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To my oppressors, I say…

You are not breaking me,

You are building me.

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There is always hope. Always.

This is a human system, designed and maintained by people. Society does change and evolve. If we give up and there is no “resistance, ” things may get even worse.

The reality is that we will always need to advocate. There is no magic bullet that will all of a sudden just cure all of our issues. We need to keep our spirits and emotional regulation on a path that will allow us to “stay in the game”.

This is a social movement. Anti-ableism and anti-oppression work is about an awareness shift, a culture shift, and a priority shift. This will take time, but we can’t give up. And it’s going to take all of us. Every time we educate someone or advocate, it doesn’t matter how small, it all matters. It’s all a grain of sand that will create the beach. All parents/guardians who are advocating in the school system are a part of this work, and we need to do it together.

I encourage you all to reach out and join parent support groups. There are many on Facebook. An excellent one to start with is BC Ed Access to Education. Come find us.

Teachers Regulation Branch (BC) vs. Ontario College of Teachers

There are a lot of differences between what happens in BC and what happens in Ontario.

For starters, parents in Ontario get a copy of what parents submit to the college when a complaint is filed by a parent.

In BC, we have to submit a Freedom of Informaiton request, and we are blocked from accessing such information. (OIPC complaint in process. I’ll keep you posted on that.)

But for now…

Let us start by comparing websites.

Website Comparison

Ontario Teacher’s College

They have a tab called “Public Protection” & They have a “Parents” tab

ID: 5 tabs, public protection, parents, members, becoming a teacher, about the college. Under public protection 12 more tab options. Link to the website page is here.

Under Public Protection, you can see that they easily have a tab for professional standards.

The parents tab is highlighted. 6 tabs clearly indicated. Link to the website page is oct.ca.

 

They also have their accessibility policies easy to access.

Easy to find the annual reports listed in the tab below.

The About the College tab is highlighted with 14 tabs. The link to the website is oct.ca

BC Teacher’s Regulation Branch Website

No easily accessible information for parents. I feel that their website is a maze of information and you just have to move through everything. This is not accessible to various groups of people.

I cannot find anything about accessibility policies or any kind of commitment to anti-oppression, equity, diversity and inclusion. If it’s there, I don’t know where. And here is a game to play. Who can find the annual reports? I know where they are, so I know how hard it is to find them. Let’s see if you can find them?

Let’s look at their website and if you were a parent, how would you find out about information regarding this process and what you would need to file a complaint.

This is the main page that you start off looking at.

Under the Information about teaching in British Columbia, you can click on the 3rd item where it says “Read the standards of the Teaching profession”. Which in my mind, looks like an area for teachers.

Ministry of Education in Education and Child Care. 3 Sections, with bullet points and various tabs. The website link to this page.

Then the “Make a complaint or report about a certified teacher” will bring you to Commissioner page. (This has recently been redesigned)

Green band at the top with gob.bc.ca has a new design! Learn more link. This page is the Commissioner for Teacher Regualation with tabs located to the left and General information below. The website link to this page.

You then need to lick on Make a Teacher Complaint.

Or, you can click on the Discipline Outcomes.

You reach this area.

This is the Discipline Outcomes page with a list of the most recent outcomes in the last year. The website link to the page.

Then you need to click on the find out more about the discipline process.

This has recently changed since January 8th, 2024.

Then you need to click on Make a Teacher Complaint. This is the first page that says the word “parent”.

This page is the Make a Teacher Complaint to the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation with tabs on the left and general information down the center for parents, students, staff or other members of the public. The website link to this page.

It used to look like this.

The Discipline Process is outlined with more tabs on the left than the new page. Very text heavy. Same info as the this page, here is the link.

They have two paths to find the teacher standards.

One way, is through the discipline outcome page. To find the teacher standards document to know if they have even broken one in order to file a complaint, you need go back to this page.

Same discipline outcomes page as shown above with the list of discipline outcomes for the last year. Here is the link.

And click on “read about the standards for educators”

And then search on this page.

Here is the Standards for educators page with lots of text and tabs to click on. Here is the website link to this page.

And then click on “BC Educator Standards” to be brought to this page.

