Avoiding the Traps That End Your Advocacy

I have dealt with multiple multiple different government departments through lots of different advocacy trails. Here is a list of dirty parlor tricks that they will use on you, to cut you off your path. These come from experience, case law examples, and stories from other parents. If you get any of these as a response, you know you have hit a sensitive nerve. You are onto something, keep going!

Their overarching goal is to have you lose your shit, so that they can then use your reaction as way to stop communicating with you and therefore stop your advocacy. They want to tire you out and focus not on the issue, but you.

NOTE: This is not how everyone in a position of power responds. However, if your situation exposes a lot of systemic issues, or a human rights issue, or is a hot topic, get ready. The more you know, the more you can be prepared and not respond in an emotional but in a strategic planned way.

  1. They will use silence and just ignore your emails, or respond really really really late. Like months and months late. Time is on their side. They feel no urgency. They will use your urgency against you to heighten your anxiety.
  2. They will request extensions for everything, or cancel meetings or just make dates for things that extend everything. The point is for this to constantly be out of reach and go on and on, hoping you give up.
  3. They will tell you they have another meeting at a certain time, say 45 min or 1 hour after yours starts in order to cap the conversation and then again extend the unresolved issue. The point is to extend, limit and contain.
  4. They will give you tasks or homework assignments to keep you busy and make you feel like something is happening, when in fact it is not. The homework assignments will be impossible to complete unless you know a lot of law, or are able to analyze a lawyers process. Not kidding. I had to analyze the process in which someone arrived at their decision, and why their process was incorrect. What they didn’t know was that I have a degree in human relations (human systems – how people function in groups) and currently at SFU for criminology, so I can absolutely do that. Which means, apparently you need to have almost 2 degrees in order to meet their criteria for intervention and support and this specific organization supports people who are need of help and are vulnerable in their situation. Not joking.
  5. Anything connected to procedural fairness, and they will make it seem like you are demanding, unreasonable, or inappropriate. This can be connected to having specific advocates in the room, or making sure your voice is heard, or even understanding the process so you can be prepared.
  6. They will use your emails, or your emotions as a way to try and embarrass you or shame you, and focus the attention on your behaviour.
  7. They will start to mirror your communication if they are wanting you to comply. Look at how they address you, and how they sign off on emails. Look at the language they are using.
  8. They will use similar subject headings in emails as a way to easily track communication. If you start seeing the same subject headings, it’s a flag. Other people are tracking your emails. It’s for a reason.
  9. They will interpret your advocacy as a personal attack and attempt to make you feel like you are being aggressive. Focus on the process, and the ability to highlight the oppression you are experiencing. Look at Rule of Law, Procedural Fairness, and Charter of Rights.
  10. They will change the rules as you move along, essentially creating a “moving target”. This is procedural unfairness that you can argue with case law.
  11. They will state facts, and then say…. “Well it is our understanding that…..” and then make up whatever they want.
  12. Some days you feel like you are having a sword fight with the English dictionary. Analyze everything. Counting aspects and turning your data into quantitative data, can be helpful. How many emails? How much time in meeting minutes? How much repetitive data? How many times did they use those power words or accuse you of…?
  13. They will play within the rules, so if there is a page limit for a response for a certain written court process, they have used small font and widen the margins. They will use whatever advantage they can gather.
  14. If they ask for an extension of pages, you need to also ask for the same extension of pages.
  15. They will pretend they are innocent or unaware, and purposefully make mistakes with dates, or other information, hoping you will speak to them in a demeaning way or insult them. Then they know that they can stop you in the your tracks, and they will be supported by any system process. You need to communicate with them as if you are talking with your grandmother. It will piss them off. They are always looking for a hook.
  16. If what you are saying is true, they will attack the process at what you arrived at those facts. For example, my child was assessed by this person, at this level. Then they will attack/undermine the person who assessed your child, and try and make them invalid.
  17. They will tell you that you can email them your thoughts and feelings and that they will read everything, but they will not be able to respond to everything. DO NOT DO THIS. They are essentially not closing the door on you, and wanting to gather info on how you think and feel. They are collecting evidence to use against you.
  18. They will want to have phone conversations with you, and not be willing to document or email any conclusions or actions that they are committing to.
  19. They will want to limit the number of advocates in the room, or use “student confidentiality” as an excuse to take away other professional expertise or support persons that will benefit you or end meetings with joint parents.
  20. They will keep sending you to different people to have meetings with over and over and over again.
  21. They will try and make your arguments look weak and theirs are stronger in actual fake law – they will take a real concept and kind up…. smudge it up. Generally, they will bend the rules and smudge the lines. They can be very subtle by dropping “knowledge bombs” of information to heighten your anxiety.
  22. They will do things in a way… that you start to question yourself. Am I really seeing this? Is this really happening? Am I overreacting? We always assume that everyone has the best intentions….maybe they aren’t aware…. That could be true. However. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Many good people hold up a sick system. It makes sense in their head, and they may not really understand why. It’s just the culture. It’s normalized.

