Principals have authority and responsibility to inform and involve parents/guardians when their child is being officially removed from school. The Education Act, 1995 (Section 154 (1) Suspensions) clarifies the process and expectations regarding suspension of a pupil.
A principal can suspend a pupil between three (3) days and ten (10) days. Suspensions for three days include such things as overt opposition (not following directions/orders) or serious misconduct which includes conduct that causes serious and imminent risk to the health or safety of a person/or others.
A suspension for ten (10) days, can included such incidents as very overt action associated with not following directions, refusing to follow school rules, not attending school regularly, consistently not completing school work, destroying school property and swearing to name to few things.
Principals must communicate with parents/guardians. A principal shall (that means must) immediately report the incident and the action taken (3 or 10 days) to the parent/ guardian. School divisions also have policies around suspensions. The school division’s specific policies and procedures are posted on their website. Check them out so you are informed.
Section 155 Expulsions (The Education Act) indicates that a committee can expel a pupil for greater than one year and parents/guardians shall have a hearing. That means you’ll be called to a meeting to hear the decision and share your story. Check out the details on expulsions in The Education Act 1995 and The Education Regulations. In addition, and to protect students with intensive needs, additional direction is provided for school boards in Section 178(4) Suspensions for pupils with intensive needs. In plain language, this section outlines that if behavior poses a risk of harm, that pupil cannot be suspended or expelled where behavior is part of the pupil’s condition. For example, many pupils with autism have behaviors that are directly related to their condition. The Act says these pupils cannot be suspended nor expelled. Have a conversation with your principal if you would like clarification regarding this issue.
About Elaine Caswell
At Elaine’s core, she is a teacher. Throughout her diverse roles as a classroom teacher, school principal, guidance counselor, superintendent, Director of Education and Director of Children’s Services at the Ministry of Education, Elaine has taught, mentored, built strong relationships with families and facilitated individual, group and systemic change.
About Louise Burridge
Louise is an occupational therapist. As one of the first occupational therapists to work in Saskatchewan schools, Louise has worked with numerous families to foster growth and development, facilitate accessibility and support inclusive education. Louise has continued this work as a Student Services Coordinator, at the Ministry of Education, and Director of Professional Practice with the Saskatchewan Society of Occupational Therapists. She now owns and operates OuTcomes Therapy in Regina.