This is the Standards for educators page with lots of clickable links. More like a list of tabs/headings. Here is the website link to the page.

To yet, then need to continue to click on another link, the standards for certificate of qualification.

Here is another page that says Standards with lists of clickable links. Here is the website link to this page.

To then know to click on the first link to be finally be brought to the PDF standards document.

Seriously, they couldn’t make it any harder if they tried.

You need to be willing and able to spend hours just going through the maze and reading everything.

OR the second way is to click on Make a Teacher Complaint and find the link in the second paragraph. Then you will still be brought back to the other pages as I showed above.

So, this is the page that explicitly says who can file a complaint and info intended for parents.

This is the Make a Teacher Complaint to the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation Branch. Tabs on the left with written paragraphs down the center with 3 clickable links. Here is the link to this website page.

So now, who was able to find the annual reports?

You have to go back to MEET THE COMMISSIONER and scroll all the way down to the bottom on that page.

You literally just have to spend hours clicking on all of the links, because just by hovering over the tabs it doesn’t indicate to you what the other tabs are inside. So…grab some coffee and hunker down.

IT IS A MAZE!

Now, let’s look at other differences.

Ontario Teacher’s College and why they exist. What pops out to me is the focus on public interest.

Says The College at a Glance with 2 sections both with minimal text and pictures. What we do (We licence and regulate teachers who work in publicly funded schools and many private schools in Ontario). Why we exist. (We serve and protect the public interest. We ensure that only safe, qualified and competent teachers are certified to teach your children.)

Teachers Regulation Branch

I have no idea where their mandate or goals, or guiding principles are located.

Is it this?

Commissioner for Teacher Regulation: The Commissioner reviews reports and complaints about the conduct or competence of educators and decides which process is appropriate to address a complaint or report. Link to Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

Is this it?

Clip of a link found on Google. Says: Teacher Regulation Branch Investigations. The TRB is mandated under the Teachers Act to regulate the professional conduct and competency of TRB members.

To anyone in the Minstry of Education, can you please redo your website (again) and make it more accessible for parents to access information?

Clearly, not in the public interest.

Thank you.

Self-Advocacy and Victim Blaming in Education

Certain elements of self-advocacy need to be in place.

1. The person on some level needs to be accepting of their disability AND be willing to talk about it.

2. They have to be able to identify when they need help.

3. They need to identify what they need help with and have the language to express it.

4. They need a trusted adult who has proved their willingness to listen to them over time.

5. The child needs to feel heard.

6. The child needs to feel that this trusted adult will believe them when they say they need help.

7. This needs to be repeated enough times and be predictable enough for the self-advocate to feel comfortable and safe to advocate for their needs.

Often school staff will say…..

Well _____________ happened, but if XXXX advocated for himself, this wouldn’t have happened.

That is BULLSHIT.

Children since they enter school are socialized to believe they MUST follow authority or something really bad is going to happen. They think they will be disappointing all the adults in their lives, and kids deep down just want to make their loved ones love them.

All they want to do is to make the adults (especially their parents but also their teachers) in their lives happy so that they will feel worthy and good about themselves. We need to look at their situation through the lens of a child.

There is so much systemic ableism, that people don’t want to acknowledge it. If they do, they are now responsible for changing it.

Learning self-advocacy can take a lifetime. Adults have a hard time advocating. It’s stressful and anxiety-producing for all of us. We need to have realistic expectations for our children. Especially when they are navigating an oppressive system, based on hierarchy, and control. They live in this environment 5 days a week, we don’t.

We have a human rights decision on our side.

It’s easy for schools to make us think our kids share responsibility or are responsible for all of it.

Let’s keep in mind….

Self-advocacy expectations have been defined by the BC Human Rights Tribunal. In Student by Parent v. School District BCHRT 237.

[90]           Generally, it is the obligation of the person seeking accommodation to bring forward the relevant facts: Central Okanagan School District No. 23 v. Renaud1992 CanLII 81 (SCC), [1992] 2 SCR 970. This can be challenging for children, and especially challenging for children with invisible disabilities. I agree with the Parent that children who require accommodation in their school are in a different situation than adults seeking accommodation. Though they have a role to play in the process, that role will be age and ability-specific, and the burden cannot be on a child to identify and bring forward the facts necessary for their accommodation.

