The OJEN Twitter Moot is an online debate. Students from across Ontario participate in the discussion by tweeting their opinions either individually or in teams/classes. The OJEN committee in Hamilton came up with this fun and engaging justice education initiative for Hamilton-area schools. In the fall of 2020, for the first time, OJEN ran the program for high school students throughout Ontario.
The Twitter Moot offers students a fun opportunity to learn about an important and contentious legal issue. This fall, the OJEN Twitter Moot will take place on October 27th, from 9 am to 5 pm. Ontario students will debate:
Should we change the law that allows corporal punishment of children?
Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada says:
“Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.”
In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) upheld this law when it was challenged by the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law. In the written decision, the SCC provided guidelines for what could lawfully be considered “reasonable” force. It was, and remains, a controversial decision by the Court.
In preparing for this debate, students and teachers may wish to consider questions and issues such as:
- Moral arguments around the rights of parents and children
- The purpose of the law in question
- Whether the law should be kept, repealed or changed
- Whether the law violates the Charter rights of parents or children
- Whether any such violation is justified
- The reasonableness of the guidelines provided by the SCC
- The circumstances of teachers and others “standing in the place of a parent”
How do students participate?
All the resources you need to take part in the Fall 2021 Twitter Moot are posted below in the ‘Downloads’ section of this page!
Students need a twitter account to participate and a supervising teacher who registers them. OJEN will publish the Twitter Moot resources on its website during the week of October 4th. Online registration opens on Monday, September 27th. Teachers register for this program anytime between September 24th and October 25th. By October 25th, they must provide a list of twitter handles that their students or student groups plan to use on the day of the Twitter Moot: October 27th.
Students can create an individual twitter account, a team account or a class account. OJEN will only retweet and recognize twitter handles which are provided to us by a teacher. We encourage teachers to use the Twitter Moot as an in-class activity, but students can participate in the event as an extra-curricular activity, if they have a supervising teacher who registers them.
On October 27th 2021, from 9 am to 5 pm, students post their thoughts and comments on twitter using the hashtag #OJENTMFall21 and mentioning @OJEN_ROEJ. Teachers can stream the debate in class by using a Smartboard/projector, or students can monitor and participate in the debate by checking out the #OJENTMFall21 hashtag throughout the day. The hashtag allows everyone to see tweets from other students and teams, and encourages a province-wide discussion.
On October 29th, OJEN will select two winners, one based on the most persuasive tweet and the other based on overall contribution.
We look forward to hearing from you!