Section 11: Student Suspension and Expulsion Policy
From time to time, students will be suspended or expelled from a class, from the school itself, or from riding on school transport as a result of unsatisfactory scholarship, conduct and/or cooperation. Although the school reserves the right to dismiss a student without cause, the following guidelines are necessary to exercise that right in a consistent manner.
In this policy,
1. “Suspension” means a temporary cessation or deprivation of the right to attend class or school, to travel on school transport, or on a bus chartered by the school. In practice, suspension may lead to a student studying at home for a period of time, determined as a joint decision between administration, teachers, parents and the student. The period of time ends when new strategies for dealing with the problem(s) encountered at school are generated and the resources for such are put into place.
2. “Expulsion” means the turning out of a student from the school, and a deprivation of the privilege to attend the school with the intention of permanence.
Legislation: School Act, Section 19 (1-8).
1. The Director, the Principal and the teachers shall determine what constitutes behaviour that requires suspension, which may include, but is not limited, to:
a. Behaviour that is continually disruptive to the ability of their peers to work;
b. Willful, aggressive or violent behavior;
c. Use of illegal substances prior to, or during, school attendance;
d. Other conduct injurious to the moral tone or well-being of the school.
2. Similar aggressive or disruptive behaviour on the part of parents would also be grounds for student suspension, because students and their parents constitute an indivisible unit.
3. We will always endeavour to aim first for resolution, as quickly as possible, according to our Conflict Resolution Policy. When these constructive means have failed, the Director and Principal, with feedback from pertinent teachers, shall make a collaborative decision whether suspension would be a reasonable way to deal with, or resolve, the problems at hand. If and when such a decision has been made:
a. Parents will be notified and required to pick up the student from school, or pay for taxi service to his/her home.
b. The terms of the suspension shall be determined in collaboration with the teachers and the parents/guardians, through discussion and/or in writing.
c. The duration of a suspension will be determined on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind the severity of the problems encountered. Certain problems, such as those arising from drug use or personality disorders, may necessitate long-term interventions, including counselling. For these interventions to work, family cooperation is crucial. The needs of the students, at times like this, must be addressed; as well, the positive learning atmosphere of the school is paramount for addressing the needs of other students and staff. Therefore, the overall peaceful and respectful atmosphere of the school must be maintained.
d. The Director and Principal may re-instate a student at any time, should such a decision prove applicable. The crucial element is the resolution of the particular issues that led to the initial problems within the school. Professional intervention from community-based services will generally be deemed necessary before a suspension may be revoked.
e. Following a suspension, students shall be placed upon probation. The length of the probation shall be determined by the Director and Principal, in consultation with teachers and parent(s)/guardian(s).
4. The Director, the Principal and the teachers shall determine what constitutes behaviour that requires expulsion, which may include, but is not limited, to:
a. Behaviour that is continually disruptive to the ability of their peers, or their teachers, to work;
b. Willfully disrespectful, aggressive, or violent behavior;
c. Use of illegal substances prior to, or during, school attendance;
d. Other persistent conduct injurious to the moral tone or well-being of the school.
5. The Director and Principal may expel a student when such an action is warranted. This would only occur if resolution to suspension issues was not discovered, or if an emergency situation were to arise wherein the emotional and/or physical safety of other students and/or staff were in jeopardy.
a. The move to expel a student would usually be initiated after numerous prior discussions with the student and his/her parents regarding the presenting problems.
b. In acute circumstances, when a threat to the safety and well-being of students and/or staff is involved, immediate action to expel the student may occur, with information being passed on to parents directly thereafter regarding the decision.
c. Written notice may be provided to the parent(s) or guardian(s) about the reasons for the expulsion, if requested.
d. In the case of expulsion, school tuition fees are non-refundable, as indicated on the Registration and Tuition Fees Contract.
6. A parent and student may appeal an expulsion to the Director and Principal. An outside mediator may be utilized in the process of determining the suitability of the appeal. Any appeal conducted by the Director or Principal shall be based on fairness for all parties involved. The following particulars shall be followed regarding an expulsion:
a. Professional psychological intervention from community-based services will be deemed necessary before an expulsion may be revoked.
b. Should an expulsion be revoked, the situation reverts to that of a suspension.
c. If an expulsion is determined to be irrevocable, the school must ensure that the student has access to an education for the remainder of the school year. Options will be presented to the family, such as home schooling, if the parent is available for that supportive role. Another option could be having the student work at home, or in a public place such as a library, with the assistance of one of our teachers. Other alternatives would be investigating other institutions’ availability to that student. With older students who have not completed their Grade 12 courses, work experience courses may be suggested and coordinated through the school, as long as that student is capable of, and willing to, display appropriate social behaviour at the workplace.
d. If appropriate and helpful, particularly if emotions were high within either the parents or school personnel, a mediator may be utilized for the purpose of determining a suitable educational placement for the expelled student.
7. If a parent displays similarly disrespectful, aggressive, disruptive or violent behaviour that would normally provoke an expulsion for a student, then that parental behaviour would also be grounds for student expulsion, because students and their parents constitute an indivisible unit.
8. Should a student expulsion thereafter lead to a parent or student engaging in harassment, or the creation of a disturbance at or near the school, or in an inappropriate communication with school staff or students (such as insults, threats or belligerence), or in defamation of character and attempts to hurt the reputation of the staff and school, we shall refer to the School Act in Alberta, which prohibits such behaviour. It states that no person shall:
a. Disturb or interrupt the proceedings of a school;
b. Disturb or interrupt the proceedings of a school meeting or board meeting; or
c. Loiter or trespass in a school building or on property owned by a board.
9. In such a case that a parent or any person contravenes any or all of the above prohibited activities, the school shall respond by utilizing an appropriate remedy from the following options:
a. Ask the person to leave the premises;
b. Issue a letter requesting the person to cease and desist performing the objectionable behaviour;
c. Call the police to remove the person from the premises or property;
d. Initiate a lock-down procedure within the school, if a threat to safety is perceived;
e. Make a request to a lawyer or other representative of the legal system, that they issue an order to cease and desist;
f. Initiate proceedings for a Restraining Order.