Blog from Self-Represented Parent – Human Rights Complaint – Anxiety

The parent who self-represented her daughter has anonymously written a blog about the recent human rights decision on the BC Ed Access to Education website.

To read it click BEHIND THE DECISION: REFLECTIONS AND IMPORTANT FINDINGS ON THE RECENT HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION CASE

News Articles on Recent Human Rights Partial Win by Parent in Education

January 3rd, 2024

Global BC: An unnamed school district in British Columbia has been ordered by the province’s human rights tribunal to pay $5,000 to a student for failing to accommodate her anxiety disorder.

Vancouver Sun – B.C. school district fined $5,000 for failing to address student’s anxiety

CBC – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Global News – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

National Post – School district must pay $5,000 to student with anxiety, B.C. rights tribunal rules

Chek News – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

SaskToday – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

BNN Breaking – British Columbia School District Ordered to Compensate Student with Anxiety Disorder

Cochrane Eagle – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Info News – BC high school student gets $5,000 after school ignored their anxiety

City News (Toronto) – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

City News (Kitchener) – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

City News (Halifax) – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Vancouver Is Awesome – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Toronto Star – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

The Brandon Sun – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Ottawa Sun – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Edmonton Journal – School district must pay $5,000 to student with anxiety, B.C. rights tribunal rules

Rd News Now (Red Deer) – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Meadowlake Now – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

The Free Press – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Castanet Kamloops – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

The Chronicle Journal – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

The Hamilton Spectator – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Toronto Sun – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Ground News – BC high school student gets $5,000 after school ignored their anxiety

The Province – B.C. school district fined $5,000 for failing to address student’s anxiety

Moose Jaw Today – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Nelson Star – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

St. Albert Gazette – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Ottawa Citizen – School district must pay $5,000 to student with anxiety, B.C. rights tribunal rules

The Star Phoenix – School district must pay $5,000 to student with anxiety, B.C. rights tribunal rules

Lethbridge Hearld – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Rocky Mountain Outlook – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Prince George Citizen – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Penticton Hearld – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Pelham Today – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

The Canadian Press – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Vernon Matters – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

The Calgary Sun – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Comox Valley Record – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Times Colonist – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Halton Hills Today – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

MSN – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Kamloops Now – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Powel River Peak – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Maple Ridge – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Langley Advance Times – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

New Westminster Record – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Surrey Now Leader – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Richmond News – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

North Shore News – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Delta Optimist – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

The Chilliwack Progress – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

The Burnaby Now – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Mission City Record – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Hope Standard – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

The Squamish Chief – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Kelowna Daily Courier – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Victoria News – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Vernon Morning Star – B.C. school district fined for failing to address student’s anxiety

Town and Country Today – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Timmins Today -B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

Bradford Today – B.C. school district told to pay student $5,000 for failing to address her anxiety

*** This is not the full list, but I just can’t keep up.

Law Blogs

HR Law Canada – January 4th, 2024

Self-represented Parent of Child’s Education Discrimination Case – Partial Win – Human Rights Tribunal

This is the only completed case that I have seen by a self-represented parent in BC, in an education case. And they succeeded in a partial win.

Student (by Parent) v. School District, 2023 BCHRT 237

Some important gems in this decision that I see are:

Meaningful inquiry

[99]           Next, in B v. School District, 2019 BCHRT 170, the evidence supported that the school district provided the child with the recommended supports and accommodations. The Tribunal found that it was “only with hindsight” that it was possible to say that the child could have benefited from more support: para. 81. It dismissed the complaint in part because there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the school district reasonably ought to have known that the child required more: para. 98. In contrast here, I have found that the District had sufficient information to trigger some kind of inquiry or response beyond asking the Student how she was doing and, assuming the counsellor did this, advising of available supports.

