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Prohibited Behaviours

At all times, the administration of the school reserves the right to intervene regarding behaviours that disrupt the culture of learning in the school or interfere with the normal and civil functioning of the learning environment.

The following behaviours are examples of those that are prohibited at all times.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list:

  • All types of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment or intimidation;
  • Physical fighting, punching, hitting, roughhousing, violence and aggression;
  • Disruptions and disrespect shown in class, field trips or sporting events and on school transportation;
  • Possession of, or being under the influence of, alcohol and/or illegal drugs;
  • Possession of a prohibited or non-prohibited weapon;
  • All forms of smoking, tobacco use, “vaping” or e-cigarette use.  Provincial law prevents smoking and the use of e-cigarettes on school property at any time.  This includes after school hours, evenings, and weekends.  Fines can be imposed for violations;
  • Vandalism of school, staff or student property.  Any costs incurred by the school will be billed to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student(s) who committed the vandalism;
  • Theft of any student or staff member’s personal belongings or the theft of school property;
  • Any type of vulgar or profane language, threats, name calling or racial slurs in school or on social media;
  • Falsely pulling fire alarms.  New municipal regulations call for the levying of fines for sounding a false fire alarm in any building.  These fines range from $250 to $2700 depending upon the frequency of the alarms.  Parents and students are advised that students will be held accountable for any actions which result in a false alarm being sent to municipal fire departments;
  • Disrespectful or non-compliant behaviour during school transportation or towards volunteers during carpooling on school trips may result in loss of privileges or other sanctions based on the nature of the act;
  • Use of inline skates or a skateboard.

Bullying

Goal: To prevent all forms of bullying and violence targeting a student, a teacher or any other staff member.

Definitions:

Bullying: refers to any repeated in direct or indirect behavior, comment, act, or gesture, whether deliberate or not, including in cyberspace, which occurs in a context where there is a power imbalance between the persons concerned and which causes distress and injures, hurts, oppresses, intimidates or ostracizes.

Violence: refers to any intentional demonstration of verbal, written, physical, psychological or sexual force which causes distress and injures, hurts, or oppresses a person by attacking their psychological or physical integrity or well-being, or their rights or property.

Members of the anti-bullying and anti-violence team:

Roger Rampersad, Deborah Dixon, Susan Strano, Kim De Clerq, Mary Guerakas, Keith Mills, Diego Bonato, Sandra King, Natalie Constant

1. Analysis of the School's Situation:

The Riverdale High School Community pledges its support for the position of the Lester B. Pearson School Board's Safe and Caring School Policy with respect to school safety and security.

To that end, Riverdale High School is committed to working towards eliminating all forms of bullying and violence in its community and to taking a regular measure of its school climate as it relates to these particular issues.

Proposed Steps

• Riverdale High School will poll the student population twice per year (December/April) through its Tell Them From Me survey to identify the student perception of bullying. The first  survey establishes the situation, and allows for the implementation of actions and strategies. The second survey indicates the degree of impact of the actions and strategies.

• Riverdale High School will commit to conducting the Staff Survey on Safe and Caring Schools with the support of the Student Services Department of the LBPSB.

• Riverdale High School commits to having standard written reports completed by staff, students and parents regarding reported incidents of violence or bullying.

• Riverdale High School will include Transportation/Bus Reports related to acts of bullying or violence as part of its general snapshot of the school’s situation.

• In-school and out-of-school suspensions and expulsions related to bullying and violent behaviour will be recorded and included in the snapshot.

• Riverdale High School will keep a general tally of referrals to the office for bullying or violent behaviours for reporting purposes.

• Riverdale High School commits to including its analysis of the situation, targets, actions, strategies and monitoring mechanisms in the school’s MESA and to including a section on outcomes in its Annual Report on the MESA.

2. Prevention Measures:

The Riverdale High School Community holds firm in the conviction that education and dialogue are the keys to changing attitudes towards issues of bullying and violence in schools. As educators, we are committed to providing opportunities for all members of our community to explore these issues, share experiences, move towards a greater understanding of their underlying causes and build the capacity to rise above them. We acknowledge that changing attitudes and culture is a long-term process. To that end, established measures such as those listed below should be considered as part of a general plan to promote a safe and caring school environment.

