Adding yourself to your child’s human rights complaint

There are 2 Cases that support this.

Independent School Authority v Parent, 2022 BCSC 570 (CanLII)


The Parent v The School District, 2024 BCHRT 113

Depending on your situation and experiences with the school district, you are able to add yourself to your child’s human rights complaint under Family Status.

From the first case:

[12]      The parent alleges that she has had to witness her child’s struggles as a result of the School’s conduct, including the child’s distress and anxiety on a daily basis. This was extremely difficult, exhausting and traumatic for the parent. The parent required counselling to address her trauma, and has been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome as a result of the stress. In addition, the parent alleges that she had to take a leave from work to assist with the child, and has suffered various financial impacts.

[62]      In the decision, the Tribunal states:

[The parent’s] Complaint must allege facts which, if proven, could establish that: (1) she has the protected characteristics of family status; (2) she experienced an adverse impact regarding a service customarily available to the public; and (3) her family status was a factor in the adverse impact: Moore at para. 33. I have also considered the [petitioners’] arguments that Habetler and Fraser-Cascade bar the tribunal from considering a parent as part of the “public” a school provides a service to, within the meaning of s. 8 of the Code.

[63]      The Tribunal determined that the parent’s complaint set out facts that, if proven, could establish the necessary connection between the adverse impact and the parent’s family status, and could amount to a discrimination under s. 8 of the Human Rights Code. This determination of the Tribunal is one which attracts a high level of deference by the court:  Smith v. B.C. Human Rights Tribunal2021 BCSC 331, para. 21-22.

If you wonder if this is an option for you, please reach out to the BC Human Rights Clinic for consultation.

From the second case:

[38]           The Parent states she is clearly not the only parent who needs to go on leave when their children with disabilities are not properly able to access their education and are not being supported. She submits that “the system” needs to start recognizing the toll and impacts on parents’ employment when disabled children are not getting what they need. The Parent argues her case is unique regarding the issue of a parent bringing a complaint of consequential harm arising from conduct related to their child in school. The Parent argues the School District is incorrect in its assertion that the issue is settled such that she is barred from succeeding because she does not have the necessary services relationship with the Respondent. I do not agree with the Parent that the services and family status aspect of her complaint is unique. There is a decision on this issue that was noted by the parties: Independent School Authority v. Parent2022 BCSC 570.