Catholic board eyeing new code of conduct

A comprehensive board-wide code of conduct for students, teachers, and other staff could be passed at tonight’s regular monthly meeting of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
The new code, required by the province under the Safe Schools legislation, covers all aspects of appropriate behaviour and outlines punishments for those who break the rules.
“It’s a guide for schools to follow in establishing their own code of conduct,” Education Director John Madigan said this morning. “It’s intended to be an umbrella code.”
Madigan said individual schools had created codes of conduct back in 1993 and 1994. And while the board had many policies concerning the expectations of students and staff, it had never created a board-wide code of conduct before.
The draft of the code, which is expected to be passed at tonight’s meeting, includes everything from adhering to language and school dress/uniform codes to policies on drugs, alcohol, assault, and abuse.
In addition to the code, the board also has developed a suspension and expulsion policy. Those found uttering threats, possessing alcohol or drugs, and swearing at a teacher automatically will be suspended.
Those found possessing a weapon, assaulting someone enough to require medical attention, or trafficking in drugs will be expelled.
“We tend to have more issues of bullying . . . and getting into fights but the legislation required our policies also deal with drugs and alcohol, weapons, and sexual assault,” Madigan said.
While new, Madigan said the code simply re-affirms policies already in place.
“We’re not changing the standards, we’re just getting the whole school community to revisit expectations,” he remarked.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the board office next to St. Francis School.