Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have unanimously voted to expunge discretionary suspensions from the Ontario Student Record and Caring and Safe Schools Database of students who were suspended in Kindergarten to Grade 3.
During their Regular Board meeting, Trustees also directed staff to identify systemic work that can be done to continue the Board’s commitment to addressing and interrupting bias and discrimination which may place certain groups of students at a disadvantage based on student discipline records in student Ontario Student Records including, but not limited to:
- creating a retention schedule for the expiration of suspensions/expulsions on Ontario Student Records;
- generating a reminder email to principals and to the TDSB Registrar for Student Discipline Hearings for all approaching appeal hearing recommendations by trustees regarding removal of suspensions from OSRs pending positive behaviour, as well as a data-entry column on outcome of recommendations, thereby encouraging follow-through, transparency and data collection of appeal hearing recommendation outcomes
This systemic work would also be reported on in the Caring and Safe Schools Annual Report.
This decision follows an announcement by the Government of Ontario earlier this year that, as of September 2020, discretionary suspensions of students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 would no longer be permitted. Serious offences would still be subject to mandatory suspensions for all grade levels and these records would continue to be kept.
· According to the most recent Caring and Safe Schools Annual Report, 312 TDSB students between Kindergarten and Grade 3 received suspensions in the 2018-2019 school year (approx. 8% of total number of suspensions.
· In the last two years, the number of suspensions and expulsions has dropped to the lowest level ever in the TDSB (suspensions have dropped by 24%; expulsions have dropped by 53%).
“Ensuring a positive school experience in the early years is critical in building a strong foundation for future success. By expunging discretionary suspensions from the records of these young children, we are removing a barrier that could jeopardize that success.”
- Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB