Westview Secondary School
Code of Conduct
Education Minister Mike Bernier introduces New SOGI Policy Requirement
The Minister of Education announced on September 8, 2016 that all British Columbian boards of education and independent school authorities will be required to reference sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in district and school codes of conduct by December 31, 2016. This will align with the recent update of the Human Rights Code in July 2016, which included the addition of gender identity and expression as a prohibited ground of discrimination (to join the already existing inclusion of sexual orientation). SOGI 1 2 3 was created to support this work and more.
What is SOGI?
“Sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) is a term used by the BC Human Rights Code to describe an area of prohibited discrimination. It is an inclusive term that encompasses all individuals regardless of where they identify on the sexual orientation or gender identity spectrums, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, heterosexual and cisgender.
Goals for SOGI
- Visibility: The diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions are recognized and valued.
- Protection: The dignity of all people across the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) spectra is intended to be preserved, as well as protected from harm.
- Inclusion: Equitable treatment and inclusion are a reality for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
Policies and procedures that explicitly reference SOGI have been proven to reduce discrimination, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts for all students. For more information, visit https://www.sogieducation.org
Westview Secondary School
A caring and respectful school environment is essential to successful teaching, learning and understanding. In fostering a positive climate, that supports learning, we have identified appropriate standards and expectations to guide behaviour. These expectations take into consideration the importance for each student to be an active participant in a safe and caring school community. As such, there is a focus on personal development, social interactions, and community responsibility.
Respect for Human Rights:
In fostering a community of respect, inclusion, fairness and equity, we expect persons to not discriminate based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age.
The Human Rights Codes [RSBC 1996, c210] will be respected:
Excerpt from Section 7 Discriminatory publication
7 (1) A person must not publish, issue or display, or cause to be published, issued or displayed, any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem, or other representation that
(a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person, a group, or class of persons, or
(b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt
Excerpt from Section 8 Discrimination in accommodation, service, and facility
8 (1) A person must not, without a bona fide and reasonable justification,
(a) deny to a person or class of persons any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public, or
(b) discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public.
Rights and Responsibilities:
Underlying the Code of Conduct are rights and responsibilities that include the following:
- You have the right to learn. You have the responsibility to actively participate and be a responsible learner.
- You have the right to be respected. You have the responsibility to respect others.
- You have the right to be safe. You have the responsibility to behave in a safe manner and to protect the safety of others.
- You have the right to privacy and security of personal space. You have the responsibility to respect the property and privacy of others.
- You have the right to use school equipment and property. You have the responsibility to use the equipment and property in accordance with school rules and with care and respect.
It is expected the entire school community work together to create a healthy, safe, and positive climate. The intent of the Code of Conduct is to:
- Encourage socially responsible behaviour resulting in a positive reputation for students and the school community;
- Foster a safe and welcoming learning environment for all members of the school community;
- Communicate behaviour expectations to the school community.
Rising expectations: Expectations for student conduct for younger students differ from those for older students. It is expected as students move through successive grades, become older and more mature, they will be more socially responsible and practice greater self-discipline. As such, older students may face increased consequences for inappropriate behaviour.
It must be understood that the behaviours our students undertake within the community, in and out of regular school hours, may impact our educational environment. Once these behaviours enter our school and negatively influence education and our school climate, students become subject to questioning and recommendation for behavioural change. Essentially, we are a school and community wrapped in one.
Each student at Westview Secondary School is subject to the Code of Conduct while on the school premises, in going to and returning from school, at any school-related function at any location, while representing the school, and in any circumstance/activity that will have an impact on the school environment.
Responses to Code of Conduct Violations:
- Responses to unacceptable conduct will be judicious, thoughtful, consistent and fair.
- The focus of any intervention will be preventative and restorative in nature, rather than merely punitive.
- Wherever possible, students will be encouraged to participate in the development of meaningful interventions through discussion and mediation.
- Decisions will be made with respect to the individual, while considering age, maturity and past conduct.
- Every effort will be made to support students. However, if there are ongoing conduct issues after having implemented interventions, progressive discipline may include, but is not limited to suspension, change of program, change of school, or involvement of the police when behaviour includes a criminal code violation.
- School officials may inform the parents of all students involved, school district officials, the police, other agencies or the parents of all students when the whole school community needs to be reassured that a serious situation is being addressed.
- Reasonable steps will be taken to prevent retaliation against the person who reported a Code of Conduct issue.
