She isn't satisfied with the way the incident was handled and is calling on schools to provide better training and ensure adequate supervision.