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LBPSB Safe and Caring Schools Policy

Please see the Lester B. Pearson School Board's Safe and Caring Schools Policy here.

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.

Riverdale Anti-Bullying Anti-Violence Policy

 

Goal

To reduce the number of incidents of bullying and violence in all forms.  To provide a learning environment in which staff and students can feel safe and respected while working and learning.  To create a safe environment, conducive to learning, for the Riverdale community.

 

Definitions

Bullying – A repeated direct or indirect behaviour, 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.

Types of bullying may include, but are not limited to, Physical Aggression, Verbal Aggression, Social Alienation, Cyber Bullying, Sexual Harassment, Racial and Cultural Harassment, Discriminatory Behaviour.

Violence – 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 (Tentative)

Roger Rampersad

Dan Mullins

Natalie Constant

Chantal Cook

Maryte Gurekas

Senior Student 2

Lori McKergow

Keith Mills

Ian Spencer

Davion Campbell

Senior Student 1

 

                                                                                                               
Governing Board Approval

 

 

    ______________(Signed)______________                   ______________(Signed)______________                         

           Signature of Governing Board Chair                                             Signature Principal

 

1. Analysis of the School’s Situation

The Riverdale community is committed to supporting the Lester B. Pearson School Board’s Safe and Caring Schools Policy.  Riverdale works towards eliminating bullying and violence in any form and to quantify and record related incidents.

Proposed Steps

• Riverdale will use the Tell Them From Me survey to monitor student perception of the school climate as it relates to bullying and violence, and adjust strategies for addressing bullying and violence accordingly.

• Riverdale will collect Bus Reports as well as written reports from staff, students and parents who witness or are involved in acts of bullying or violence.

• In-school suspension (ISS), out-of-school suspension (OSS), Alternative Suspension (through the YMCA) and expulsions due to bullying and violent behaviour will also be recorded and compiled.

• Riverdale will keep a record of the number of referrals to the office for bullying or violence.

• Riverdale will keep a record of the number of planning room referrals for bullying or violence.

• All of the above steps will be collected in a consistent manner to provide a sense global picture of bullying and violence at Riverdale and also for purposes of year-over-year comparisons.

 

2. Prevention Measures

The Riverdale community believes that education, dialogue, and addressing underlying stressors are fundamental to improving bullying and violence outcomes.  We will provide a forum for members of our community to explore these issues and discuss potential solutions as well as to share experiences and information on research and best practices.  At Riverdale, the effort to make bullying and violence universally unacceptable within our culture is understood to be a long-term goal, and as such we recommit to applying our efforts in this direction for the duration.

Proposed Steps

• The Riverdale High School Code of Conduct and list of prohibited behaviours and list of consequences will be distributed to all school members and parents via the school agenda and on the Riverdale website annually. These policies will be discussed and referenced in communications with the school community throughout the year, and feedback collected and considered by the Anti-Bullying and Anti-Violence Team so that they remain active documents.

• The Anti-Bullying and Anti-Violence Team will meet a minimum of twice a year in order to consider initiatives and activities related to the reduction of bullying and violence in the Riverdale community as well as considering changes to this document.

• Riverdale High School is committed to the goals and objectives of the LBPSB Digital Citizenship Project and how it relates to 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, but are not limited to:

F.L.A.S.H. Committee

Gay Straight Alliance

Good news messages

Purple Against Homophobia

Pink Shirt Day

Peaceful Schools

Girl’s Club (Junior and Senior)

Boys to Men

Socio-community officer visits

Peer Mentoring

Peer Mediation

Visits from AJOI

ASAC – Anti-Bullying Lunch Workshop

Schmooze Club

Communal Lunch

Leadership spirit/team building activities

AMCAL Anger Management

Tolerance Caravan

VISIONS

Three-year program

Planning room

                                                                                                                                           
• Riverdale High School will offer a minimum of one presentation annually by an outside organization (e.g. play, team building activity, concert, etc.) which focuses on the theme of anti-violence or anti-bullying.