I leave you with quotes that hit home this week.

  1. “There are times when you must speak, not because you are going to change the other person, but because if you don’t speak, they have changed you.”—Mary Quinn, aka Maud http://www.shakesville.com/2011/08/for-maud.html
  2. “You are what you tolerate.”

A Year in Review

The year of 2022 started off with my blog The Dance of Advocacy and Forgiveness, which gives me a chuckle given the current circumstances my year is ending in. I am getting a lot of practice.

This year has been a year of discovery and finding out just how far the rabbit hole to Wonderland goes.

In 2022 I found out my Top 10 Shocking Advocacy Discoveries, and I can tell you that this year coming up will require an update. Swimming upstream in education is important.

Some exciting learnings also happened. The groundbreaking  case showed the Human Rights Tribunal accepting a parent attached to their child’s education discrimination complaint. That possibility is eye-opening and will pave the way for more parents.  I definitely have a much better understanding of the Duty to Accommodate and why Documentation and Diagnosis are so important on the legal fronts. The struggles of the system have also been revealed to me. I’ll be keeping an eye on for any upcoming cases to share.

Didn’t wish I had such an example of ableism in education to report on, and can say this experience has repeated itself again. Different teacher, same outcome. This similar behaviour has happened four times so far.

I have several advocacy projects still open, active and ongoing involving multiple government departments. Change is slow. It requires a lot of patience and persistence. I have been forever changed by everything I have experienced in the last 3+ years. I am not the same person.  Well….I am but, but just amplified. 😉 It was all buried, but it’s all coming out now.

One of the healing experiences for me has been this website and blog. The families who reach out to me due to this website have been eye-opening, healing, and motivating all at once. To all the parents/guardians out there who are advocating to try and make it easier and less heavy for someone else, I see you. So many of us are out there. Each trying our best at our own puzzle piece.

Systems always change over time. We may think we are getting nowhere, but there is always a ripple effect even if we don’t directly see it. People may think that nothing will ever change. But that is not true. Things could always get worse.  Good people need to speak up. Everyone else who has advocated before us needs their work continued. I am continually gaining strength and inspiration from all the parents who have taken their human rights cases to hearings across Canada. You never know how you effect people. Doing the right thing isn’t necessarily easy. There are a lot of advocates working in and out of the different systems. So much to be grateful for and learn from.

This year has been quite a year… a part of me doesn’t even want to wonder what this new year will bring. I can feel that it’s going to be a whopper. But you know what…. I am ready.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

A Call for Action – School Psychologists

Vulnerable children are going to be pushed into more vulnerable circumstances with the new upcoming regulatory changes for school psychologists.

We need to sound the alarm!

New proposed bylaws by the College of Psychologist of BC will be impacting our school psychologists and therefore our children.

I have a child who was assessed by a psychologist connected to MCFD, who diagnosed the ADHD, but didn’t even test for the learning disability after I raised serious concerns regarding his written output.

It took a school psychologist with a practice on the side, to assess my son within 2 months, and his serious learning disability in written output was revealed. My son would not be getting the supports he has today without this assessment. The emotional harm would have continued. This was a private assessment, but she charged less than a community psychologist. Her assessment was also viewed by another professional who said this was the most comprehensive assessment she has ever seen. Without this lovely school psychologist offering her skills as her own practice, it would have been months and months of waiting, to hopefully get a fully correct diagnosis. Having a school psychologist was ideal and I am forever grateful.

For more information on their advocacy work, please see their informative website www.bcschoolpsychadvocacy.com

The Underground World of Human Rights Complaints in Education

By systemic design, human rights complaints in education are underground. A hidden world, away from prying eyes and transparent investigation. This is not for privacy and confidentiality.

