Sudbury Catholic District School Board
 Safe and Accepting Schools

Safe and Accepting Schools

Program Description 

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board is committed to providing a safe, healthy and inclusive environment for its students and staff.

Our Board’s multi-year strategic plan and the initiatives undertaken by our Board demonstrate our commitment to our faith-based, inclusive and equitable community.

With a focus on Community, we provide our students with the tools for realizing their academic potential, while also instilling in them a life-long commitment to their faith, and to the community. We know that true community both requires and creates a sense of belonging, and it is this same sense of community that has been instrumental to the ongoing success of our students.

Faith-based, safe, inclusive and equitable school environments foster and support learning and the ongoing development of respect, responsibility, civility and other positive behaviours and characteristics. 

Bullying Prevention

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board (SCDSB) recognizes the importance of a safe, inclusive, caring and accepting school climate and takes bullying seriously.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is defined as a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.

Schools are expected to use opportunities to explain the different forms bullying can take. These include:

  • Physical – hitting, shoving, stealing or damaging property
  • Verbal – name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist or homophobic comments
  • Social – excluding others from a group or spreading gossip or rumours about them
  • Electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) – spreading rumours and hurtful comments through the use of cellphones, e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

Ontario has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment. During this week, students, staff and parents are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effects on student learning and well-being.

How do we support?

  • Early and ongoing interventions strategies may be necessary to sustain and promote positive student behaviour and/or address underlying causes of inappropriate behaviour. For example, ongoing interventions may include, but are not limited to, meetings with parents, detentions, verbal reminders, review of expectations, a written work assignment with a learning component volunteer service to the school community, conflict mediation, peer mentoring, behaviour plans and/or a referral to counseling.
  • Progressive discipline is a whole-school approach that utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour and to build upon strategies that promote positive behaviour.
  • Each school website offers an anonymous safe school reporting process where students and families can report instances of bullying.

Code of Conduct

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board recognizes that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, and as such deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. The Board is committed to making each and every one of its Catholic schools a caring place where all members of the school community feel safe, welcomed and accepted. The Board fosters a Christ-centered, positive school climate, free from discrimination or harassment where principles of equity and inclusive education support positive student behaviour. The Board’s Code of Conduct will be consistently implemented in each school and facility of the Board.

Code of Conduct Administrative Guidelines

Local Police/School Board Protocol

Safe, inclusive and equitable school environments foster and support learning and the ongoing development of respect, responsibility, civility, and other positive behaviours and characteristics.

Police services play a vital role in supporting and enhancing the efforts of schools, parents/guardians and other community partners to ensure that schools and their communities are safe places in which to learn, play and work.

Although we hope that an incident that requires response from emergency personnel never occurs in our schools, we must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively in case it does. The goal of emergency preparedness is to ensure a rapid, coordinated and effective response is possible when an emergency occurs.

Ontario North East Region Police and School Protocol

Procedure and Suspension Appeal Guidelines

Suspension is the withdrawal of a student from a specific school and from engaging in school-related activities if the pupil commits any infraction for which suspension must be considered under section 306 of the Education Act. Suspensions act as deterrents, provide an opportunity for students to think about their actions and encourage the student and/or their family to seek necessary assistance.

The primary purpose underlying the implementation of a suspension is to achieve a positive consequence for the student. This may result through a self-reassessment by the student or a greater awareness on the part of the parent/guardian of the appropriate support and/or additional resources that may be required to assist the student.

A Student Action Plan (SAP) must be developed for every student on a long-term suspension who makes a commitment to attend the board program for suspended students. As the suspension is ending a re-entry plan will be developed between the home and the school to assist with an integration back into regular school.

Administrative Guidelines

Program for Long Term Suspension Students

Program for Expelled Students

Under the Education Act subsection 309 (1) the following persons may appeal, to the Board, a Principal’s decision to suspend a pupil under section 306:

(i) the pupil is at least 18 years old, or

(ii) the pupil is 16 or 17 years old and has withdrawn from parental control.

A person who is entitled to appeal a suspension under subsection 309 (1) must give written notice of his or her intention to appeal to the Superintendent of School Effectiveness within 10 school days of the commencement of the suspension.

