May 17, 2019 – School board’s expulsion of Grade 2 student upheld

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LK v Upper Grand District Board (EA 311.7), 2019 CFSRB 2
LK, a grade 2 student who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, was expelled from his school following several incidents. The incidents were of increased dysregulation and behavioural issues and culminated in a physical assault on an education assistant (EA) causing bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner. The EA suffered bruises, contusions and a concussion, and was subsequently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. LK’s parents appealed the school board’s expulsion decision to the Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB). The CFSRB found the conduct at issue constituted a physical assault and despite the fact the student did not have the ability to control his behaviour or to understand the foreseeable consequences of his behaviour, his presence created an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person in the school. The CFSRB ruled that no other factor mitigated the seriousness of the activity for which the pupil was expelled and upheld the school board’s decision.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

AB v Ontario (Education), 2019 HRTO 685
The respondent requested that the Tribunal dismiss the Application challenging the recent changes to Ontario’s sexual health education curriculum. The respondent relied on the Divisional Court’s ruling in ETFO v Her Majesty the Queen, where the Divisional Court upheld the changes made by the Government. The respondent argued that this ruling was dispositive of the issues raised in the Application. The Tribunal agreed, finding the decision rendered the Application moot.

 

PL v Toronto District School Board, 2019 HRTO 655
The applicant, a student, alleged that she was discriminated by the respondent in its treatment of her by school staff on the basis of race, ethnic origin, disability, family status, age as well as reprisal and threat of reprisal. In dismissing the application, the Tribunal ruled that the applicant had offered no evidence to support a nexus between the allegations and a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Code nor had she made out her allegations of reprisals.

 

PRIVACY

Toronto Catholic District School Board (Re), 2019 CanLII 28199
Parents sought records from the school board relating to their son and allegations that he had been bullied by another student. The Board granted partial access to the records, including the principal and vice-principal’s notes, but withheld names of students, particularly the name of the students the parents (Appellants) alleged bullied their son. The adjudicator ordered the disclosure of part of the records containing statements made by the appellants’ son (including the name of the student who allegedly bullied him), finding that it would be absurd not to disclose the information clearly within the knowledge of the appellants’ son and found in his own witness statement. However, the adjudicator upheld the Board’s decision to withhold the remaining portions of the records. The adjudicator also ordered the Board to conduct a further search for records.

 

Rainbow District School Board (Re), 2019 CanLII 35762
The Board received a request for a copy of a record that was read out at a Board meeting, and any related records. The Board provided partial access to the record, relying on the discretionary exemption of a closed meeting to do so. The decision was appealed by the requester and the adjudicator upheld the Board’s decision but ordered that it conduct a further search of related records.