  1. Back in the day, with focused education-reporters, this article was written about the expense of lawyers fees for Harris and Co. Vancouver Sun – School districts and the money spent on Harris & Co. What is NOT mentioned in this article is that the money for Harris & Co. also covers human rights complaints filed by parents on behalf of their children.
  2. On the Harris & Co. website, they list the services they offer to school districts. What is explicitly missing, is that they defend human rights complaints, both by employees and by parents. The words “human rights” are missing. Search the database of the Human Rights Tribunal, you will see the cases with the names of the lawyers that link back to their law firm.
  3. On the Human Rights Tribunal website, find me where parents can get information about discrimination related to education services? Last year, I emailed them informing that information specific to education is badly needed. I received no response. No updates on the website have been made. I have had to do my own research and write blogs like this: Understanding the Duty to Accommodate, Why is documentation so important, and create a Human Rights Tribunal and an Education Law page to help other parents understand their rights. I am asking this honestly, for anyone reading this, please send me any links that you can on human rights and education in BC. I’d love to know where this information is posted. If you want to find info on human rights in BC in education the only place to look is case law. So I created my case page. (Which actually should be updated with all of my newest finds.) I swear, I need 26 hours in a day.
  4. Meanwhile in Ontario the Human Rights Tribunal has a Special Education Tribunal, and an Ombudsperson branch focused on Education. Don’t even get me started talking about the Teacher’s Regulation Branch here in BC. That’s a whole other story still in progress.
  5. The Ministry of Education doesn’t even track human rights complaints. Evidence – the state of human rights complaints in BC. No one is even paying attention to all of this. No oversight. Nothing. No monitoring. No accountability. Yup. Read that again.
  6. We already know that the obvious form of exclusion happens from BCEd’s exclusion tracker. We rarely see articles about education human rights complaints in the news. Surrey School District. Parents need to “out” their child. Data with anonymity specific to education isn’t available. Discrimination in school systems is so wide spread. It’s just been accepted as part of the daily fabric of how the education system functions and parents are left to advocate, taking up the responsibility on their own.

So this underground hidden world exists…

Interesting…

Anyone care to take a guess as to why????

I have a couple interesting theories. None that I can write out on social media.

Interesting to note:

  1. Education human rights cases tend to be very long and complex. Weeks long.
  2. The human rights tribunal is already an overwhelmed system as it is. 3-5 years is the current estimate start to end time.
  3. According to the HRT annual report only 1% of complaints make it to a hearing, and if you are unrepresented against lawyers only 20% win their cases. Without hearings happening in education, we don’t have enough case law in education around discrimination.
  4. Parents are quoted &120,000.00 in lawyers frees for a 5 day hearing for lawyer representation. If you win, the settlement offers are small fractions of your legal fees.
  5. Pro-bono lawyers, once you get a settlement offer, wont agree to take your case to a hearing. Or good luck finding one who will.
  6. There is a turn of the tide happening right now. The latest human rights hearing list, has three cases in education, all in the same month.

It is a hidden underground world.

You want a concrete example of what systemic oppression looks like…well…here it is folks!

Oh and fun fact, this system isn’t changing anytime soon.

Where is the outrage?

Oh, that’s underground too.

You see, at Harris & Co. they do explicitly list “defamation issues including defamation on social media” as part of their services.

Lucky us.

International Stuttering Awareness Day! October 22nd, 2022

Here are some things that fluent people may not realize about stuttering…

  1. There are certain words for people who stutter that will be more difficult to say than other information. For example, Our name, address, phone number. Things that we get asked a lot and we can’t replace it with other words.

Also things like, social language can be hard to say, like thank you.

When someone holds a door open for me, saying thank you for me, 90% of the time I stutter on that word and sometimes people just move too fast, I don’t have time to say the word. I am sure the world thinks I am very rude. What can I do?

2. For people who stutter, sometimes….depending on the person, they can be more fluent or stutter more on the phone. Some people find reading easier to speak and for others, they stutter more when reading. For me, *depending* on the person and the relationship I have with them, and the purpose of the call, phone can be very challenging and I prefer video as I use my body language to support my communication. We will all have our different *triggers*. However a common trigger that will increase stuttering is time pressure. We know what we need for different situations and we have rights for accommodations.

3. Many people who stutter will substitute words and spend a lot of mental energy navigating their stuttering through sentences. This can be very exhausting. So even if people seem to be very fluent and only stutter occasionally, you have no idea how much mental gymnastics they are encountering to communicate.

Some people can be covert stutterers and spend an incredible amount of time hiding their stuttering and substituting their words. They can feel very powerless in their life as they will eat food on menus they don’t want to eat, or say or agree to things they don’t really think, but it’s easier to say.

I myself and so many other people have experienced covert stuttering as a survival strategy in their life. Take my word for it, it’s EXHAUSTING and nauseating.

4. Some people who stutter find it easier to not stutter on swear words and so putting swear words in a sentence helps to “keep them a float” so to speak. Thanks Samuel L Jackson for explaining this so well. 😉

5. Stuttering is a neurological condition. It is not caused by nervousness or anxiety, but there are many environmental factors that can influence someone’s stuttering. As the brain is so complex and networked, emotions can influence stuttering but not cause it.