After receiving a notice of intention to appeal, the Superintendent of School Effectiveness will promptly contact every person entitled to appeal the suspension under subsection 309 (1) and inform him or her that the Board has received the notice of intention to appeal.

Where a person who has been given notice of intention to appeal contacts the Superintendent of School Effectiveness to discuss a matter respecting the appeal of the suspension, the Superintendent of School Effectiveness may:

  1. Review the incident with the Principal. Discuss with the Principal the possibility of modifying the duration of the suspension.
  2. Discuss with the Principal prior progressive discipline interventions used with the student.
  3. Consider the steps taken in conducting the investigation including the discussions with the parent/guardian/adult student.
  4. Examine any pertinent documentation and/or other physical evidence.
  5. Review any witness statements and/or interview witnesses.
  6. Provide the parent/guardian/adult student with an opportunity to respond to all allegations and supporting facts.
  7. Determine if mitigating factors and/or other factors exist in the case of a suspension.

The Superintendent of School Effectiveness will respond verbally or by letter to the parent about the outcome of their review.

Notice of Appeal (content of letter)

An appeal of the decision to suspend a student will be in writing, and the notice of appeal will include the specific reasons for the appeal, including why the party believes that the suspension should not have been imposed, or why the length of the suspension should be altered. This notification must be delivered in one of the following ways: hand delivery, courier, facsimile transmission or any other way agreed upon by the parties.

Upon receipt of a Notice of Appeal, the Superintendent of School Effectiveness will ask for three trustees who have not had prior involvement with the matter to sit as the Board Committee.

Hearing of the Appeal

The Board will hear and determine the appeal within 15 school days of receiving notice of suspension, unless the parties agree on a later deadline, and will not refuse to deal with the appeal on the ground that there is a deficiency in the notice of appeal.

In an appeal of a suspension a student, the appellant (parent or adult student) shall bear the onus of proof.

The decision of a majority of the members of the Board Committee is the Board’s decision. Majority means two of three trustees for the Board Committee. The decision of the Board is final.

The decision of the Board Committee shall be in writing and signed by the Chair of the Committee. When requested by a party, the Board Committee shall give written reasons. Copies of the decision and order, along with its reasons, if requested, shall be sent to all parties to the proceedings who took part in the hearing at their respective addresses last known to the Board.

Following the hearing, if the Committee of the Board decides to shorten the duration of the suspension or quash the suspension and order that the record of the suspension be expunged, the Principal will revise, replace or remove the relevant documentation as required.

Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA)

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board aims to maintain a positive and safe environment in their schools for all students, staff, parents, and visitors. Any violence or harassment of any kind will be taken very seriously. Because of this, when a student’s behaviour poses a serious threat to his or her safety or the safety of others, a Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) will be activated.

The protocol for the VTRA was developed by partners within the Greater City of Sudbury and is activated by the principal of each school when a student commits an act that may present a risk for their safety or the safety of others. A trained team with members from the school board, police, and community partners evaluate the importance of risks of behaviour and puts measures in place to prevent any threatening acts. The partners will share information, advice and support, and plans will be developed to minimize the risk. In sharing personal information, each individual’s right to privacy will be balanced with the need to ensure the safety of all.

The parents of the students having made the threats play a key-role in the process of gathering information, and in the process of developing a plan for the student. When a VTRA is activated, parents/guardians will be notified. If a concern for safety still exists, and parents/guardians cannot be reached, or if they choose not to provide consent to share information, the threat assessment process will proceed. In sharing personal information, each individual’s right to privacy will be balanced with the need to ensure the safety of all. Student safety is our first priority.

We reiterate our commitment to maintain a positive and safe school environment in each of our schools. If you have any questions regarding the evaluation process for risk and threats, please do not hesitate to contact the principal of your child’s school.

Fair Notice to Staff, Students, Parents and Community


Be Web Aware

Consider the Consequences of Vaping

Cyber Bullying

Education World – Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work

EduGAINS – Mental Health and Well-Being

Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

Ontario Ministry of Education – Safe Schools: Preventing Bullying and Harassment

Promoting Relationships & Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet)

Safe@School – led by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF)

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