A school is a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. All students, staff and parents have the right to feel and be safe in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to be law-abiding citizens and to be accountable for actions that put oneself or others at risk.
This code of conduct specifies the mandatory consequences of behaviours which do not comply with these standards. It is subject to ongoing revision; annual changes will be made in student planners. There is a list of seven guiding principles for our Code of Conduct in each classroom and in the front foyer of the school.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Ministry and School Boards have a responsibility to provide direction to their schools that ensures opportunity, excellence and accountability in the education system.
Principals take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by:
- demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence and a safe teaching and learning environment;
- holding everyone, under their authority, accountable for their behaviour and actions;
- communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.
Teachers and School Staff
Teachers and school staff, under the leadership of their principals, maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour. As role models, staff uphold these high standards when they: help students work to their full potential and develop their self-worth;
- communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
- maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
- demonstrate respect for all students, staff and parents;
- prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.
Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour. Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student:
- comes to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
- show respect for themselves, for others and for those in authority;
- refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;
- follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.
Parents play an important role in the education of their children and have a responsibility to support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Parents fulfil this responsibility when they:
- show an active interest in their child's school work and progress;
- communicate regularly with the school;
- help their child be neat, appropriately dressed and prepared for school;
- ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
- promptly report to the school their child's absence or late arrival;
- become familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules;
- encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour;
- assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues.
The principal or teacher will use a progressive approach to discipline which, in most cases, will proceed in the following manner:
- counseling with a staff member;
- loss of one or more recesses;
- interview with the principal;
- telephone call to parent/guardian;
- a meaningful writing exercise;
- extra duties such as yard clean-up;
- academic assignment at nutrition break;
- loss of participation in special school or extra-curricular activities;
- in-school suspension;
- out-of-school suspension.
The school principal maintains a binder in the office. This record of infractions serves to remind students/parents of the degree of intervention required to assist a student in developing self-discipline. Students at East Lambton may be brought/sent to the principal for a variety of infractions, including but not limited to:
- throwing objects in the direction of others;
- social skill infractions;
- intimidation or play fighting;
- disrespect or defiance of those in authority.
A suspension is the temporary removal from daily school activities and privileges by the principal for a minimum of 1 day to a maximum of 20 days. The maximum period of a teacher-imposed suspension shall not exceed one day; however, the teacher may recommend to the principal that a suspension be extended to a maximum of twenty days. The parent/guardian of a minor pupil may request the review of a suspension that is longer than one day.
Immediate Suspension will be the minimum penalty faced by a student for:
- uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm;
- possession of illegal drugs or alcohol;
- being under the influence of alcohol;
- acts of vandalism causing extensive damage to school property or property located on school premises;
- swearing at a teacher, or other person in authority.
Discretionary Suspension will be the penalty faced by a student for: persistent truancy; persistent opposition to authority;
- habitual neglect of duty;
- willful destruction of school property;
- use of profane or improper language;
- conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school or to the physical and mental well being of others in the school.
However, notwithstanding the foregoing, the suspension is not mandatory if in the judgment of the principal or teacher (where the teacher has the authority to suspend):
- the pupil does not have the ability to control his or her behaviour;
- the pupil does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour, or;
- the pupil's continuing presence in the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety or well being of any person.
Police will be involved, using the police/school protocol, and the student will be immediately suspended, and may proceed to an expulsion hearing, for the following:
- possession of a weapon, including, but not limited to, firearms;
- trafficking in drugs or weapons;
- use of a weapon to cause bodily harm, or to threaten serious harm;
- physical assault causing bodily harm requiring professional medical treatment;
- sexual assault;
- providing alcohol to minors.