Policy 301 - Student Safety
Revised: September 25, 2001
Schools should provide learning environments where students can attend without fear or threat of unsafe conditions, violence or harassment. The establishment and maintenance of safe learning environments for all students is a high priority for the Board.
The District will pay particular attention to:
- Maintaining safe physical conditions on school properties
- Observing and enforcing safe practices, particularly in those areas of instruction and student activities which present special hazards
- Offering safety education to students as pertinent to particular subjects and activities
- Enforcing codes of student conduct
- Meeting requirements of regulatory safety agencies.
The District will cooperate with the City and District of North Vancouver on traffic safety issues that have relevance to the safety of students. The District will also work closely with the RCMP, the fire departments of the City and District of North Vancouver, and the North Shore Emergency Preparedness office when planning responses to emergency situations that may impact on the safety of students.
Teachers, administrative officers, other employees, parents/guardians, and other community members are encouraged to participate actively as partners in maintaining a safe learning environment in schools.
The following are prohibited on Board property, on District-contracted transportation or at Board-sponsored events away from Board property:
- Threats of violence or actual acts of violence of any kind
- Possession or presence of weapons
- Verbal abuse in any form
- The presence of any intruder or any activity that places the safety of students at risk.
District employees shall respond appropriately, without delay and in a consistent fashion when violent incidents threaten the safety and security of students.
Weapons in or around Schools
Where a school administrator or staff member reasonably believes that a person on or near school premises is in possession of a weapon or has used a weapon, the school administrator, or, where appropriate, a staff member shall ensure that:
- reasonable attempts are made to minimize risk of injury to any other person
- the police are notified
- the weapon is confiscated and turned over to the police
- the parent/guardian is contacted
- a "Serious Incident Report" is filed with the District.
"Toy guns" and "replicas" are, by their very nature, intimidating and therefore should not be allowed on school premises. Intimidation with a toy gun or replica of a real gun should be treated as a serious matter.
Accident Prevention and Precautions
School principals shall:
- Ensure that students are regularly informed and reminded that any accident, injury or illness while under school jurisdiction must be reported to a teacher or to the principal immediately
- Ensure all school staff members are fully informed of regulations relative to student accident or injury or illness and of the authorized procedure in case of fire or other emergency
- Instruct students in the procedures of fire drill, give them frequent practice in such drill and record the date of each practice as required by legislation
- Make a regular examination of the school building and grounds and report in writing to the appropriate District official any conditions that might be detrimental to the safety of students.
Illness or Accidents Involving Students
The principal of each school is responsible for developing an effective plan for responding to an accident at the school and on the way to and from the school in which a student is injured or to an illness of a student that is reported to a member of the school’s staff. The plan should address the following issues:
- A routine for establishing the nature and degree of illness or injury
- A procedure for carrying out first aide treatment
- A means for promptly contacting the parent of the student
- A response by the school in the case of an serious accident or illness when a parent cannot be contacted
- A routine for the filing of a written report on the appropriate form(s), including the School Protection Plan form, with the superintendent’s office.
Sending Students Home
If it is necessary to send a student home, the following procedures shall be followed:
- A parent or guardian of the student shall be contacted and given the reason for sending the student home
- A student shall be sent home only after the principal or principal’s delegate has established that a parent or guardian is present in the home or that the parent has given permission or that the student is mature enough to go to a home where no responsible adult supervision is present
- In the case of younger students, the principal or delegate shall ensure that the student will be safe on the way home.
Holding Students in School
Emergency situations such as fallen power lines, street flooding, or threatening individuals may make it necessary to hold students in school beyond normal dismissal times. Each school principal is responsible for developing an effective plan for dealing with such situations. The plan should take into consideration:
- Authorities for emergency agencies such as the RCMP, North Shore Emergency Preparedness or the City or District of North Vancouver Fire Departments have primary responsibility for declaring whether or not such a situation is unsafe enough to warrant holding students in the school
- Members of the staff of the school should participate in the formation of the plan and should be aware of the responsibilities of each staff member in such a situation
- Parents should be made aware at the beginning of each year of the procedures which will be used should such a situation arise.
Evacuating Students from a School
Emergency situations such as fire, bomb threat, power failure, gas leak, earthquake or violent individuals may make it necessary to evacuate the school. Each school principal is responsible for developing an effective evacuation plan. The plan should address the following:
- Each member of the school’s staff should understand clearly his or her role and responsibilities in the case of an evacuation
- Should other agencies such as the RCMP or fire department become involved, an understanding of roles and responsibilities should be defined
- A place for students to gather once outside the school building and a means for accounting for students once outside should be pre-determined
- A routine for re-locating students to an alternate site or dismissing students to their homes should also be pre-determined
- A system of communicating with parents in the case of an emergency evacuation should be established
- Parents should be made aware at the beginning of each year of the procedures that will be used should such a situation arise.