Policies

Policy 16

Safe and Caring Learning Environment

BOARD POLICY #16

POLICY TITLE

Safe and Caring Learning Environment

POLICY HOLDER

Board of Trustees Palliser Regional Schools

ORIGINAL DATE

July 2017

REVIEW DATE

 

REVISED DATE

July 30, 2018

NEXT REVIEW

 

Policy Statement:

The Board is committed to establishing and maintaining a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning and teaching environment for all members of the school community. This includes protecting the rights set out in the Alberta Human Rights Act (also referenced or enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta School Act) that protect against discrimination on the basis of any of the following grounds:

  • Race;
  • Religious beliefs;
  • Colour;
  • Gender;
  • Gender identity;
  • Physical disability;
  • Mental disability;
  • Age;
  • Ancestry;
  • Place of origin;
  • Marital status;
  • Source of income;
  • Family status; and
  • Sexual orientation.

as provided for in the Alberta Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Board believes that all students and staff have the right to learn and work in an environment that promotes equality of opportunity, dignity, respect and recognition of diversity. The Board is committed to providing an environment that supports the positive mental health of students and staff. The Board is further committed to providing an environment free from harassment, bullying, discrimination and violence. It is the collective responsibility of all those involved with the division including trustees, employees, students, parents/guardians, volunteers and visitors to create and maintain positive cultures within our schools and other educational settings.

The Board is committed to the provisions outlined in Section 45.1 of the School Act with the specific responsibilities under Section 16.1:

16.1 (1) If one or more students attending a school operated by a board request a staff member employed by the board for support to establish a voluntary student organization, or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging, the principal of the school shall

(a) immediately grant permission for the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and

(b) subject to subsection (4), within a reasonable time from the date that the principal receives   the request designates a staff member to serve as the staff liaison to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization or to assist in organizing the activity.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an organization of activity includes an organization or activity that promotes equality and non-discrimination with respect to, without limitation, race, religious belief, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability family status or sexual orientation, including but not limited to organizations such as gay-straight alliances, diversity clubs, anti-racism clubs and anti-bullying clubs.

(3) The students may select a respectful and inclusive name for the organization or activity, including the name “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”, after consulting the principal.

(3.1) For greater certainty, the principal shall not prohibit or discourage students from choosing a name that includes “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”.

(4) The principal shall immediately inform the board and the Minister if no staff member is available to serve as a staff liaison referred to in subsection (1), and if so informed, the Minister shall appoint a responsible adult to work with the requesting students in organizing the activity or to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization at the school.

(5) If a staff member indicates to a principal a willingness to act as a staff liaison under subsection (1),

(a) a principal shall not inform the board or the Minister under subsection (4) that no staff member is available to serve as a staff liaison, and

(b) that staff member shall be deemed to be available to serve as the staff liaison.

(6) The principal is responsible for ensuring notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity referred to in subsection (1) is limited to the fact of the establishment of the organization or the holding of the activity, and (2) is otherwise consistent with the usual practices relating to notifications of other student organizations and activities.

Palliser Regional Schools is a public body bound by the provisions of the Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy Act. Any disclosure of personal information must be done in accordance with this Act

This policy serves as a foundation policy to setting overarching, high level direction to a set of comprehensive administrative procedures as listed in the References section.

Scope and Limitations of Superintendent:
This policy is in compliance with the following:
Alberta Human Rights Act
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
School Act 

Information and Monitoring Requirements:
All complaints coming forward will be documented and recorded in Board minutes.

References