Proposed Steps

• The Riverdale High School Code of Conduct will be distributed to all school members and parents annually. The Code will be discussed and referenced in communications with the school community throughout the year so it remains an active document within the context of this plan.

• Riverdale High School is committed to the goals and objectives of the LBPSB Digital Citizenship Project and its implication in this plan.

• Riverdale High School will continue to implement programs related to anti-violence and anti-bullying over the course of each school year. These programs include:

  • F.L.A.S.H. Committee
  • L.O.V.E.
  • Gay Straight Alliance
  • Good news messages
  • Purple Against Homophobia
  • Peaceful Schools
  • Girl’s Club (Junior and Senior)
  • Boys to Men
  • Socio-community officer visits
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Peer Mediation
  • Planning room
  • Transitioning (Secondary I Bridge)
  • VISIONS
  • Tolerance Caravan
  • AMCAL Anger Management
  • Riverdale High School will survey students and staff regularly to determine where the ‘hot spots’ are for bullying and violence are located, resulting in increased adult supervision in these areas.
  • Riverdale High School will commit to a minimum of one presentation annually by an outside organization. (play, team building activity, concert, etc.) which focuses on the theme of anti-violence or anti-bullying
  • Riverdale High School will engage in ongoing student/teacher/staff/Governing Board information sessions on bullying, homophobia and prevention.
  • Riverdale High School commits itself to including messages regarding anti-violence and anti-bullying during student assemblies or rotating class visits over the course of the academic year.

3. Measures to Encourage Parental Collaboration:

Parent collaboration and cooperation is critical to the success of any plan to eliminate bullyingand violence in schools. The Riverdale High School Community includes parents and, as a consequence, it is understood that parents are committed to the goals and objectives of this plan. It is critical that parents work with the school and engage in constructive dialogue on issues as they arise.

"The Lester B. Pearson School Board (also) believes that the school board's administrators, staff, parent, students and all those present in the school's environment have a responsibility to ensure that the right to be safe and secure is upheld."  

Introduction, LBPSB Policy on Safe and Caring Schools, November 2008, p.4

Proposed Steps

• Riverdale High School shall review and distribute the LBPSB Anti-bullying, AntiViolence Plan on an annual basis. A permanent link to this document will be maintained on the Riverdale High School website.

• Riverdale High School will commit itself to including references to anti-bullying/antiviolence themes at gatherings such as Curriculum Night, Report Evenings, etc.

• The Riverdale High School Code of Conduct will be distributed annually to members of the school community (i.e. agenda). This distribution will include a mechanism for receipt and review acknowledgement by parents if school so chooses.

• Riverdale High School will post information or links on its school website with relevant parent information regarding bullying, being a responsible bystander, internet safety, cyberbullying, etc.

• In collaboration with its Governing Board, Home and School or Parent Participation Organization, Riverdale High School will present parent information sessions on specific topics of bullying and violence.

• Riverdale High School will share anti-violence/anti-bullying strategies at parent meetings with classroom teachers and discuss current classroom practices with respect to this plan.

• Riverdale High School commits to ongoing communication between school personnel and the parents of children who are being bullied and those who engage in bullying behaviours, until complete resolution of the problem. Additionally, Riverdale High School commits to periodic follow-up communication with the victim of bullying, the one engaged in bullying behaviours and his/her parents to ensure that the measures taken have been successful.

• Possible interventions to establish partnerships with parents: identify students with behavioural difficulties – school Principal/teacher makes initial contact at the beginning of the year to discuss how ‘we’ want the year to be successful for the student. For students with behavioural challenges, call home when positive behaviours are seen.

4. Procedures for Reporting:

All members of the Riverdale High School Community are entitled to a safe, non-threatening and easily accessible process for reporting incidents of bullying or violent behavior regardless of whether they are victims, witnesses or a reporting party. It is understood that our process is designed to facilitate and encourage, not impede, the reporting of incidents.