In consideration of the information stated above, the following examples of infractions would be a representation of where a suspension from school is considered: fighting, bystanders to a fight, drugs/alcohol, harassment, bullying and intimidation.
Disciplinary Actions & Suspensions
Many factors are considered when deciding consequences for a violation of the WSS Code of Conduct. The decision to suspend a student is made when the:
- Behaviour exhibited is in opposition to the Code of Conduct;
- Educational climate in the school is in jeopardy if the behaviour is not stopped;
- Parents are supportive and share in the responsibility to impact a behaviour change;
- Resources are such that in-school consequences are not possible;
- Student interferes with the learning environment;
- Student is a repeat offender and has received previous consequences;
- Outside resources (counseling agencies) are needed to help support a change;
- Student needs time away and, an out-of-school suspension is appropriate.
In deciding on an at home suspension, Administration considers the following factors:
- Will an in-school suspension result in the necessary behaviour change for the student?
- Is a ‘cooling off’ period needed?
- What is the home situation for the student? Are the parents able to supervise?
- What is the age of the student? What has happened in the past with this student? How has a suspension worked in the past?
- How did the student’s behaviour impact the school population?
The following alternatives to suspension have been used and are currently in place at WSS:
- Full or partial day in-office detentions.
- Detentions at lunch or after school.
- Parent meetings.
- Meetings with school counseling staff.
- RCMP intervention.
- Loss of privilege in areas of the school or in terms of time.
- Schedule changes.
- An extensive research project. The student may work at noon and after school researching information relating to the offense.
- Mediation involving students, parents and administration.
- Enrollment in a recognized program outside of the school that deals with the recurring student behaviour.
Statement of Purpose:
- To honestly reflect your understanding.
- To provide an accurate representation and assessment of your learning.
- Students must not plagiarize work. Plagiarism is the copying or reproduction of any work without referencing original authors.
- To complete your own work and gain understanding through asking questions, clarifying, revising and seeking teacher guidance.
- Representation of someone’s work as your own, or paraphrasing from a text (e.g. book, magazine, software program, reference manual, internet site, video script, television program) without giving appropriate credit as instructed by the teacher.
- Handing in work to a teacher (whether as a draft or for credit), which is the same as another student’s work.
- Allowing another student to copy your work. Group work is encouraged, but submitted work must be your own work.
- Completing a test for another student (fraud) or asking a student to write a test for you (harassment).
- Cheating on a test. You may only used approved material or information when writing any form of assessment (test, exam, essay, lab, etc.). You must not engage in talking, or looking at another student’s test/exam to view answers.
- May forfeit eligibility for awards, other recognitions, and school privileges.
- May be required to complete assessments and learning activities under strict invigilated conditions until level of trust is regained.
- May be given a “0” for the assignment or assessment.
- May result in suspension or other consequences (e.g. withdrawal from the course).
Appearance & Attire
Statement of Purpose:
- To foster respect for oneself and others through action, including attire (clothing and accessories).
- Students and staff may express their gender identity or gender expression through what they wear to school.
- To promote attire throughout the school year that is suitable for a school and learning environment. Clothing should be comfortable and conducive for the activities required and should take into consideration the type of tasks at hand.
- No hoods covering the head, bandanas, etc. unless approved by Administration.
- Clothing and appearance must not present a hazard or distraction to yourself or others.
The school district is committed to providing students with learning environments that are safe, responsive, and inclusive. The district recognizes that decisions about dress reflect individual expression of identity, socio-cultural norms, and that they are personal.
Students may attend school and school-related functions in dress of their choice provided that their choices:
- Conform with established health and safety requirements for the intended activity;
- Do not represent or promote weapons, gang culture, alcohol or drugs;
- Use respectful language;
- Do not depict or promote violence, racism, sexism or discrimination; and
- Are not intimidating to others.
Ultimately, the school administration has the responsibility to apply the dress guidelines when necessary. If any person dresses in an inappropriate manner, the student should be advised personally and discretely and given an opportunity to meet school district guidelines.
Statement of Purpose:
- To develop positive relationship with the teacher and students.
- To explore the opportunities available to succeed.
- To enjoy a quality learning experience.
- Attend all classes regularly and be prepared to participate.
- Arrive on time for scheduled classes.
- Parents will support the importance of regular attendance by encouraging (ensuring) their children/child attend all classes.
- Students who arrive late to school after expected to report directly to the class in session. Students must provide an acceptable excuse and confirmation from a parent/guardian.