[100]      In short, I agree with the District that the Parent and Student were obliged to bring forward information relating to accommodation. The Parent did that, when she communicated that the Student had anxiety and trichotillomania and that school was taking a significant toll on her physical and mental health. That information should have been enough to prompt a meaningful inquiry by the school to identify what was triggering the Student’s symptoms and what supports or accommodations may be appropriate to ensure she was able to meaningfully and equitably access her education. The failure to take that step was, in my view, not reasonable. As a result, the disability-related impacts on the Student, arising from conditions in her Language 10 class between April 24 and June 27, 2019, have not been justified and violate s. 8 of the Human Rights Code.

[104]      In sum, I have found that the conditions in the Student’s grade 8 Language 10 class exacerbated the Student’s anxiety and trichotillomania, and that the District failed to take reasonable steps to investigate and address those conditions during the period between April 24, 2019, and June 27, 2019 (the last day of school). I find this is a violation of s. 8 of the Human Rights Code, and warrants a remedy, which I address below.

Around self-advocacy for children with invisible disabilities:

[90]           Generally, it is the obligation of the person seeking accommodation to bring forward the relevant facts: Central Okanagan School District No. 23 v. Renaud1992 CanLII 81 (SCC), [1992] 2 SCR 970. This can be challenging for children, and especially challenging for children with invisible disabilities. I agree with the Parent that children who require accommodation in their school are in a different situation than adults seeking accommodation. Though they have a role to play in the process, that role will be age and ability-specific, and the burden cannot be on a child to identify and bring forward the facts necessary for their accommodation.

IEP – For a Child with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Trichotillomania

[59]           This ends the period of this complaint.  However, it is important to note that, in the Student’s grade 11 year, the school developed an individual education plan, or IEP, for her. This IEP set out the Student’s strengths, learning preferences, and goals. It identified specific supports for the Student, including flexible due dates, ensuring the Student was not put on the spot in class, reducing workload whenever possible, providing a quiet learning environment, and frequent teacher check ins. It also established that the Student would meet bi-monthly with the school counsellor to work on her goals. The Student’s grade 11 counsellor explains that she saw the IEP as a way to reduce the burden on the Parent and to support the Student to advocate for herself. From the Parent’s perspective, this was a welcome development that should have been done much sooner.

[7]               In this case, there is no dispute that the Student has disabilities, namely generalized anxiety disorder accompanied by trichotillomania (hair pulling). She is protected under s. 8 of the Human Rights Code from discrimination in her education. This complaint is about the Parent’s allegation that the symptoms of the Student’s disabilities were exacerbated in grades 8 and 9 because of her experience in Language 10 and Language 11, and that the District failed to accommodate her disability-related needs in those classes.

** Even without a designation at the time, she is still protected under the Human Rights Code.

Mental Health Stigma – Failure to Identify Diagnosis

[34]           The Parent did not see this email at the time. From her perspective, the email was not adequate to appropriately communicate the scope of the Student’s school-related needs. It did not fully communicate what the Parent had told the counsellor, and what she had expected would be passed along to the teachers. She felt it was also not realistic to think that the Student would approach a teacher and ask to be excused; in fact, this was not an option that it seems the Student ever exercised. In the Parent’s view, the failure to identify the Student’s diagnoses perpetuated the silence and stigma of mental health and undermined the Student. The message contrasts, for example, with the communication that the Parent sent to the Student’s teachers at the start of her grade 9 year, which said:

Communicating and providing evidence of a diagnosis

[13]           In light of the Student’s barriers in advocating for herself, the adults in her life have had to take on a more proactive role. The Parent’s open and active communication has been critical to ensuring that the Student’s needs are recognized and met in school. Throughout the Student’s education, the Parent has let her schools know about her disabilities, and that she may require monitoring because she is unlikely to proactively seek the support she needs.

[14]           There is no dispute that, due to the Parent’s advocacy, various individuals within the School District were aware of the Student’s diagnoses before and during the period of this complaint. For example, in the spring of grade 7, the Parent provided the elementary school with a note from the Student’s psychiatrist confirming that the Student had a “long-standing diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder”. At the Parent’s request, this note was placed in the Student’s school file.

** This is a very important aspect as this ensures that a district has a duty to accommodate.

From the Human Rights Clinic Blog, Stress, Anxiety and the Duty to Accommodate, they explain…

“However, she did not provide any medical information that said she had a mental disability.