Proposed Steps (Students)

  • Riverdale High School try to maintain confidentiality for parties reporting incidents of bullying and/or violence. At the same time, we guarantee that the identified perpetrator is fully apprised of the details of the report made against him/her.
  • Any Riverdale High School student who witnesses an act of bullying or violence is encouraged to tell a staff member at school, and an adult at home so as to allow those adults to follow-up with reporting as they see fit and necessary.
  • Once a student has made a verbal report of a bullying or violent incident, he/she provides a written report of what has taken place with a verbal account provided to an adult. This is providing the student is capable of producing said report.
  • Riverdale High School confirms that any verbal report given to a staff member from a student must be documented and followed-up as needed.
  • Riverdale High School encourages students to email the appropriate person to report on bullying or violence in the school.

Proposed Steps (Parents)

Members of the Riverdale High School parent community who are made aware of a bullying situation or act of violence involving either their own child or another student of the school are encouraged to contact the school Administration, their designate or classroom teacher.

This contact and subsequent follow-up will be documented by Riverdale High School personnel.

  • Within two days of receiving the report, the reporting parent will be contacted by the school, to be assured that the situation is being investigated and that appropriate action(s) is being taken. Further details will be limited in order to insure confidentiality of parties involved.
  • Riverdale High School invites the following forms of contact from parents:
    • Direct phone call to school administrator.
    • Letter detailing issue or incident addressed to school administrator or classroom teacher.
    • Email
    • Completion of a reporting form available from the school’s main office.

5. Actions to Be Taken When Observing a Bullying or Violent Act:

No member of the Riverdale High School Community will be indifferent towards reported or witnessed acts of violence and bullying. We are committed to responding to and investigating any report we receive which suggests that an incident of violence and/or bullying has taken place amongst our population. Furthermore, we are committed to considering all available facts in a timely and efficient manner.

Proposed Steps:

 All Riverdale High School staff will be committed to a zero indifference policy with respect to acts of violence or bullying or reports of said acts. All acts or reports will be investigated.

 A Riverdale High School staff member who observes or is made aware of a possible act of bullying or violence must intervene to assess the situation and take action if deemed necessary.

 If the situation does not threaten the staff member who is a witness or who has been told of an incident, he/she must intervene immediately.

 If the staff member considers his/her intervention in the situation successful, student is not referred to administration. However, an intervention report must be filed and submitted to principal if the staff member considers the incident to be one of violence or bullying.

 The staff member may determine that the student involved in the bullying and/or violent behaviour should be sent directly to administration, depending on the severity of the incident.

 At the discretion of the school principal or his/her delegate, police intervention may be requested in the form of a 911 emergency call or a call for support from the school’s

Socio-Community Officer.

  • A Riverdale High School student may intervene if the situation does not threaten his /her well-being and/or may choose to seek the assistance of a staff member.
  • Any Riverdale High School student who witnesses an incident of violence or bullying must report the incident to the appropriate staff member in the school using the established protocols (refer to 4 in this plan).
  • Any member of the Riverdale High School Parent Community who is witness to an act of bullying or violence is encouraged to report that incident directly to the school administration. The steps that are undertaken include investigation of the report, appropriate measures taken and appropriate follow-up as per Section 4 of this plan.
  • Note: All Riverdale High School reports regarding incidents of violence and/or bullying must be forwarded to the appropriate Regional Director in cases where students are excluded from their regular course of studies as a consequence of their actions (Suspension).

6. Measures to Protect Confidentiality:

As part of the investigative and follow-up processes, Riverdale High School is committed to maintaining fair, accurate and confidential records of each reported incident of bullying or violence, regardless of the investigative outcome. These records will include specific details on the incidents in question, the steps taken by the school as a consequence of its investigation and indication of intended follow-up. Riverdale High School is committed to keeping these records confidential and secure so as to protect all parties regardless of their role in the incident.

Proposed Steps:

  • The Riverdale High School anti-violence/anti-bullying plan will be reviewed annually and all staff are reminded that every incident and the follow-up must be kept confidential.
  • All reports of bullying and/or violence will be kept in a secure location under the supervision of the school Administration or his/her delegate.
  • The above named reports will be kept in a distinct file from the Cumulative File or Confidential File of an individual student.
  • In all instances and procedures, a sensitivity to the concerns of all parties must be kept in mind.
  • Members of the Riverdale High School Community agree that in all cases involving minor students, information shared should be on a need to know basis only.
  • All parties acknowledge that Riverdale High School personnel are not obliged to share information about another student with anyone but other staff and parents of that student