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SCHOOLS - Student discipline - Behavioural offences - Violence – Penalties - Transfers

Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:46 AM  

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Application by a student and his guardian for judicial review of a school transfer directed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board. KW was a grade 12 student at a Board school. In grade 11, KW was one of three individuals who assaulted a grade 10 student. Police advised the principal that the perpetrators were not allowed to school. KW was placed on administrative suspension pending investigation by the principal. During the investigation, KW admitted his role in the assault. Following completion of the investigation, the principal reduced KW's suspension due to his lack of prior disciplinary incidents. The two other perpetrators were expelled. The victim expressed an ongoing fear of KW. The principal directed the transfer of KW to a new school pursuant to the Board's Fresh Start Policy. An appeal to the Superintendent alleging that the transfer was motivated by KW's race was refused. The applicant sought judicial review of the Superintendent's decision on the basis that a non-voluntary transfer for discipline purposes was beyond the Board's authority.

HELD: Application dismissed. There was nothing in the Fresh Start Policy to indicate it was designed to impose non-voluntary transfers for disciplinary reasons. The Policy focused on student relations, student achievement, school safety, and the protection of victims. The Policy was a valid exercise of the Board's authority to develop policies to promote student well-being. In this instance, the application of the Policy was not disciplinary in nature and constituted a reasonable exercise of the Board's authority to transfer students. The transfer decision was administrative in nature. No denial of procedural fairness occurred during the appeal proceeding before the Superintendent. The Superintendent's decision was reasonable.

K.W. (Litigation guardian of) v. Toronto Catholic District School Board, [2018] O.J. No. 2585, Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Divisional Court, G.B. Morawetz R.S.J, K.E. Swinton and W.M. Lemay JJ., May 8, 2018. Digest No. TLD-June112018011