The Tribunal dismissed Ms. Matheson’s complaint, stating that “an essential element of a complaint of discrimination in employment on the basis of mental disability is proof that the complainant either had a mental disability… or was perceived to be mentally disabled by the employer.”

Here is Ms. Matheson’s case.

Family Status – Human Rights Complaints in Education

Here is some clarity to something that can be confusing when it comes to parents adding themselves to their child’s human rights complaint in education. (Your complaint will also need to pass the discrimination test.)

You need to file separate complaints. One for your child and one for you. Then, when and if they are both accepted, then you need to file an application to join them.

As a parent, it makes logical sense in our head to just include ourselves in our child’s complaint because we see everything so connected, but that is not the process that one needs to go through. So, to save yourself some time in further applications and playing catch up, when you file your child’s complaint, also file a separate complaint for you. Wait to see if both are accepted and then you need to file a 7.1 Form to join the complaints.

Here is the application page. You will want Application Form 7.1 – General Application. If you go to page 2 of 7, on that list, 7th on the list down, you will see “Join two or more complaints”

It is highly likely that the respondents will be making submissions for them not to be joined, or to dismiss your complaint. So, just mentally be prepared for that.

Here is the groundbreaking case that brought this option out in the open. So thankful for this brave parent.

Groundbreaking BC HRT – Accepts Parent on Child’s HR Complaint

Direct link on CanLII

You may want to quote this case directly in your complaint.

Also, keep in mind the one-year time limit for filing. If you file outside of the one-year time limit you may want to consider this case. Also, be aware that you will need to have evidence of the harm related to your loss of work or emotional harm.

Experience is such a valuable teacher.

If you have any questions, call the BC Human Rights Clinic. They are the best people to talk to about your complaint or any questions about the process. Processes do change, forms change, and with each new human rights case decision that gets posted – arguments can change. (This blog was written on Dec 21st, 2023)

To NDA or not to NDA? That is the Question…

Here is a video on Non-Disclosure Agreements

I find this video fascinating and informative.

In the video, they report that “95% of people report consequences on their mental health” for signing an NDA.

About 3/4 way through they talk about what happens when people push back.

I highly recommend a viewing of this video for anyone going through the human rights tribunal or any kind of legal settlement/agreement process. There is a lot to consider, and a lot to discuss with your lawyer.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VzfdVqp3Mxs?si=JwACOlntC3Ev1021

Communication Expectations in Education Defined by BC Government

Parents often wonder….

  • how much communication is too little?
  • Too much?
  • Am I allowed to…?
  • What can I expect?

Some parents have lots of communication with their children’s teachers and other parents are struggling not knowing any information or too little to even advocate for their children.

If you hit a brick wall or if you are not getting the information you need, having a policy from the government on communication expectations can be the key you need to get you through the door.

As of July 1st, 2023 this is the Reporting Policy from the BC Government.

Here are just a few clips from the policy statement. To read the full document click here.

Policy Statement

Meaningful and flexible communication of student learning across British Columbia’s K-12 school system ensures parents/guardians and students are informed about student learning.

All learners benefit from individualized descriptive feedback and personal involvement in the assessment process.

Communication of student learning is ongoing throughout the year. This Policy is designed to ensure school districts have the freedom and flexibility to communicate about student learning in a way that best meets the needs of students; this includes communication with students and parents/guardians that is inclusive, accessible, and culturally responsive.” 

Teachers provide timely feedback to parents/guardians and/or students that is responsive to student needs. The communication between home and school can take many forms.” 

Rationale

Meaningful and flexible communication of student learning in clear and accessible language enables parents/guardians, students, teachers, and administrators to proactively work together to enhance student learning. This Policy ensures the student and parents/guardians are partners in the dialogue about the student’s learning and the best ways to support and further learning. Students benefit when they and their parents/guardians are made aware of their strengths and areas of needed growth and are provided support early.”

Documenting the Harm

You are feeling helpless.

Out of control.

Wondering what you can say to convince educational staff to not give up on your kid….

The complete desperation, I remember that feeling. I see you and I hear you.

You aren’t sleeping and you are spending hours staring at your ceiling wondering if an answer will present itself.

