Vernon Secondary School's Code of Conduct outlines school expectations and acceptable student behaviour as directed by the School Act 85(2)(c)(i). Student Voice, Parent Advisory Committee, as well as teaching and support staff has been included in the development of our Code of Conduct. Our Code of Conduct is annually reviewed to ensure it reflects Vernon Secondary's community needs and align with the district and provincial school safety initiatives. Our Code of Conduct is communicated to all students, parents, staff, temporary staff, visitors and district staff. Acceptable conduct expectations are illustrated in our 3 R's; Respect for Learning, Respect for Myself & Others, and Respect for the Environment.
This Code of Conduct has used the structural set up, designated passages and terminology from the BC Ministry of Education Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools: A Guide. Publisher: National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data, British Columbia, Ministry of Education. ISBN 0-7726-5120-5. It can be found at www.bced.gov.bc.ca
The School District 22 Code of Conduct can be found at www.sd22.bc.ca
PURPOSE OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
- Promotes the values expressed in the BC Human Rights Code respecting the rights of all individuals in accordance with the law – prohibiting discrimination based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, age, physical or mental disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, and unrelated criminal or summary convictions.
- Establishes and maintains a safe, caring and orderly environment for a purposeful and positive learning and teaching climate;
- Establishes and maintains appropriate balances among individual and collective rights, freedoms and responsibilities;
- Sets expectations for student conduct at school, in the community, in social media, and while acting as school ambassadors or anytime when behaviour may affect the safe, caring, or orderly environment of the school.
Acceptable conduct is demonstrated by:
Respect for Learning
- taking ownership for my learning, and for my behavior;
- giving my personal best in all I undertake;
- contributing to an atmosphere that is conducive to learning;
- attending punctually and being prepared for class;
- being accountable for my whereabouts;
- following school procedures and expectations;
- being mindful of learning and teaching differences;
- recognizing and celebrating growth in myself and others;
Respecting for Myself & Others
- contributing to an environment where everyone is safe and feels comfortable;
- being polite, kind and helpful;
- respecting cultural and individual differences;
- responding positively to reasonable requests made by staff;
- taking responsibility for my actions;
- managing conflict and problem solving in a non-violent manner;
- learning and following expectations all areas of the school;
- use of acceptable and appropriate language;
- informing an adult in a timely manner (in advance if possible) of an unsafe individual, behaviour or situation;
- seeking the assistance of an adult when having a conflict with another student that they are unable to resolve peacefully;
- dressing in accordance with our school being a place of learning;
- clothing should be clean and neat in appearance
- clothing should not display alcohol or drug logos, sexually suggestive designs, profanity, or any
offensive or illegal messages
- clothing should cover your body so as not to expose underwear, cleavage, midriff, or buttocks
- hats are not permitted to be worn inside of the school building
- having cell phones turned on at teacher discretion only. In cases where exceptions may be needed to class expectations, ask permission from teachers or the administration. While using cell phones in the school building or on school campus, apply appropriate manners respecting surrounding people;
- responding to fire alarms and drills promptly and in accordance to school protocol and teacher instructions;
- following safety rules and expectations of bus supervisors and bus drivers while waiting for buses or riding the bus;
Respecting for the Environment
- treating all things as if they are of personal value;
- respecting others' needs to use facilities, materials and equipment;
- keeping lockers clean and appropriately decorated;
- maintaining a clean environment using garbage cans and practicing recycling;
- treating the belongings of others with regard and care;
- informing an adult in a timely manner of spills, property damage, or vandalism;
- following proper road safety and extreme use of caution around school community;
- showing respect and maturity to all neighbours, both residential and commercial, and conduct
oneself in a manner that maintains a positive relationship with our community;
- if smoking within the surrounding school community, to do so only in the designated area.
Unacceptable conduct is demonstrated by the following behaviour:
- interfering with the learning and teaching environment of other school members;
- creating an unsafe or dangerous learning environment, including acts of violence or intimidation;
- any behaviour or communication that discriminates based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, age, physical or mental disability, sex, or sexual orientation, and unrelated criminal or summary convictions (prohibited grounds set out in the BC Human Rights Code);
- a lack of caring for oneself, others, and the school community. This includes unkind words or hurtful behaviour towards others;
- inappropriate and excessive displays of affection;
- bullying or harassment. School District 22 Policy No. 9.14.0 Appendix B states; bullying as a systematic abuse of power. Bullying can occur in many contexts in school and the workplace. Bullying can be overt and demonstrated by behaviour such as physical aggression, shoving, poking, taking things, choking, punching, kicking, and beating. Bullying can also be covert and be demonstrated by behaviour such as taunting, gossiping, teasing, exclusion, and silent treatment;
- inappropriate use of the internet. School District 22 Policy No. Reg 8.10.0 states; (SD22Net) access is a privilege not a right, and is made available only so long as the account holder abides by certain rules which are important for the proper use of the SD22Net system. These rules are listed in the…SD22Net Acceptable Use Policy.
