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Guidelines for Student Activities and Organizations

  • Code: GGDA.AR
    Topic: Guidelines for Student Activities and Organizations
    Issue Date: 26/06/2018
    Effective Date: 25/06/2018
    Review Year: 2003

Objective

To support a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment for students. 

To support the establishment and operation of student organizations, activities, teams and clubs.

Definitions

Voluntary student organization or activity, according to the School Act s.16.1(2), includes an organization or activity that promotes equality and non-discrimination with respect to, without limitation, race, religious belief, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, family status or sexual orientation, including but not limited to organizations such as gay-straight alliances, diversity clubs, anti-racism clubs and anti-bullying clubs.

Responsibility

The Principal shall:

  1. approve the purposes and goals of a student organization, team or club in the school
  2. ensure the appropriate involvement of school staff in the organization; and
  3. ensure that the organization, team or club conducts its affairs in a manner consistent with the overall purposes and goals of the school and the District.

Regulation

  1. All activities of a school organization, team or club should be conducted in such a manner that the dignity and self-esteem of the individual student are maintained or enhanced, particularly in activities used to highlight entry, exit or change of status of a student, such as initiation events, induction or graduation ceremonies.

  2. It is expected that the activities of school organizations, teams and clubs be characterized by good sportsmanship; that is, that coaches and students display fairness and generosity, be good losers and graceful winners.

  3. Initiation or any similar activities which result in harassment, abuse or ridicule of an individual student are not consistent with maintaining dignity, self-esteem and good sportsmanship. Hazing should not be part of school organization, team or club activities.

  4. Student participation in initiation, induction, graduation or similar activities should be voluntary, and not be a condition of status or membership in a school organization, team or club.

  5. The Principal shall approve both the nature of, and arrangements for, any initiation, induction, graduation or similar activity prior to it taking place.

  6. The Principal shall approve the criteria for membership of a student organization, team or club in the school. Membership should be open to interested students who meet the criteria and not be restricted on grounds contrary to established human rights. Membership criteria should relate to the specific purposes of the organization, and should be reasonable, clearly identified, and made known and equally applied to all applicants.

  7. If one or more students attending a school operated by the District requests a staff member for support to establish a voluntary student organization, or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging, the principal of the school shall:
    1. immediately grant permission for the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and
    2. within a reasonable time from the date that the principal receives the request, designate a staff member to serve as the staff liaison to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization or to assist in organizing the activity.
  8. The Principal shall immediately inform their Assistant Superintendent if no staff member is available to serve as a staff liaison. The Assistant Superintendent, working in collaboration with the Director of Diversity Education and Comprehensive School Health, shall assist the Principal in appointing a responsible adult from the school community to work with the requesting students in organizing the activity or to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization at the school, such as a “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”. If no responsible adult can be found, the District shall inform the Minister of Education who shall appoint a responsible adult to work with the requesting students in organizing the activity or to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization at the school, such as a “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”.

  9. The Principal has responsibility for ensuring that appropriate procedures for appeal are available to any student whose membership or status in an organization, team or club is withdrawn. Students/parents should be made aware of the procedures available.

  10. The Principal is responsible for ensuring that notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity (such as a “gay-straight alliance” or “queer-straight alliance”):
    1. is limited to the fact of the establishment of the organization or the holding of the activity, and
    2. is otherwise consistent with the usual practices relating to notifications of other student organizations and activities.

References

AE.BP Welcoming, Inclusive, Safe and Healthy Learning and Working Environments
HF.BP Safe, Caring and Respectful Learning Environments
HF.AR Safe, Caring and Respectful Learning Environments
HFA.AR Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
School Act

(see Sections 16.1, 45.1(4))