Keeping Our Kids Safe at School
All students have the right to feel safe and be safe when they go to school.
New legislation that comes into effect February 1, 2010 is another step in our ongoing efforts to make schools safer for students and staff.
The first of its kind in Canada, the Keeping our Kids Safe at School Act builds on Ontario's safe schools strategy and is a primary recommendation from the Safe Schools Action team. It explains what must happen when serious student incidents or inappropriate student behaviour takes place at school.
What the new law means for parents
A positive school climate and safe learning and teaching environment are essential for students to succeed in school. This new legislation builds on that principle. By clarifying how all school board employees must handle incidents at school, it:
- requires all school staff to report serious student incidents that could lead to suspension or expulsion
- means principals will learn about events that happen in school that negatively affect the school climate
- ensures parents know that schools will respond appropriately to serious student incidents
- ensures parents know when their child is a victim of such behaviour.
More detailed questions about the legislation are answered in the fact sheet: Keeping our Kids Safe at School: Reporting and Responding to Incidents. (PDF, 260 KB)
What the new law means for students
We know school staff are committed to student safety — and we want students to know that too. Under the new law and policies:
- school staff who work directly with students will respond to all cases of disrespectful and inappropriate student behaviour, as long as it is safe to do so. Examples of this include racist, sexual, sexist or homophobic comments, slurs and jokes and graffiti as well as activities that could lead to suspension and expulsion
- a school board employee who learns of a serious incident must tell their principal. School staff will make sure that the victim receives the support they need, such as counselling or referral to child and youth services.
Read the Safe School Action Team's latest report: Shaping a Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships.