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At HWDSB, we know safety is essential to good learning. Every student deserves to feel secure on school grounds and during school-related activities. While we strive to create positive and caring learning spaces, there are instances where serious or repeated inappropriate behaviours may lead to expulsion. 

All members of the school community have a responsibility to uphold the HWDSB Code of Conduct. Violations of the Code of Conduct will be addressed through relevant policy and legislation, with the suspension process clearly outlined in HWDSB policies and policy directives  

Understanding Expulsions

An expulsion is a response to a serious misbehaviour by a student, occurring when a serious infraction of the Code of Conduct or other Board/school policies takes place. A student may be expelled from the school they are attending, or from all the schools in the Board. A Principal may expel a student if they believe the student has engaged in any of the following activities:

  • Possession, threat to use, or use of a weapon 
  • Physically hurting another person that requires medical attention 
  • Harming someone sexually 
  • Selling or handing out weapons or illegal drugs (trafficking) 
  • Theft or robbery 
  • Selling or providing alcohol to someone under the age of 19 
  • Engaging in a pattern of behaviour harmful to learning conditions 
  • Behaviour in a way that requires suspension under HWDSB policies 
  • Bullying 
  • Any act motivate by bias, prejudice, or hate under subsection 306(1) of the Education Act 
  • Acts of vandalism that causes extensive damage to Board property 
  • Acting in a way that would be considered by the principal to be contrary to the Board or School’s code of conduct 

Guidance for Families 

When a Principal believes a student has engaged in a serious misbehaviour, a suspension will occur while a thorough investigation takes place. This involves speaking to witnesses, interviewing staff and gathering information that might be relevant to the investigation. The Principal will also speak with both you and your child. Based on the outcome of the investigation the Principal may recommend to the Board that a student be expelled. 

Expulsion Hearing 

You and your child will attend an Expulsion Hearing before the Discipline Committee, consisting for Trustees, within 20 school days of the student’s initial suspension. Written notice will be provided to parents within 24 hours of the decision to move to an Expulsion Hearing, including a summary of the investigation, recommended expulsion type, suggested schools or programs, and the hearing details. 

During the Expulsion Hearing

The Discipline Committee hears evidence and recommendations about the incident that took place. During the hearing you and your child can speak to Trustees about what happened, submit written statements, and answer questions. The Expulsion Hearing is confidential and is not open to the public. 

Expulsion Appeal Process 

Parents have the right to appeal the Board’s decision to expel your child in writing within 30 days of the Discipline Committee’s decision to the Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB). The CFSRB will set up a hearing for your child within 30 days of receiving the appeal notice, and their decision is final. 

Return to School 

If expelled from all HWDSB schools, readmission is possible based on successful completion of the Gateway Program or meeting specific criteria. The Safe Schools Principal will determine if the re-entry criteria have been met. 

Progressive Discipline Approach 

HWDSB is dedicated to a progressive discipline approach, emphasizing positive student behaviour to build and sustain a positive school climate. We support the use of suspension and expulsion as outlined in the Education Act, supported by HWDSB initiatives such as Safe and Caring Schools, Character Development, and the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. Click here to learn more about Progressive Discipline.

When determining the length of a suspension, a principal shall consider any mitigating or other factors prescribed such as: 

  • Whether the student can control their behaviour. 
  • Whether the student can understand the consequences of their behaviour. 
  • Whether the student’s continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk to self or any other individual in the school. 

More Information 

Updated on Tuesday, March 05, 2024.
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