Missing Counselling Notes

There is a very concerning trend that is happening around this province in our school districts, and that is related to disappearing counselling notes and other sensitive student information.

We have case law from the Supreme Court of BC with expectations and instructions for the school boards on what they should be doing regarding counselling notes, but schools districts do not have policy as they should around this. This is regarding the notes being kept on school property and not taken home by the counsellor, notes being kept separate from the student record and locked, etc.



79 (1) Subject to the orders of the minister, a board must

(a) establish written procedures regarding the
storage, retrieval and appropriate use of student records, and

(b) ensure confidentiality of the information
contained in the student records and ensure
privacy for students and their families.

If you are a parent who has had issues regarding this, or are concerned about this, I offer you a standard letter to send to your school board’s trustees and please CC: the Secretary-Treasurer and consider including the Ministry of Education in your email.  Feel free to write your own with your own individual issues, however, for those who just don’t have the spoons at the moment but are still very concerned, I offer you a letter below. Please attach the case in the link above to your email. The email addresses you will need you can find on your school districts website.

The Ministry of Education needs to have their legislation match current laws. Please email the Ministry of Education or your MLA’s to express your feelings on this matter.

Dear Trustees,

It has come to our attention a concerning trend in missing counselling notes. Confidential student information has gone missing in many school districts and this is an administrative crack in the system that is a disadvantage to students and their parents for many reasons.

We would like to bring to your attention case law that has already been established by the Supreme Court of Canada that states counselling notes are protected under the School Act as property of the school district and that they should be kept locked and treated as school records. In this decision it also states that school boards should develop policy around the storage of counselling notes.

We are requesting that you review your own school policy around school records and confirm if counselling notes have been added to this policy and if not, to implement new policy connected to the legal standards established by the Supreme Court. Please see the attached case law for your reference.

Kind Regards,

Parents SD##

The Scary Parent

To get us into the spooky spirit this week I present…

A true scary school tale in advocacy called The Scary Parent.

(I highly recommend you read this blog in the dark with a flashlight…or better yet, sneak into your kids fort and read it in there.)

I love spy movies.

Information is so valuable. People risk their lives for it.  The power people have because of information cannot be underestimated.  Information is knowledge and knowledge is POWER.

So, parents…what’s our power?

We know A LOT of information. (Insert evil laugh track)

We know A LOT.

There are Facebook groups out there where parents share stories, tips, resources and yes…education advocacy information.

This is terrifying news to school districts.

In these Facebook groups, policies are shared, laws and cases get posted, advocacy tips are offered and email examples are suggested. It’s pure group synergy.

There is only one rule about the Facebook group.

We don’t talk about the Facebook group.

Kidding…WE TALK ABOUT IT A LOT. (Rewind evil laugh track and press play again)

Now, here is the scary part. Not for the parents….the districts. We are invisible. They will never know if the parent walking into their office is a secret member, or not. If they have access to over 4,000 passionate parents. We travel incognito.  We are right in front of their eyes, and they don’t…even…know…it! (Feel free to make scary faces right now using your flashlight to heighten the scary blog affect.)

Here is the best part…

We are growing. Oh no!!! They say!

The scariest parent to the district, is an educated one. I am talking about being educated in how to navigate THE SYSTEM.

THE SYSTEM is a beast. It only responds to policy, law and complaints filed with external organizations.  

So, parents….

Go ahead.

Be that scary motherfucker you always wanted to be. Make THAT Facebook post. You go ahead and you fill out that intake form like nobodies’ business.

And then….