Safe, inclusive, and accepting schools
A safe, inclusive and accepting school environment is necessary for our students to succeed. No child should feel insecure or intimidated at school. We believe that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, and have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
Our policies and procedures form a comprehensive approach to positive school climate and appropriate behaviour. They include prevention and intervention strategies, and appropriate supports and consequences. We also focus on mental health, good digital citizenship, and keeping our parents informed. We take a whole-school approach, and are all working together to give our students the support they need to learn and grow.
Respecting the differences in all of us
Catholic education promotes the dignity of all people. We stand against any form of discrimination or harassment that relates to a person’s race, gender, sexuality, or social status. We want our school activities to encourage inclusiveness and acceptance for all students.
Supported by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA), we are working to make sure our schools are safe and positive places to learn. The OCSTA has provided all Ontario Catholic schools in Ontario with a useful resource to help with this mission: Respecting Difference. We have relied greatly on this document to help develop strategies to combat bullying, including the formation of student-led equity and diversity clubs and activities.
Embracing diversity in our community
We want our students to grow into responsible and socially conscious citizens who believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their ancestry, citizenship or disability. Our Equity and Inclusive Education policy is based on the Ontario Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and embraces multiculturalism, human rights and diversity as fundamental values.
Bullying prevention and intervention
The Accepting Schools Act, or Bill 13, has provided more direction with respect to preventing and addressing inappropriate and disrespectful behaviour among students in our schools. These behaviours include bullying, discrimination and harassment. Our policies and procedures were revised to reflect this new legislation.
Bullying will not be tolerated on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses, or in any other circumstances where it could have a negative impact on the school climate. Every school has its own plan to deal with bullying, based on our Board’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. Visit the website of your child’s school to view its particular bullying plan.
Understanding the definition of bullying
Bullying is typically a form of repeated and aggressive behaviour that is intended to cause fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation. It can take many forms. Bullying can be physical, verbal, social, written or electronic, also known as cyber-bullying.
Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim. This is often based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, economic or social status, religion, ethnic origin, gender, race, disability or the receipt of special education.
When you suspect your child is being bullied
It is important to listen to your children, and assure them that talking about their school environment is not tattling. When you child confides in you, speak first to their teacher. Review our policies and procedures to learn more about all of the resources we have available. You can also contact the school principal, or speak to a counselor. You will be provided with every opportunity to work with your school to make an effective plan to deal with bullying behaviour.
Contact your school principal with questions regarding our safe schools policies or procedures. They know your school climate and your child. If you require additional assistance, contact:
Jennifer Oake, Principal of Safe, Inclusive, and Accepting Schools
Code of Conduct: A Shared Responsibility
The Ontario Code of Conduct sets out clear standards of behaviour which apply to everyone in the school community, including students, staff, and parents.
Please review our updated OCSB Code of Conduct, which applies to all members of our school board community.