1. Goals of the Procedure
1.1. The long-range goal of school discipline is to develop students’ capacity for intelligent self-regulation.
1.2. The short-range goal of school discipline is to further enhance students’ learning by providing a positive school climate focused upon students’ learning and well-being.
2. Characteristics of School Discipline
2.1. All discipline is intended to correct inappropriate behaviour of students.
2.2. The principles of fair and effective discipline include:
- Due process;
- Progressive discipline;
- Clearly understood standards of behaviour and consequences; and
- Preservation of the dignity of all involved,
2.3. Discipline will be based upon the provisions of The Education Act, 1995 and the administrative procedures of the Division.
2.4. There is sufficient authority behind each teacher to make it possible for him/her to deal with disciplinary issues in an objective, professional fashion, treating each child in the light of his/her individual needs, considering each discipline occurrence as a learning situation to be handled intelligently and patiently.
2.5. The techniques used to accomplish the short-range purpose must serve the long-range purpose as well. The Division will support its teachers and the principles of fair and effective discipline in the maintenance of proper order and discipline.
2.6. Corporal punishment is not permitted as a disciplinary measure.
The following procedure outlines those actions required by Section 152-155 of The Education Act, 1995, and provides supplementary information.
1. The principal, staff, and School Community Council shall take proactive steps to ensure a safe and caring learning environment for the school’s students. Such action shall include:
1.1. The principal and staff of the school, in collaboration with the School Community Council, will establish a School Code of Conduct;
1.2. Each teacher will ensure that the standards and consequences used in her/his class, are aligned with the School’s Code of Conduct; and
1.3. The teacher will ensure that her/his students are aware of and understand the school’s behavioural standards and the consequences for non-adherence. Such standards are most effective when students have had an opportunity to contribute to their development.
2. Where the safety of others is not considered to be at risk, the established procedure listed below is to be followed by the teacher and the principal when student behaviour problems are encountered:
2.1. If a student’s behaviour does not meet the school’s standards and /or if the student’s behaviour prevents his/her learning or the learning of others, the teacher shall assist the student in identifying the behaviour problem, its causes and appropriate alternative behaviours;
2.2. After the actions taken in 2.1. above, if the student’s behaviour continues to be a concern, the teacher shall discuss the student’s behaviour with the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s);
2.3. After the actions taken in 2.1. and 2.2. above, if the student’s behaviour continues to be a concern, the teacher shall discuss the student’s behaviour with the principal to generate alternative strategies; and
2.4. If behavioural difficulties continue, the principal may engage the services of an appropriate Student Services professional to assist in appropriate corrective action.
3. Temporary restraining force, that is reasonable under the circumstances, may be used to ensure the student’s own safety, the safety of others, or to protect property, as per the Non-violent Crisis Intervention Protocol training.
4. If measures taken in sections 1. and 2. above do not result in appropriate student behaviour, the principal shall consult with the Superintendent of Learning Services or the Superintendent of Student Services to plan for further remedial action in accordance with The Education Act, 1995.
5. Teachers and principals shall document in writing the strategies, procedures, and techniques used to address inappropriate behaviour.
6. Detention of students may be used provided the following criteria are met:
6.1. A student who travels on a school bus is not to be detained after school hours unless prior arrangements have been made with the parents or guardians;
6.2. Teachers shall notify the principal immediately;
6.3. Suitable supervision must be available;
6.4. The time limit must be reasonable; and
6.5. Parents/guardians should be notified, if after school detention is being planned.
7. Teachers can exclude any pupil from the class setting for overt opposition to the teacher’s authority or other gross misconduct and, by the conclusion of that day, report in writing to the principal the circumstances of that exclusion.
8. If required, suspension shall be administered as per Section 154 of The Education Act, 1995. The following is the procedure that should be followed when a student is suspended from attending school or from a specific classroom setting:
8.1. The principal may suspend a student from school for not more than three school days at any time for overt opposition to authority or serious misconduct and shall immediately report the circumstances and action taken to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of that student and the Director of Education.
8.2. If the principal considers suspending a student for a period of more than three days but not exceeding ten days, the principal shall consult the Director of Education;
8.3. Based upon the consultation in 8.2, the principal may suspend a student for a period not exceeding 10 school days where the principal receives information alleging, and is satisfied, that the student has:
- Persistently displayed overt opposition to authority;
- Refused to conform to the rules of the school;
- Been irregular in attendance at school;
- Habitually neglected his or her duties;
- Willfully destroyed school property;
- Used profane or improper language; or
- Engaged in any other type of gross misconduct.
8.4. The principal suspends a student for a period of more than three days but not exceeding 10 school days, the principal shall immediately:
- Inform the student of the reason for his or her suspension;
- Report the matter to the Director of Education;
- Notify the parents/guardians of the circumstances of the suspension and the action taken;
- And as soon as is practical shall:
- Prepare a written report of the circumstances of the suspension and provide it to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the Director. and
- On the request of either the student or his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) grant, and organize the details of, a hearing to the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s).
8.5. Where the principal suspends a student for a period not exceeding 10 school days, the Director (or designate), after consulting with the principal and any others he/she considers appropriate and after granting a hearing to the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s), shall confirm, reduce, or remove the suspension before the expiration of the period of suspension.
8.6. Where the Director of Education establishes a review committee, to investigate the circumstances of the suspension submitted by the Principal, the investigation shall be concluded before the period of suspension. After such an investigation, should the committee determine that a suspension of greater than 10 days is warranted by the student’s actions, the committee may suspend a student from all or any of the Division’s schools for a period of not greater than one year.
8.7. The committee, may exclude a student from attendance at any or all schools of the Division for a period not greater than one year. Such action by the committee must be guided by Section 155 of The Education Act, 1995.
Reference: Section 85, 87, 109, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 175, Education Act
April 6, 2011
Revised November 9, 2016