School Expulsions - More Info

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Principal's Responsibilities
Some Previous Cases

Board’s Authority

Child and Family Services is governed by the Education Act. (s. 311.7)

Grounds for Expulsion (s. 310)

Grounds for expulsion include the following activities while at school, at a school-related activity or where the activity will impact school climate:

1. Possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm
2. Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person
3. Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner
4. Committing sexual assault
5. Trafficking weapons or illegal drugs
6. Committing robbery
7. Giving alcohol to a minor

Any other activity that, under a policy of a board, is an activity for which a principal must suspend a pupil and, therefore in accordance with this Part, conduct an investigation to determine whether to recommend to the board that the pupil be expelled.

Principal's Responsibilities

After a suspension, the principal of the school is required to conduct an investigation into whether to recommend that the pupil be expelled [s. 311.1(1)] from the present school, and/or all the schools of the particular school board. 

Factors that make suspension/expulsion more or less likely [s. 311.1(4), Reg 427/07 ss 2,3]:

  1. the pupil does not have the ability to control his or her behaviour
  2. the pupil does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour
  3. the pupil’s continuing presence in the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person
  4. the pupil’s history
  5. whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the pupil
  6. whether the activity for which the pupil may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to any harassment of the pupil because of his or her race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation or to any other harassment
  7. how the suspension or expulsion would affect the pupil’s ongoing education
  8. the age of the pupil
  9. In the case of a pupil for whom an individual education plan has been developed,
    • whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the pupil’s individual education plan,
    • whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and
    • whether the suspension or expulsion is likely to result in a worsening of the pupil’s behaviour or conduct.

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Here are a few previous cases that may be similar to your situation.  

HK v Durham, 2008   

In this case the board decided that a student acting out in a way that could be anticipated based on their identified emotional problems should often not be expelled. The student should instead be given resource support and/or counselling instead.

MC v Toronto Catholic District School Board, 2011 

In this case, the appeal board said that students who have special needs but do not have an individual education plan (IEP) or behavioural plan can still have the Education Act’s mitigating factors and additional factors considered by the appeal board in their case.

RS v Dufferin-Peel SB, 2008    

The Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB) said that, because a history of progressive discipline is something that can be held against a student facing expulsion (under the additional factors in the Education Act), any voluntary counselling or activities the student has done—that had no punishment attached—is not evidence of progressive discipline. The CFSRB also said that the impact on the student’s learning environment (under the Education Act’s additional factors) is flexible. This means the appeal board might let the student attend another school or summer school even if he or she has been expelled.

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