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WELCOMING, CARING, RESPECTFUL AND SAFE TEACHING
AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT POLICY
PARKLAND SCHOOL
JUNE 30, 2018


I. POLICY REQUIREMENTS
    Board Responsibility
  1. The Parkland Community Living and Supports Society Board has the responsibility to ensure that each student enrolled in the Parkland School Special Ed and each staff member employed by the Board is provided with a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.

  2. Principal Responsibility in accordance with section 16.1(1) of the School Act
  3. If one or more students attending a school operated by the Board request a staff member employed the Board for support to establish a voluntary student organization, or to lead an activity (collectively the “Requested 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, in addition to the other duties set out in this Policy, ensure that the Requested Activity promotes at the School a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.

  4. Board Responsibility in relation to Student Organizations at the School under s. 16.1 of the
    School Act

  5. In accordance with section 45(4)(b) of the School Act which legislatively mandates the Board to include the text of section 16.1(1), (3) (3.1) (4) and (6) of the School Act in this Policy, if one or more students attending the School 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 School principal shall:

    1. immediately permit permission for the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the School, and

    2. subject to section 6 (below), within a reasonable time from the date that the principal receives the request 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.

  6. 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 with the principal.

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

  8. The principal shall immediately inform the Board and the Minister of Education if no staff member is available to serve as a staff liaison referred to above at subsection 3(b) 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.

  9. The principal is responsible for ensuring that notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity referred to in subsection 16.1(1) is limited to the fact of the establishment of the organization or the holding of the activity.

  10. Additional Legislatively Mandated Principal Responsibilities
  11. As legislatively mandated by section 45(4)(c) of the School Act, the principal is responsible for the ensuring that notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity referred to in section 16.1 (1) of the School Act,

    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 students.

  12. Section 45.1 (3) School Act Statutory Requirements
  13. As legislatively mandated in section 45.1 (3) of the School Act, this policy and the Student Code of Conduct set out in this Policy (“Code of Conduct”):

    1. herein affirms the rights, as provided for in the Alberta Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, of each staff member employed by the Board and each student enrolled in the School;

    2. herein states that staff members employed by the Board and students enrolled in the School will not be discriminated against as provided for in the Alberta Human Rights Act or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the degree the same applies in law to the School.

  14. Code of Conduct
    1. As legislatively mandated by section 45(5) of the School Act, the Code of Conduct herein set out has the following purpose:

    2. The Parkland Community Living and Supports Society Board expects that each student’s conduct contributes to a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.

    3. The Parkland Community Living and Supports Society Board believes that all students 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 the same supports, services, and protections provided to heterosexual students and their families;
      • have avenues of recourse (without fear of reprisal) available to them when they are victims of harassment, prejudice, discrimination, intimidation, bullying, and/or violence; and
      • have their unique identities, families, cultures, and communities included, valued and respected within the school environment.
  15. In order to ensure that students conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times, the students attending the School shall be subject to the Code of Conduct.

  16. Students shall conduct themselves so as to reasonably comply with the following Code of Conduct from the School Act (April 1, 2018):

    1. be diligent in pursuing their studies;
    2. attend school regularly and punctually;
    3. co-operate fully with everyone authorized by the Board to provide education programs and other services;
    4. comply with school rules;
    5. be accountable to their teachers for their conduct;
    6. respect the rights of others;
    7. ensure that they contribute positively to the environment and culture of the School;
    8. refrain from, report and not tolerate bullying or bullying behavior directed towards others in the school, whether or not it occurs within the school building, during the school day, or by electronic means;
    9. positively contribute to the students’ school and community

d. Activities that may constitute a violation of this Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to, bullying whether in person during the school day or by electronic means, physical harm or assault upon others, harassment, hazing, gang activities, weapons in school, drug and alcohol use, and improper conduct on busses or on field trips.

e. Unacceptable behavior, whether or not the behavior occurs within the school building, during the school day or by electronic means, may be grounds for disciplinary action, and provides the student with an opportunity for critical learning and reflection in the areas of personal accountability and responsibility, the development of empathy, as well as communication, conflict resolution, and social skills development.

In the assessment of the potential consequences of unacceptable behavior, the School shall also consider a student’s age, maturity, cognitive ability, individual circumstances, and frequency of the misconduct. In addition, the specific circumstances of the situation and of the student must be taken into account when determining appropriate responses to unacceptable behavior.

The Parkland School Special Ed is committed to implementing measures that will:

  • Define appropriate expectations, behaviors, 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 behaviors and complaints will be taken seriously, documented, and dealt with expeditiously and effectively through consistently applied policy and procedures.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate administrative guidelines to ensure that minorities including gender minorities and their families are treated with respect and dignity in all aspects of the school community in a manner consistent with the school’s mission and vision.
When a student engages in unacceptable behavior, Parkland School Special Ed will:

  1. investigate each instance and pursue disciplinary action in a manner consistent with the principles of fundamental justice and the school’s student discipline policy;
  2. in grave circumstances, be forced to use suspension or expulsion;
  3. take into account and carefully consider the special circumstances of the situation when determining appropriate consequences (for example: any special needs including physical, intellectual, behavioral, communicational, trauma-based etc.);
  4. will engage in reasonable and caring efforts to support both the individual who may have been the subject of or victim of unacceptable behavior and to support the perpetrators of unacceptable conduct to improve their behavior through mentoring, restorative processes and/or counselling.
f. The Board will provide support for students who are impacted by inappropriate behavior as well as for students who engage in inappropriate behavior.

g. This Code of Conduct shall be made publically available on the School website and shall be provided to all staff, students, and parents.

h. This Code of Conduct shall be reviewed each school year.

13. Section 45(4)(d) of the School Act requires this Policy to indicate that the Personal Information Protection Act governs the disclosure of personal information by the Board.



Legal References:
  1. Alberta School Act, RSA 2000, c S-3: preamble, sections 2,3,16,28
  2. Alberta Bill of Rights, RSA 2000, c A-14: preamble, sections 1 and 2
  3. Alberta Human Rights Act, RSA 2000, c A-25.5: sections 7,8 and 11
  4. 2017 Bill 24, Third Session, 29th Legislature, 66 Elizabeth 11 (“Bill 24”)
  5. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990), article 5
  6. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, article 18(4) (which protects the rights of parents to guide their children’s religious upbringing)
  7. Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act



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