• Riverdale High School celebrates its highly culturally diverse student population and is committed to ensuring continued harmony between cultural groups.  As such, Riverdale offers various ongoing programs throughout the year, such as hosting the West Island Black Community Association, the Association of South Asian Communities and Schmooze Club (run by Rabbi David Lazare) as Community Learning Centre partners, and will at times provide cultural awareness activities during the year, such as at least one Black History Month event and a Jewish/Muslim Dialogue.

• Riverdale High School values all students regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation .  As such, supports are available to all students in these regards.  Events relating to sexuality, gender and sexual orientation are proposed and organized by the Friendship, Love and Sexual Health (FLASH), and Riverdale has a vibrant Gay Straight Alliance.

• Riverdale High School’s differently abled student population are served well by the excellent resource team, the building’s mandated accessibility features, and are well integrated into, and accepted by, the rest of the student population.  Differently abled presenters have also been invited to the school to speak on a variety of topics.

• Riverdale High School engages in ongoing student/teacher/staff/Governing Board information sessions on bullying, racism, homophobia and violence prevention.

• Riverdale High School includes anti-violence and anti-bullying messages 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 bullying and 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, parents, students, volunteers 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 28, 2016, p.3

Proposed Steps

• Riverdale High School shall review the LBPSB Policy on Safe and Caring Schools on an annual basis. A permanent link to this document will be maintained on the Riverdale High School website.

• Riverdale High School will include references to anti-bullying/anti-violence themes at gatherings such as Curriculum Night, Report Evenings, etc.

• The Riverdale High School Code of Conduct and list of prohibited behaviours and list of consequences will be distributed to all school members and parents via the school agenda and on the Riverdale website annually. These policies will be discussed and referenced in communications with the school community throughout the year, and feedback collected and considered by the Anti-Bullying and Anti-Violence Team so that they remain active documents.

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

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

• Riverdale High School will discuss anti-violence/anti-bullying strategies at meetings between parents and 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 will periodically follow-up with the victim of bullying, the one engaged in bullying behaviours and his/her parents to ensure that the measures taken have been successful.

• In certain circumstances, interventions may be undertaken to establish partnerships with parents.  In such circumstances, students with behavioural difficulties will be identified, and the school principal and/or teacher will make initial contact at the beginning of the year to discuss how the year can be a positive one for the student. For students with behavioural challenges, the school will 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 will make every effort to maintain confidentiality for parties reporting incidents of bullying and/or violence (when desired by the parties). The identified perpetrator will be fully apprised of the details of the report made against him/her, excluding, whenever possible and appropriate, any specifics which may identify the reporting party.

• 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. Students are informed of this in an assembly at the beginning of each year.

• Following the initial report of an incident of bullying or violence, a student may make a full verbal report in a setting in which notes can be taken, and/or he/she may provide a written report of what has taken place. 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 make contact in one of the following ways:

  • Speak to a school administrator.
  • Write a letter detailing issue or incident addressed to school administrator or classroom teacher.
  • Write an email to school administrator, classroom teacher or other appropriate staff member.

Proposed Steps (Parents)

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

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

• After receiving the report, the reporting parent will be contacted with confirmation that the situation is being investigated and/or apprised of actions being taken. Further details will be limited in order to insure confidentiality of parties involved.

• Riverdale High School encourages teachers to make contact in one of the following ways:

  • Speak to a school administrator.
  • Make a phone call to a school administrator.
  • Write a Letter detailing issue or incident addressed to school administrator or classroom teacher.
  • Email to school administrator or classroom teacher.

 

5.Actions to Take When a Bullying or Violent Act is Observed

No member of the Riverdale High School Community will be indifferent towards 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 section 4. Procedures for Reporting, Proposed Steps (Student) 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. Refer to section 4. Procedures for Reporting, Proposed Steps (Parent) in this plan.

N.B.: 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

• All reports of bullying and/or violence will be kept in a secure location under the supervision of the school principal 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