6. Stuttering can range in severity and presents differently for different people. So, what is helpful for one person, isn’t helpful for everyone. Please, we don’t need to hear…”You know my Uncle did _____ and now he doesn’t stutter anymore!” Really!?! You sure about that??

7. Just because someone can be fluent in one situation doesn’t mean they can be fluent in other situations.

For example, some people can experience high levels of fluency in speech therapists office. It’s like if someone was asking you to walk along a plank of wood on the floor of their office. It’s safe. Then when you go out in the world, it’s like that plank of wood is now balancing between two 30 floor buildings and now you need to walk across it. Very different. Every speaking experience depending on the context that plank of wood will move to different floors. Social event with your best friends, maybe you are just walking across the board one story up. Job interview, 30 stories up. Lunch with co-workers in an supportive environment, 5 stories up. Phone call with someone in a position of authority, 15 stories up.

8. Many people who stutter have other family members who stutter. For people who don’t know if they do or not, it is still possible. 2 and 3 generations ago, you can imagine how important it was for people to hide their stuttering. My grandmother didn’t even label her father as a stutterer, “that was just how he talked”. You never know!

9. Stuttering changes over a life time. How I stuttered as a kid, was different as a teenager, was different as a young adult, was different when I was pregnant with both of my kids, and my stuttering is different now. I hear from people who are in their senior years, that their stuttering has changed when they became older too.

When I was a kid I was covert, then I hit teenage years and I was assessed as severe and the covert again, and then moderate as a young adult… you get the idea. When I went to speech therapy I was fluent enough to be covert again. Told everyone I was cured and I didn’t stutter anymore. Not.

10. 1% of the international population stutter. In every country, city and town. It would be very weird if there was a country out there who didn’t have anyone who stuttered. If we exist everywhere, than one can conclude it’s normal. There is a lot of ableism and we are constantly being told by society that we need to be fixed. That we need to “work on ourselves” and if I just tried hard enough, we wouldn’t stutter anymore. That is fucking bullshit.

Happy International Stuttering Awareness Day everyone!!

Reach out and get support! There are lots of support groups and conferences to reach out and meet your fellow community members. 🙂

Canadian Stuttering Association
National Stuttering Association
International Stuttering Association
British Stammering Association
SAY: Stuttering Association for the Young
Friends Who Stutter
Beyond Imagination

Annual Report Season

Hello All,

Below are links to a collection of annual reports for the following organizations. I find the data fascinating and a window into what they are willing to share with us. These are all current annual reports for their 2021-2022 periods.

Here are the list of links,

Human Rights Tribunal – 35 pages
BC Office of Human Rights Commissioner -43 pages
Community Legal Assistance Society – 26 pages
Ombudsperson – 92 pages
Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner – 36 pages
Ministry of Education and Childcare – 22 pages
Inclusion BC – 27 pages
Family Support Institute -24 pages
Ministry of Family and Child Development – 19 pages
Representative of Children and Youth – 132 pages
Teacher’s Regulation Branch – 27 pages

The one I am STILL waiting for is the Teacher Regulation Branch annual report…. I’ll add it when it comes out.

I encourage you all to take an internet deep dive and find organizations or ministries that interest you and read their annual reports.

What kind of annual reports are you interested in reading about?

Happy discovering!!

Emotional, Impulsive and Cringeworthy. An Advocate in the Making.

There was a social reading event organized for adults. One by one they took turns and read out of their high school diaries written over 20 years ago. The audience cringes with empathy and chuckles over the shared embarrassment of their teenage selves. The drama, the emotions, the childlike perspectives of life. So mutually embarrassing.

This was a real event. People volunteered to participate in this.

As a mother attempting to seriously advocate for my children and other children in an education system void of accountability and supervision, I was left on my own. I look back at my emails written to staff full of emotion, impulsivity, and powerlessness. Pleads and negotiating to an untouchable system. Like Bambi on ice trying to find my legs.

My emails read like those embarrassing teenage diary entries. Cringeworthy.

School districts all over this province and country use the deep love we have for our children and weaponize it as a tool to hold over us and against us. They are very strategic about ignoring us and just sitting back and waiting for us to lose it. They wait for us to send those emotional emails so they can all point their fingers at us, at our wrong behaviour and weakness.

They even have legislative powers over parents written in the School Act without an appeals process. Talk about power!

