January 30, 2020 – Smudging Ceremony in School Not Found to be a Charter Infringement

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Smudging Ceremony in School Not Found to be a Charter Infringement

Servatius v Alberni School District No. 70, 2020 BCSC 15

The Court determined the School Board did not infringe on the religious freedoms of the Applicant and her two children (who were students of the School Board). The Applicant alleged that the smudging ceremony conducted by an Indigenous Elder at the school interfered with the religious freedoms of herself and her two children.

 

CIVIL LITIGATION

Makela v Horizon School Division No 67, 2019 ABQB 974

The Plaintiff’s Action for damages for wrongful dismissal against his former employer, the School Board, was dismissed. The judge determined that the employee was paid for the balance of the term of the five-year contract, and the duration of the contract itself served as a form of common law reasonable notice.

 

JUDICIAL REVIEW

Toronto District School Board v Child and Family Services Review Board, 2019 ONSC 7064

The School Board’s Application for judicial review of a Child and Family Services Review Board’s decision was quashed on the ground that the issues in the Application were moot and that there had been undue delay. The judge determined that the 10-month delay before the Application was commenced, and the further 13-month delay before it was perfected were excessive.

 

LABOUR RELATIONS

Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association v Ontario Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association, 2019 CanLII 121553

The Union’s Application requested a decision on whether the issue of paid parking should be bargained centrally or locally. The School Board had made an earlier announcement that, in the future, it wished to charge its employees for parking. The OLRB concluded that, pursuant to the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 and the agreed upon central/local split between the parties, the issue of paid parking should be bargained centrally.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

Daughter M by Mother K v Board of Education of a Vancouver Island School District, 2019 BCHRT 274

The School Board’s Application to dismiss the Complaint of the mother of a student was rejected. The School Board did not convince the Tribunal that the Complaint had no reasonable prospect of success. The Complainant alleged that the School Board failed to provide a learning environment that was reasonably safe for the student, considering her severe allergy to nuts and fish.

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Bill 160Education Amendment Act (Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraints), 2019, was at First Reading on December 9, 2019.  

The Bill will amend the Education Act to require the Minister to establish policies and guidelines with respect to the use of seclusion and physical restraints in schools.