- inappropriate behaviour on any technology-based activities occurring inside or outside our school that negatively impacts at school on students and/or staff. This includes "cyber" hate messaging and websites created in the student's home or other settings;
- the possession and/or use of weapons on or near school property represents a serious threat to the safety and security of students and staff and are therefore prohibited. A weapon is defined as any instrument designed to inflict injury or to intimidate another person, or any instrument that is used in that manner. Toy or replica weapons are by their very nature intimidating and therefore classified as weapons;
- the use and/or sale of any tobacco product at any time including non-school hours is prohibited on school property. Ceremonial Use of tobacco where the activity has been approved by the Board and the ceremony is performed in relation to a traditional aboriginal cultural activity, or performed by a group for a purpose approved by government regulation is acceptable. This is in line with The Tobacco Sales Amendment Act, 2007 (Banning Tobacco and Smoking in Public Places and Schools) and School District No. 22 Policy No. 8.12.0;
- the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vapours are not permitted on school grounds as they may contain nicotine and have not been proven to be a safe and effective method for smoking cessation;
- participating in trafficking, using, or associating with drugs, drug paraphernalia or alcohol. School District 22 Policy No. 9.15.0 states; the board expects students to be free of alcohol and other illicit drugs while under the jurisdiction of the School District. Every student shall be subject to this policy while on the school premises, going to and returning from school and at all school sponsored games and functions whenever and wherever held. For purposes of this policy, 'using' includes being under the influence of alcohol or other illicit drugs at any time when the student is under the jurisdiction of the School District. The Board also expects students not to be in association with individuals using, dealing or supplying these substances;
- theft or vandalism of school or other's property;
- use of laser pointers, lighters, open flames;
- skateboarding and use of scooters on school property, including the bus zone. These items are to be kept in lockers during school time;
- throwing snowballs on the school grounds or on the side streets around our building. This includes throwing snowballs at passing cars on the city streets.
Behaviour cited above are only some examples and are not an all-inclusive list.
School District Policy No. 9.14.0 sates; Administrative Officers…are authorized to suspend students in accordance with this policy and to take other disciplinary action to that of a kind, firm, and judicious parent.
As students progress through grades 8-12, behavioural expectations will rise so that:
- student levels of maturity, personal responsibility and self-discipline will improve;
- unacceptable conduct in senior grades will likely result in more severe consequences.
Consequences will be applied to unacceptable student conduct. Consequences will be implemented on a case-by-case basis, based on the severity and the frequency of the behaviour. Progressive discipline methods will be implemented to alter the inappropriate and/or unsafe behaviour. Consequences and support will be restorative wherever possible and appropriate.
Some of these methods include:
- parent/guardian meetings;
- referral to school based team for possible counseling or behaviour plans;
- participating in meaningful consequences for the unacceptable behaviour;
- completion of an educational discipline package;
- community service;
- conflict resolution strategies including small group mediations;
- lunch hour or after school detentions;
- informal suspension or "timeouts" – at school or home;
- referral to City of Vernon RCMP Restorative Justice Program;
- partial day school programs;
- suspension of student property to be returned to the parent or RCMP as appropriate;
- formal in-school suspension or out of school suspension:
- referral to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools for possible placement to another school, district suspension program, or a district alternate program.
Special considerations may apply to students with special needs if they are unable to comply with the code of conduct due to having a disability of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional or behavioural nature.
The school will take all reasonable steps to prevent retaliation by a person against a student who has made a complaint of a breach of this code of conduct.
Depending on the nature of the unacceptable behaviour, the school staff will contact the following people:
- parents or guardians of the student offender(s) will be contacted;
- parents or guardians of the student victim(s) will be contacted;
- a copy of the written notification to parents of any suspension will be forwarded to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools;
- RCMP and other agencies as required by law;
- school staff and school community as deemed appropriate by the school and/or district administration.