Protocol for Addressing Incidents of Hate and/or Discrimination

Staff Expectations for Student Incidents

  • Stop the behaviour immediately.

  • Reinforce school/department conduct expectations.

  • Respond publicly in a manner that all bystanders can hear you. 

  • Explain that silence from bystanders implies acceptance and approval. It is every student's and employee's responsibility to stand up against all forms of hate. 

  • Acknowledge that the experience is harmful, can result in trauma and can affect victims' mental health, sense of mattering and belonging. 

  • Ask the student or employee how they would like to be supported. Do not make assumptions about what the student or employee needs.

  • Name what you have seen or heard (incidents of discrimination or hate, including but not limited to anti-Indigenous racism, ableism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Black racism, antisemitism, classism, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, transphobia).

  • Never use the exact slur (e.g. never use the actual n-word or pejorative terms to describe Indigenous peoples, racial, ethnic, religious, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and or/disability attributes, etc.).

  • Be clear that the use of pejorative terms, racial or other slurs or epithets has no place in our school board.

  • Report the behaviour to the principal or vice-principal. 

  • The principal enters the incident in RESOLVE and reports it to the superintendent.

  • In consultation and collaboration with the administration and superintendent, consult with families about supporting students. When collaborating with families, always consider the safety and privacy of 2SLGBTQ+ students. Similarly, consider safety factors that may result in further harm to students of other or intersecting identities.

  • Record what happened, including names of witnesses.

  • Preserve all pertinent evidence such as photographs, documents, screenshots, etc., and hand them over to school administrators as soon as possible.

  • Revisit how the student or employee would like to be supported. Do not make assumptions about student or employee needs.

  • Consult with the local superintendent and consider putting in a plan for safety and care in place as part of wraparound supports for the victim(s).

  • Let staff know that you will work with Human Resource services to access support, including identity-specific support. Staff can always confidentially access comPysch or the Board’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.

  • In consultation and collaboration with the local superintendent, administrators and/or school staff will offer school and system support after consulting with families.

  • Connect with departments as needed to support the victim (e.g. Caring and Safe Schools, Guidance Counsellors, Human Rights Commissioners Office, Inclusive School and Community Services, Student Services and Well-Being, HRS).

  • The immediate conducting of a fact-finding preliminary inquiry by the principal/vice-principal or supervisor.

  • Using relevant YRDSB policy and procedures, the principal will conduct a more thorough and formal investigation. Use the Guide for Administrators: Conducting Student Investigations or other resources.

  • Using the Police and School Boards protocol and in consultation with the superintendent as needed, determine if a report to York Regional Police is required.

  • Education should begin after the behaviour has stopped. Reach out to Inclusive School and Community Services for resources as needed.

  • Consider school/department culture that may have contributed to the action/behaviour and make a learning plan to educate all students and staff affected by this. Be sure to include bystanders.

  • Reach out to Board services for support as needed (e.g. Caring and Safe Schools, Corporate Communications, Curriculum and Instructional Services, Human Resource Services, Inclusive School and Community Services, Student Services and Well-Being).

  • Evaluate what school-wide/department actions should be taken for learning and prevention.

  • Refer to YRDSB policies and procedures.

  • In consultation with the local superintendent, consider whether disciplinary action will support prevention of future action/behaviour.

  • In consultation with families, plan for restorative practices if they are open and willing to participate (consult with Caring and Safe Schools for procedures).

  • Depending on the nature of the incident, the Director or another senior leader might have a supportive conversation with the victim and perhaps the victim’s family, and would consider offering an apology.

All incidents of hate, racism and/or discrimination in York Region District School Board will be investigated and documented as part of the requirements outlined in the Board Protocol for Addressing Incidents of Hate and/or Discrimination. The information collected is confidential and only shared with the appropriate school and system staff for investigation and ensuring that incidents are responded to and addressed appropriately. The information is also used by the board to align resources to support schools, identify and eliminate systemic barriers to student success, and inform our work to create more equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist school environments.  

Acts of discrimination and hate are never acceptable. We are committed to addressing and eliminating all forms of hate, racism and/or discrimination to create safe, inclusive, and equitable environments that support student achievement and well-being.