Policy 16

Safe and Caring Learning Environment

Background

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

 

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

(Collectively referenced as the “Human Rights Protected Grounds”)

Board Action:

The Board believes that all (including but not limited to those falling within the Human Rights Protected Grounds as listed above) students, staff and families, including but not limited to parents and/or guardians, have the right to:

  • be treated fairly, equitably, and with dignity and respect;
  • have their confidentiality protected and respected;
  • self-identification and determination;
  • freedom of conscience, expression, and association;
  • be fully included and represented in an inclusive, positive, and respectful manner by all school personnel;
  • have equitable access to supports, services, and protections;
  • have avenues of recourse without fear of reprisal available to them when they are victims of harassment, prejudice, discrimination, intimidation, bullying, and/or violence.

The Board is committed to implementing measures that will:

  • Define appropriate expectations, behaviours, language, and actions in order to prevent discrimination, prejudice, and harassment through greater awareness of, and responsiveness to, their harmful effects.
  • Ensure that all such discriminatory behaviours and complaints will be taken seriously, documented, and dealt with expeditiously and effectively through consistently applied policy and procedures.

The Board confirms its support for student organizations as more specifically outlined and mandated by Section 16.1 of the School Act, a copy of which is attached to this policy as Schedule "A"

The Board refers to and declares that its Code of Conduct pursuant to Section 45.1(3) of the School Act shall be made up collectively of the following existing Administrative Procedures:

  • AP 310 – Safe and Caring School Environments;
  • AP 352 – Bullying Behaviour in Schools;
  • AP 171 – Harassment of Students or Employees;
  • AP 205 – Controversial Issues; and
  • AP 319 – Safe Interventions with Students.

All of which are collectively linked in this Policy as Schedule "B"

This group of Administrative Procedures, collectively forming the Code of Conduct, shall:

  • Be made publicly available;
  • Be reviewed annually;
  • Be provided to all staff, students and parents of the Board;
  • Be understood as collectively applying for the purpose and rationale of focusing on welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments as outlined in this Policy; and
  • Ensure respect and protection for the Human Rights Protected Grounds.

Schedule "A"

Section 16.1, Subsections 1 - 5 Inclusive,  Support for student organizations

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) permit the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and

(b) designate 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 or 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, including the name “gay-straight alliance” or “queer straight alliance”, after consulting with the principal. 

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 a 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. 2015 c1 s3

 

Schedule "B"

  • AP 310 – Safe and Caring School Environments;
  • AP 352 – Bullying Behaviour in Schools;
  • AP 171 – Harassment of Students or Employees;
  • AP 205 – Controversial Issues; and
  • AP 319 – Safe Interventions with Students.

Scope and Limitations of Superintendent:
This policy is in compliance with the following:
Alberta Human Rights Act
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Palliser Regional Schools Administrative Procedures 171, 205, 310, 319, 352
School Act Section 45.1 and 16.1

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

References

Alberta Human Rights Act

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Palliser Regional Schools Administrative Procedures 171, 205, 310, 319, 352

School Act Section 45.1 and 16.1