- Students who must leave the school during the school day must report to the office and sign-out. Students must present the office staff with confirmation (e.g. note, phone call) from a parent/guardian granting permission to leave.
- If illness or other unavoidable reasons cause a child to miss school, the parent will contact the school reception (phone call or note) by 9:00 am. on the day of absence. Students and/or parents will contact teachers for missed work.
- If you are ill at school, inform your subject teacher prior to reporting to the office along with a note from that teacher. We prefer you be cared for at home if ill, but if we cannot contact your parent, you will be signed into the medical room. You may not leave the school without parent/guardian permission.
- For extended absences parents should complete a form available in the WSS Reception.
- Attendance will be recorded every morning. If absent without prior notification, the WSS auto-dialer will phone your home in the majority of cases.
- Teachers will inform parents and students in a timely manner when absences are a concern (e.g. email, phone, parent meeting). Students who miss several classes (e.g. 2 or more) may be required to have other consequences (e.g. make-up time, tutorials).
- Not attending regularly.
- Arriving late to class.
- Not informing the school of illness or reasons for absences.
- Leaving or being out of school without permission from parents and Administration (truancy).
- Not signing out at the office.
- Consequences are designed to discourage truancy / skipping while encouraging additional structured time to complete course work. Students may be requested to ‘make up missed time’ with the teacher.
- The type of situation, length of time truant and attendance pattern of the student will be considered.
- Consequences may range from student-teacher conversations, involvement of parent, to referral to Administration and possible suspension.
Harassment, Bullying, & Intimidation (Fighting)
Statement of Purpose:
- To work together in developing a safe community and responsibility to others.
- To provide gender integrated and inclusive activities. Where gender segregated activities continue to exist, students will have an option to be included in the group that corresponds to their gender identity or, in the case of gender non-conforming students, the group they would like to participate in.
- All students will be included and accommodated for in all extra-curricular activities regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, including support to set up a Gay-Straight Alliance.
- All students and staff have a right to attend school in a safe and peaceful environment and the right to a learning environment free from bullying, harassment, intimidation, and dishonesty.
- All students and staff have the right to self-identification, which includes the name by which they wish to be addressed and their preferred pronouns that correspond to their gender identity.
- All students and staff have the right to confidentiality of their official and/or preferred sex, gender, and name.
- To provide a safe environment to politely voice opinions without the fear of intimidation or harassment.
- All members of the school community, including students and staff, must be treated with respect and courtesy through display of appropriate behaviour and speech.
- Students are expected to learn how to resolve issues in a non-violent manner. Students should report to an adult to assist in mediating differences.
- Students who watch (bystanders), encourage, promote, or participate in fighting are subject to consequences. It is expected that students who are aware of possible fights will exercise maturity and report (anonymously, if need be) the potential conflict / assault.
- Harassment, Bullying, Intimidation is defined by the Ministry of Education as, “any unwelcome or unwanted act or comment that is hurtful, degrading, humiliating, or offensive to another person. Of particular concern is when that harassment behaviour persists after the aggressor has been asked to stop.”
- Physical or sexual assault, violence, fighting, bullying, threats, harassment, and intimidation.
- Social segregation, isolation, ignoring other students (excluding), or threatening to withdraw friendship;
- Apathetic, unfriendly or manipulative behaviour towards other students or staff;
- Slanderous comments (gossiping, spreading malicious rumours), slang remarks, profanity, or other discriminatory terms;
- Condescending treatment that undermines another’s self-respect, such as name-calling, teasing, disrespectful comments, “dirty” looks, social ridicule, public embarrassment;
- Repeated, unwanted communication or attention;
- Insulting graffiti directed at an individual or group;
- Inappropriate sexual attention, sexual suggestions, or sexual comments (derogatory remarks), particularly when it is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to the recipient and/or workplace.
- Discriminatory behaviours (e.g. inappropriate jokes, innuendoes, insults, exclusion, or put-downs) on the basis of the following (but not limited to): a person’s body, appearance, capacity, colour, disability, religion, attire, age, economic status, ethnicity or national origin, real and/or perceived sexual orientation, gender identify or gender expression, etc.
- Students involved in fighting or an assault may be suspended, when under the jurisdiction of the school or where the conflict interferes with teaching, learning or the school climate.
- Students who harass, bully, or use intimidation to overpower, control, or harm an individual’s self esteem or person are subject to consequences ranging from completing an educational project to suspension. Further to this, conversations will occur with parents/guardians and, if warranted, the RCMP.
