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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 purpose of the Safe Schools Policy is to:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.