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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
AP 354 - Violence and Threats

Background

Schools must provide an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. As such the Division will not condone violence, threats against people and/or facilities, and physically and/or verbally abusive conduct on the part of students and/or staff toward other students and/or staff.

Each individual has the right to learn and work in a safe setting that promotes equality and respect for each individual.

Definitions

Violence and threats vary in kind, degree and perception of injury, depending upon the age of participants and circumstances involved in the situation. Unacceptable behaviour may be verbal or physical in nature and may be one or a series of events.  Such unacceptable behaviour may include:

  • Verbal abuse or threats;
  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunting about a person’s body, attire, age, marital status, ethnic or national origin, religion, etc.
  • Displaying of pornographic, racist or other offensive or derogatory pictures;
  • Practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment;
  • Unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation;
  • Leering or other gestures;
  • Unnecessary physical contact such as touching, pinching, patting, punching; and
  • Coercing or influencing third parties to harass others.

Terms of Reference

1.  The violent or threatening behaviour need not be premeditated or intentional in order to be considered inappropriate. It is sufficient that the perpetrator knows, or ought to reasonably know, that the behaviour is offensive or unwelcome.

2.  Any student who intentionally makes a false claim of violence or threat against another individual shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

3.  Principals will be required to use judgment when making decisions as to the degree of seriousness of the threats of violence against students, personnel, and/or school facilities.

Procedures

1.  Upon a situation being observed by or an allegation being reported to an employee, the employee shall speak directly to the alleged victim and perpetrator and attempt to resolve the situation or she/he shall advise the principal.

2.  Upon receiving a report, the principal shall attempt to resolve the situation in an informal manner or if the matter is more serious, she/he shall inform the parents/guardians of the complainant, the parents/guardians of the alleged perpetrator, and shall prepare a written report regarding the complaint.

3.  Specific action for all acts of violence/threats/bullying will be dealt with through Procedure AP-350 Student Discipline except as outlined below:

3.1.  Any verbal or physical action that constitutes a threat against another person shall be viewed as being serious. The deeming of such action to be willful and premeditated shall constitute cause for more serious action.

3.1.1.  Principals shall recommend that students who make such a threat shall be immediately suspended for a period of ten days (10) school days. Refer to Procedure 02-301: School Discipline for detailed procedures.

3.1.2.  In serious situations, the Board may further suspend the student after reviewing the circumstances of such a threat.

3.1.3.  Anonymous threats to injure or kill another student or staff member shall be viewed as being more serious in nature, due to the anguish that the receiving person is caused. Upon determination of the source of the threat, employees who make such a threat should be dealt with according to The Education Act, 1995 and/or grievance procedures outlined in collective agreements. Students who make such a threat shall be immediately suspended. The Suspension Committee shall convene and shall recommend the length of the suspension up to and including one year.

3.2.  Any threat of bombing shall be deemed to be of a serious nature. Immediate action shall be taken to ascertain the safety of students and staff.

3.2.1.  After discussion and consideration of the specific threat, the evacuation of the premises may be a priority;

3.2.2.  Contact shall be made to the RCMP at the earliest stages of knowledge of the threat; and

3.2.3.  Students who make such a threat shall be immediately suspended for a period of twenty (20) school days. Further suspension may be issued by the Suspension Committee after reviewing the circumstances of such a threat.

3.3.  Harassment, as defined in Procedure AP-170 Harassment, of students by either another student or an adult employee shall be dealt with in the following manner:

3.3.1.  Harassment by adult employees shall be dealt with as per Procedure AP-410 Workplace Violence & Harassment and AP-358 Harassment, Bullying and Cyber-Bullying

3.3.2.  Harassment by a student shall be dealt with through Procedure AP-410 Workplace Violence & Harassment and AP-358 Harassment, Bullying and Cyber-Bullying

3.3.3.  Harassment of other students and/or staff shall be dealt with as a serious offence and may be reported to the appropriate authorities, such as the RCMP, Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission or other agency as deemed necessary.

4.  A school may consult with outside agencies in determining follow-up action for all parties involved in an incidence of violence or threat.

5.  Each school is expected to have a code of conduct dealing with violence and threats.

6.  Each school is expected to maintain a confidential listing of students who have been impacted by violence and threats as either a victim or perpetrator.


Reference:  Section 141, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162, 175, 191, 192, 193, Education Act

March 31, 2011