- Fighting and physical violence (including prize fighting) may involve mediation, restitution, suspension and RCMP involvement. Spectators may also face consequences including suspension.
Drugs & Alcohol
Statement of Purpose:
- Students under the influence or in possession of illegal drugs or alcohol at school or at school events will result in disciplinary action (e.g. loss of privilege to attend future school events), and may include suspension, referral to a counselor/assessment program, referral to other District supports, and RCMP involvement. Personal assistance, with drug or alcohol related concerns, may be obtained from the Drug and Alcohol counselor, or the school counselors.
- Westview Secondary attempts to educate students through the support of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Worker, school counselors and curriculum integrations (PE, Science, Home Economics, Planning, Health & Career Education, etc.).
- Students who want support or have concerns regarding drug or alcohol use should see the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Worker.
- Arriving to school or any school function under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Encouraging other students to participate in alcohol or drug use.
- Promoting, buying, selling or assisting in the purchase of drugs or other illegal substances (e.g. asking for money for the purposes of drugs or alcohol).
- Having any drug related paraphernalia or alcohol on school premises including in a locker, bag, vehicle, etc.
- Promoting the use of drugs or alcohol (see Attire).
- Students who appear to be under the influence or in possession of drugs, alcohol or other illegal substances may be searched.
- Consequences may range from mediation, parent involvement, suspension, RCMP involvement, and referral to the District Intervention Team.
- In discussion with parent and student there may be a referral to participate in an educational counseling program.
Electronic Devices and Technology (see also Internet Use Policy)
Statement of Purpose:
- To foster appropriate social interaction, respect for instruction and regard for learning by purposefully limiting distraction.
- To develop strategies for researching, learning, and presentation of work.
- To provide respectful, safe and responsible access to technology (see also Internet Acceptable Use Policy).
- Students and teachers are encouraged to have on-going conversations around technology guidelines, social media safety, and respect for learning.
- Technology (e.g. ipods, cell phones, lap-tops, etc.) should not interrupt instructional and learning time. Electronic devices may be used as directed by the teacher. When there is no permission such devices are to be turned off.
- Devices with the capacity to record are not allowed without permission by the teacher or Administration. Recordings are not allowed in instructional areas, including but not limited to, classrooms, change rooms, assemblies and presentations.
- Schools must ensure the safety of all students and staff. Students must respect the privacy of others and are not allowed to take photographs or video (recordings) without permission of the school, parent, and student.
- Students are expected to report any inappropriate images (e.g. photos taken without permission, child pornography) or content which is discriminatory, harassing or threatening to another student or staff.
- Students are to be respectful of others when using electronic devices and social media sites.
- Phoning, text messaging or participating in other disruptive practices involving in study areas / cafeteria, classrooms or in the hallways during class time.
- Headphones in use or in ears during instruction or when speaking to another person (teacher or student).
- Viewing, displaying or using inappropriate content, on electronic devices, including saved photos, video footage, etc.
- Storing, forwarding, distributing, or taking inappropriate photos (including child pornography).
- Participating in cyber-bullying. Students who harass, bully, or use intimidating behaviours (including sexually derogatory remarks) via social media or technology such as, but not limited to, emails, snap-chat, blogs, discussion groups, Facebook, or Twitter are subject to consequences.
- Students and teachers will discuss concerns and strive for a resolution.
- Electronic devices may be taken by the teacher and/or Administration and returned to the student or parent in a timely manner.
- Students may loose the privilege to bring electronic devices to school, or use electronic devices at school.
- If the use of technology becomes a safety issue a student may be given other consequences, including suspension, and may require a parent meeting with the teacher or Administration.
- Inappropriate or illegal content (e.g. threats, intimidation, child pornography, distribution of pornography, etc.) will be referred to the RCMP
Facilities and Equipment
Statement of Purpose:
- To promote a safe environment through responsible use of facilities, equipment, and vehicles.
- Students and staff may choose to use washrooms and change rooms that match their gender identity, including non-gendered single-staff washrooms and change rooms.
- To ensure safety regulations are followed for the safety of all students and staff.
- To care for the school and property including textbooks, lockers, furniture and school equipment.
- Facilities and Grounds – students and staff are expected to keep the school facilities and grounds tidy and neat. Food should only be consumed in designated areas. Individuals are expected to clean up after themselves (e.g. return trays, clean tables and stack chairs).
