Safe Schools: Code of Conduct

Parents' Guide to the Ontario Code of Conduct

This document is available as an Adobe Acrobat file (114 KB).


A positive school climate and a safe learning and teaching environment are essential if students are to succeed in school. A positive school climate means everyone feels they are welcome and respected.

All students, parents, teachers and staff have the right to be safe, and feel safe, in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility for everyone to be accountable for their actions and contribute to a positive school climate.

Why is there a provincial code of conduct?

Ontario's provincial code of conduct sets clear standards of behaviour for individual school boards to follow, so that they can develop their own codes of conduct. The standards of behaviour in school board codes of conduct must be consistent with the requirements outlined in the provincial code of conduct.

Who is included in the code and where does it apply?

The code of conduct applies not only to students, but to everyone involved in the publicly funded school system, including parents or guardians, volunteers, teachers and other staff members. The code applies whether on school property, on school buses, at school-authorized events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate.

Fundamental beliefs

  • Everyone has a responsibility to promote a safe environment.
  • Everyone should be aware of their rights, as active and engaged citizens. More importantly, everyone should also accept responsibility for protecting their rights and the rights of others. Responsible citizenship involves taking part in the civic life of the school.
  • All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity, especially those in positions of authority.
  • Everyone has a responsibility to resolve conflicts in a way that is civil and respectful. Insults, hurtful acts and a lack of respect for others disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Everyone is expected to resolve conflicts without using violence. Physical aggression is not a responsible way to deal with other people. No one should use an object to injure another person, or even threaten to use an object to injure another person. This is unacceptable and puts everyone's safety at risk.

This document is derived largely from Policy/Program Memorandum Number 128: The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct, available on the Ministry's website. Please note that the wording in this document is not identical to the wording in the Memorandum and this brochure is not intended to replace it.