Index of Policies
Policy of the Toronto District School Board
Table of Contents

Number C.06                            Safe Schools Policy

 Updated: May 3, 2000

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The mission of the Toronto District School Board is to provide "learning environments that are safe, nurturing, positive and respectful."

Such learning environments are peaceful and welcoming for all. They must be free of negative factors such as abuse, bullying, discrimination, intimidation, hateful words and deeds and physi-cal violence in any form. They must also clearly demonstrate respect for human rights and so-cial justice and promote the values needed to develop responsible members of a democratic society.

The Toronto District School Board:

  • is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for all students, staff and visitors to our schools;
  • will include in its Safe Schools Policy clear expectations for all students, parents and staff, which will be communicated on a regular and ongoing basis;
  • will ensure that each school establishes a safe schools committee and develops a code of behaviour and a safe school plan;
  • will continue to incorporate violence prevention and peaceful problem solving into the curriculum beginning in kindergarten;
  • expects its students, parents/guardians, employees, and community members to actively participate as partners in maintaining a safe learning and work environment in its schools, offices, work sites and at all Board sponsored activities;
  • will not tolerate on Board property, on school contracted transportation, or at Board sponsored events:
    • violence of any kind;
    • the possession or presence of weapons;
    • harmful, threatening or actual acts of violence or other unlawful acts;
    • verbal abuse in any form;
    • the presence of any intruder or any activity which places the safety of students, staff or visitors at risk; and
    • the possession of, use of, or trafficking in alcohol, illegal drugs or unauthorized prescription drugs;
  • will ensure that school officials and staff respond appropriately, without delay and in a consistent fashion when violent incidents threaten the safety and security of our schools and the well-being of our students, staff and larger community;
  • will ensure that there are serious consequences to any student who commits a violent act, up to and including expulsions as outlined in the Education Act;
  • acknowledges its responsibility to educate all students, including those who commit violent acts, and to provide these students with opportunities to attend programs and access services appropriate to their academic and social/emotional needs;
  • will offer support for victims of school-related violence, their families and school communities.

Table of Contents

1. Zero Tolerance
2. Partnerships
3. Co-ordination
4. TDSB Values

TDSB is committed to providing learning environments that are safe, nurturing, positive and respectful. The Safe Schools Policy and Administrative Procedures offer a comprehensive, proactive and responsive approach to building a safe and caring school community.

The purpose of the Safe Schools Policy is to:

  • Reduce the incidence of violence in schools;
  • Provide opportunities for students and staff to develop the skills necessary to handle violent and potentially violent situations;
  • Promote the long-term prevention of violence by preparing students to manage their lives and relationships in non-violent ways.

1. Zero Tolerance

The Toronto District School Board does not tolerate any anti-social or violent behaviour, which impacts on learning environments. The Toronto District School Board's commitment to zero tolerance is central to the Safe Schools Policy. Through the development of early and ongoing strategies for intervention and prevention, supported by a Code of Behaviour, the TDSB provides a framework for dealing with violent incidents that includes due process in delivering a range of appropriate consequences for inappropriate behaviour.

2. Partnerships

The successful implementation of the Safe Schools Policy relies on the partnerships created with the school community, through the involvement of, and communication among students, staff, parents or guardians, schools, police services, community agencies and local governments. Each is a key partner in establishing a positive school environment. Through the development of procedures for dealing with violent incidents and their aftermath, the TDSB through the Safe Schools Policy provides students who commit violent acts, with opportunities to attend programs and access services appropriate to their academic and social-emotional needs.

3. Co-ordination

To ensure a co-ordinated system to address the issue of violence prevention, the development of the Safe Schools Policy and plans for implementation are linked to existing policies such as:

  • TDSB Policy B.03: Equity Foundation Statement;
  • TDSB Policy C.07: Dealing with Neglect and Abuse of Students;
  • the TDSB's Human Rights Policy currently under consideration;
  • expectations as outlined in the new Ontario curriculum and in the
  • Ontario Secondary School policy; drug education policies;
  • policies that have arisen from addressing the various discriminatory categories outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

4. TDSB Values

Building safe and caring school communities begins with a strong vision that encompasses a set of values and beliefs. In April 1998, the Toronto District School Board adopted its Mission and Values Statement which included the following two values:

  • a partnership of students, schools, family, and community;
  • learning environments that are safe, nurturing, positive and respectful

The Board's beliefs surrounding safe and caring school communities are identified the Policy Statement (see pages 1 and 2) and form the basis for developing meaningful safe schools practices for the improvement of student learning and achievement.

Most important, the Safe Schools Policy is proactive by focusing on both preventative programs and services, early identification of abuse, bullying, discrimination, intimidation, hateful words and of course physical violence in any form.

Students, teachers and school administrators must have a clear and thorough understanding of the Code of Behaviour (included in the following Administrative Procedures) and the consequences for failure to meet the code's expectations for behaviour.