- Lockers – are school equipment and are loaned to students. Use only locks as indicated by the Administration. As property of School District 42, lockers may be subject to inspection or searches by school personnel. Students may store school related materials and supplies in them. Students must not share lockers. Do not bring unnecessary items, valuables or large amounts of money to school. Do not tell anyone the combination to your locker.
- Safety Rules in Classrooms – students are expected to know and abide by the safety rules for specific areas (e.g. cafeteria, gym, science labs, industrial education area, etc.).
- Textbooks & Library Books – Students are responsible for textbooks and library books and must return them in similar condition as when issued. If a textbook is lost or damaged, the student will be charged the replacement cost of the book.
- Transportation and Parking – All staff and students are expected to demonstrate compliance with driving regulations. Everyone should exemplify safe, careful and courteous behaviour both when driving/riding motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, walking and when taking transit to and from the school. Parking is allowed only in specific designed areas. Visitors (students and adults) must report to the office and receive administrative permission to be in the school.
- Guests and Visitors – Student guest passes must be applied for at least one day before the guest is expected to attend. WSS students are responsible for their guests, and as such must bring them to the office immediately upon arrival.
- Intentional destruction of property, such as graffiti, litter, vandalism, theft of personal and/or school property. Not respecting property in the community (e.g. our neighbourhood).
- Lockers may not be used to store stolen property, drugs or alcohol, and/or other materials, which jeopardize the safety of the school. Students may be charged for damage to lockers.
- Parking in restricted areas.
- Congregating on roads surrounding the school.
- Careless use of other student’s materials or school equipment, such as provided in labs or classes.
- Leaving garbage in hallways, on school grounds or on neighbouring streets.
- Inviting or allowing visitors into the building without pre-arranged permission.
- Visitors without permission to be on school grounds may be considered as an intruder or trespasser.
- Lost or damaged books must be found or paid for.
- Inappropriate driving and/or parking may result in being towed at the owner’s expense and RCMP involvement.
- Visitors without permission will be asked to leave and students may be given consequences.
- Issues of vandalism vary with the circumstance. Consequences may range from financial restitution, suspension to RCMP involvement.
- Intruders or trespassers may warrant immediate RCMP. Those who do not comply and pose a threat to the school will be served with section 177. Students involved in inviting or organizing such guests may also face consequences.
Vaping, Smoking, & Chewing Tobacco
Statement of Purpose:
- To promote healthy lifestyles and to prevent students from being in an unsafe situation (e.g. second-hand smoke), WSS supports School District 42 Policy, which requires all District facilities be smoke free.
- To educate students about the addictive potential of nicotine and health risks associated with smoking and vaping. WSS discourages student smoking and vaping and attempts to educate students through the support of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Worker, curriculum integrations (PE, Science, Home Economics, Planning, Health & Career Education, etc.).
- Vaping, Smoking, or the use of nicotine products (e.g. chewing tobacco) in the building or on school property is not permitted.
- To avoid congestion and in respect of our neighbours, students must not congregate nor leave any litter.
- Students who would like support or have concerns regarding vaping, smoking should see the Drug Alcohol and Addictions Prevention Worker.
- Smoking, Vaping or chewing tobacco on school property and during instructional time.
- Standing/ loitering on side-streets.
- Leaving garbage/ litter on any property.
- Any student involved in vaping, smoking or chewing tobacco on school grounds is liable for disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension, search and seizure of products and associated items, and referral to a counselor.
- Westview Park is out of bounds for all students during instructional time or between classes. This includes any student who may have a study block (grad transitions blk). Grade 8 and 9 students are not to be in the park before, during school or after school hours.
Weapons, Fireworks and Explosives
Statement of Purpose:
- To promote a safe environment.
- Students may not be involved in illegal acts such as using, selling, possessing or distributing real or replica weapons, fireworks or other explosive materials, or other restricted substances.
- Bullying, intimidation, harassment (verbal, physical, mental, sexual, etc.), and possession or use of weapons are each forms of violence. These actions, whether uttered as threats or acted upon will not be tolerated.
- Weapons, replicas or any item, which is used to harass or intimidate another person (may result in suspension, expulsion and police involvement);
- Lighting fires, fireworks or explosives on school property.
Any student engaging in promoting, possessing or distributing weapons, fireworks or other explosives will face disciplinary action, which may include suspension and the involvement of the Fire Department, and RCMP.