Code of Conduct
A school is a community that promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in a safe environment. All students, parents, teachers and staff have the right to be safe and feel safe, in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to be law-abiding citizens and to be accountable for their actions. The Highland Code of Conduct sets clear standards of behaviour. It specifies the consequences for student behaviour that do not comply with these standards. The Highland Code of Conduct applies to all individuals involved in the school – students, parents or guardians, volunteers, teachers and other staff members – when they are on school property, on school buses or at school-authorized events or activities.
Responsible citizenship involves appropriate participation in the civic life of the school. Active and engaged citizens are aware of their rights, but more importantly, they accept responsibility for protecting their rights and the rights of others. Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and differences can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.
Respect, civility and responsible citizenship
School members must:
- respect and comply with all laws;
- demonstrate honesty and integrity;
- respect differences in people, their ideas and opinions and treat them fairly regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and age;
- treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
respect the rights of others;
- show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others;
- take appropriate measures to help those in need;
- respect the rights of others to work in a learning environment;
- wear clothing that is appropriate for the intended activity, recognizing that schools are a place of learning and a place of work. We also expect our staff and students to avoid wearing clothing that promotes drugs or alcohol, displays offensive language/images or encourages discrimination.
Matters of Physical Safety
A weapon shall be defined as an object or instrument used to fight, intimidate, destroy, defeat, physically injure, or jeopardize the safety of another person.
School members must:
- not be in possession of any weapon, including but not limited to firearms;
- not use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
- not cause injury to any person with an object.
Smoking and the use of Tobacco products
School members must:
- not use tobacco products on the school grounds or at any school function off of school grounds.
- not sell tobacco products.
Alcohol and Drugs
School members must:
- refuse to engage in or be knowingly involved in the possession, consumption, promotion, sale or provision of tobacco products, alcohol, narcotics or related substances or paraphernalia.
All school members must:
- refuse to engage in bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, intimidation, threatening or violent behaviours while at school, at a school-related activity or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school environment.
- not inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person; seek staff assistance, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully.
Comox Valley School District employees shall utilize procedural fairness in matters regarding discipline and shall develop and enforce rules and policies in a fair manner. Reasonable and appropriate sanctions will be applied to all situations. Sanctions will vary depending upon the severity of the incident but may include counselling, restitution, and suspensions (in school, out of school, indefinite). The rationale for consequences and review procedures will be communicated to both students and parents/guardians.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
School Boards provide direction to their schools that ensure opportunity, excellence and accountability in the education system.
The School Board:
- develops policy that set out how their schools will implement and enforce the Code of Conduct and all other rules that they develop as related to standards for respect, civility, responsible citizenship and physical safety;
ensures an effective intervention strategy and response to all infractions related to the standards for respect, civility, responsible citizenship and physical safety;
- provides opportunities for all staff to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to develop and maintain academic excellence and safe learning and teaching environments.
The Principal and the Vice Principals, under the direction of their School Board, take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. The Principal and the Vice Principals 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, under the leadership of their Principal, maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour.
Staff uphold these 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 and for others.
Students demonstrate respect and responsibility when they:
- come to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
- show respect for themselves and for others,
- refrain from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others;
- follow the established rules and takes responsibility for their own actions.
Parents/Guardians 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/Guardians fulfill 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.
Community members are essential partners in making our schools and communities safer and they fulfill this responsibility when they:
- support and respect the Code of Conduct for Highland Secondary School,
- follow the protocol developed with the Comox Valley School District.