Toronto District School Board

There is a culture of fear at the Toronto District School Board that is pervasive at the Trustee, Management and Staff levels and seriously hampers the implementation of helpful and important change that could protect our kids.

Extract of recommendations issued in the School Community Safety Advisory Panel Report (January, 2008)

3.06.01 Barriers to Reporting

To the TDSB

18. In view of the Panel’s findings with respect to the education culture at the TDSB, the TDSB should contract an outside management consultant to provide advice and training in respect of pro-active measures the Board can take to counteract the characteristics and dynamics identified by the Panel in its Report on the TDSB education culture.

To the Ministry of Education

20. The Panel recommends that the provincial government create mandatory reporting obligations for serious issues of student safety. Serious issues of student safety include:

(i) possession of any prohibited or restricted weapon as set out in the Criminal Code of Canada;

(ii) a violent incident that has caused serious bodily harm; and

(iii) sexual assaults subject to Panel’s recommendations concerning reporting of sexual assault. (page 423)

21. The Panel further recommends that the provincial government amend the Education Act to create mandatory reporting obligations for all school staff. At a minimum, the reporting provisions would require all Board staff to report serious issues of student safety. The provisions would develop reporting structures that ensure that the principal and vice-principals are informed of every reportable incident. The provisions would obligate the principal of a school to advise the Board representative in charge of issues of safety and the Provincial Officer of serious issues of student safety and where applicable, advise the police of any particular issue. Where an employee has knowledge of a breach of the reporting provisions, the employee must report the breach, pursuant to reporting protection legislation, to the School Safety and Equity Officer. (page 423)

22. The provincial government should amend the Education Act to include reporting protection legislation that would apply to all school board employees. The legislation would enable an employee of a school board to anonymously report, in good faith, serious issues of student safety to the Provincial School Safety and Equity Officer and would allow the employee to disclose, if necessary, a student’s OSR. The legislation would prohibit any form of direct or indirect reprisal, retaliation or adverse employment consequences against the individual reporting employee. The legislation would include a punitive and remedial penalty attached to the protection. (page 424)

3.06.06 Trustee Governance

To the Ministry of Education and TDSB:

65. The TDSB should develop a job description for all trustees. The job description should detail the distinction between policy decisions and school operational decisions. (page 474)

66. The TDSB design a code of conduct for trustees. The code of conduct should include, at minimum, the following prohibitions:

(a) Trustees are prohibited from involving themselves in matters of internal school discipline;

(b) Trustees are prohibited from engaging in operational decisions of any particular school;

(c) Trustees are prohibited from engaging in any conduct intended to embarrass or intimidate other trustees or staff of the TDSB;

(d) Trustees agree to respect the confidentiality of in-camera discussions in accordance with relevant statutes and Board policies; and,

(e) Individual Trustees are prohibited from acting in any way that usurps the authority of the Board of Trustees. (page 475)

67. Upon election, trustees should be obligated to complete a training course that details their job description and advises them of their obligations pursuant to the code of conduct. During their term of office, trustees should receive refresher training every year. (page 476)

To the Ministry of Education:

68. The Ministry of Education should include in its funding formula adequate funding for the orientation and training of trustees. (page 476)

To the TDSB and the Ministry of Education:

69. The Chair of the TDSB should be paid a salary commensurate with the full-time nature of the position, the level of responsibility, and public expectations involved. (page 477)

To the TDSB:

70. The Director and Associate Director of the TDSB should be selected by means of a process that includes a broad range of community consultations around the qualifications, background and perspectives of potential candidates. (page 477)

School Safety Panel Website

In the News

TDSB needs a new kind of leader   Toronto Star, December 7, 2015

“Class Dismissed”   The Walrus, October 2014

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