I will tell you something very very important.

You. need. to. document. the. harm.

All of it.

And not just the harm to your children. You too! Did you lose a promotion? Lose an educational opportunity? Did you quit your job? Have to leave school?

This is going to feel weird.

This is going to feel like you are stepping beyond the boundaries of normal family life. Yup and yup. You are going to feel that your child’s privacy is being violated. Yup. I get the heartache. Totally.

Documenting the harm that your child is experiencing from the education system can be one of the most powerful forms of advocacy, that a parent can gather.

Here is why.

You need evidence to be undeniable.

You need evidence so that you are not dismissed.

Human Rights.

A very important test of human rights complaints and Charter challenges is proving that you or your child is being disadvantaged (harm) because of their disability.

Without evidence, the human rights tribunal will state that your allegations are nothing but conjecture. And will dismiss your case. Done.

Dadmand v. School District No. 36 (Surrey), 2011 BCHRT 323

IN THE MATTER OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS CODE

R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 210 

[16] That provision creates a gate-keeping function that permits the Tribunal to conduct preliminary assessments of human rights complaints with a view to removing those that do not warrant the time and expense of a hearing. It is a discretionary exercise that does not require factual findings. Instead, a Tribunal member assesses the evidence presented by the parties with a view to determining if there is no reasonable prospect the complaint will succeed. The threshold is low. The complainant must only show the evidence takes the case out of the realm of conjecture.

You need admissible evidence. Period.

Without it, the district will be confident that you will not complete your obligation in the legal test of proving discrimination.

This is about the harm that has already occurred. Not something that you anticipate for the future. Something that has occurred in the PAST, and that you have evidence for.

So…… what proof/evidence do you need?

These are things I would think about?

Videos/Pictures/Witnesses/Doctors visits/Counselling visits, etc.

  • Is our child losing sleep? Are they eating less? (Keep a log)
  • Are they writing or drawing out their feelings? Keep their creative expressions.
  • Did you need to increase anxiety medication?
  • Are they requiring counselling? (Note: Government-free counselling will not testify as it is a conflict of interest and the school district knows that)
  • What are you witnessing at home? Log details of everything and take videos.
  • Are they refusing to leave their bed?
  • Are they refusing school? Document the days and for how long. Match it up with attendance on their report cards.
  • Are they self-harming?
  • If you are seeing any mental health responses describe the behaviour as if an alien is watching… what are they doing? For example, they are rolling in bed picking skin off of their right leg and smearing blood on the wall. (Did you take pictures of the blood?) Describe everything from a clinical perspective. I know this is hard, but you need to do it.
  • Are you filming them melting down after school? You can hide the camera.
  • Keep their school work with their grades on the pages
  • Keep all the report cards, suspension reports and emails

From the Human Rights Tribunal

******

What is evidence?

Evidence can be:

  • oral testimony: a witness answers questions in person, or over a speaker phone if the member agrees
  • documents: documents, such as pay stubs or letters, are given to the tribunal member by a witness and are marked as an exhibit at the hearing
  • things: sometimes witnesses give the tribunal member other things such as photographs – just about anything that helps prove your case – these things may also be marked as an exhibit at the hearing
  • affidavits or other statements: a witness’ evidence can be given to the tribunal in writing – this can be a statement such as a letter, or a statement made under oath or solemn affirmation called an affidavit
  • expert evidence: evidence from an expert that may be oral testimony, an affidavit, or a written report

What evidence will the tribunal accept?

The tribunal can accept almost any evidence that is relevant, which means that it relates to the complaint or to the response to the complaint.

http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/law-library/guides-info-sheets/guides/getting-ready.htm

******

You get the idea, depending on the child, the list is endless.

As parents, we know what we know, but we need to prove it. Otherwise, our allegations are essentially worthless.

I actually don’t believe that school staff truly understand the harm that is happening to children and families. We don’t all live in the same world. They don’t see what we see.

This is why, we MUST document the harm in order to tell our kids stories.

Even if we feel that nothing will happen. You never know what years down the line will bring.

Keep the evidence.

The opportunity may present itself in the future to speak your child’s truth.