What happens reminds me of what happens with many of our kids. They are emotionally dysregulated, in survival mode, impulsive, and they do something that they feel embarrassed about and regret later. Everyone points fingers at how wrong this child is behaving. No one looks at the pond. No one examines the trigger. Kids don’t go to school in a silo. They are surrounded by other children, who either intentionally or unintentionally are triggering. Don’t even get me started on the bullies who purposefully find it entertaining to poke the kids who are responsive for pure amusement.  

You should read all my emotional impulsive reactive emails I have sent to the school district, the Ministry of Education, to the Teacher’s Regulation Branch and to Ombudsperson. You won’t feel so alone.  You’d shrink in your chair along with me.

Districts poke the bear with parents. They will use silence and delay to create the pond. They will use their power. They will lie and gaslight you. Then they’ll just sit back and watch the show. Any emotional move from a parent and the spotlight is on you.

Many parents, justifiably shrink and move away. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Feeling little. Powerless.

When advocating for your kids, you need to be willing to fall flat on your face and be vulnerable, and yet get back up again and keep going. Just like our kids are always on the stage of over examination and judgement of every move they make, so are we. Solidarity little ones. Us too.

I am NOT shrinking from those emails. I OWN my impulsivity and emotional throw up.

I have figured out the system.

Those emails feel like a lifetime ago.

I wear them like a badge of honor. They are evidence of how far I have come. The skills I have learned. The knowledge I have gained. My understandings evolving as I begin to understand the rules of the game. They are part of my story. My beginning. My attempts. My learning.

I will wear those emails and show them to anyone.

You want to know why????

They are the secret door that leads us all to the pond. I am not just a frog jumping chaotically from pad to pad. I am navigating through an electrified pond.

You want to start questioning me and victim blaming me? Let’s do that. Let’s talk about all of it. Let’s pick through every little sentence and examine every little word. I am not shrinking into the dark. I will boldly walk straight into the spotlight with all those emails pinned to my clothes.

I am human.

I am a mother and I love my children.

My love for them is not my weakness. It is my strength.

Just try me.

Why is Documentation so Important?

Because you need to take your allegations out of the realm of conjecture. Here is a case example below from the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

N obo S v. T and a School District, 2006 BCHRT 546 (CanLII)

[55]           In this case, N states that she is a single parent and has several serious medical conditions, and that, because of this, she has been unfairly treated by the respondents.  As examples of the unfair treatment, she states that the respondents have failed to return phone calls, delayed letters, failed to provide information in a timely manner, and did not properly investigate her concerns relating to her son.  However, she does not include details of any statements or actions on the part of the respondents which would support such a conclusion.  She states only that she “believes” that such a connection exists: that she “believes” that the respondents think they can make her go away by exhausting her; that she “believes” that if she had a partner, her child would have equal treatment; and that she “believes” that she would be treated with more respect if she were married, healthy and had financial resources.   In other words, nothing in the complaint takes the allegations out of the realm of conjecture, as the facts alleged in the complaint do not support a nexus between N’s marital status and disability and her alleged unfair treatment by the respondents. 

[56]           As a result of the above, I dismiss N’s complaint pursuant to s. 27(1)(b) of the Code.

*****************************

Allegations are what you are claiming to be true. Until they are proven in a hearing and a decision is complete by a tribunal member, until then, they are nothing more than allegations. Be careful about defamation on social media.

So, parents/guardians and loved ones of disabled children in the education system, what does this mean?

It means we need to be documenting EVERYTHING.

Keeping ALL emails, even the good ones.

Logging calls and dates, with who and what was discussed.

Follow up by email on phone calls to outline what was discussed and action steps agreed upon.

Keeping a timeline of events

Taking photos (if your child has been injured)

When you child tells you what happened at school, take your own notes and write it down. Email your notes to someone you trust to log the date, time and details.

Email other parents and ask them what they know, and make sure they respond in the email and not the phone. The Human Rights Tribunal can take years. People’s memories will change over time, so it’s really important to get the documented information at that time.

If necessary for your own mental health, taking yourself and your child for counselling, (Remember from the blog 10 Most shocking Education Advocacy Discoveries #3) If the counsellor is connected to the government services, they wont be able to testify at a hearing. You need an outside counsellor.)

An added suggestion by Dyslexia BC @DyslexiaBC on Facebook is to bring someone with you to all of your IEP meetings. (That person can take notes, and also be a witness.)

You need to be thinking about collecting evidence. Things that can be used as evidence in a hearing are documents, emails, doctors letters, counselling letters, counselling invoices, videos, photos, media posts, expert evidence, other parents witness statements/emails, voice recordings from meetings, anything that is relevant. Connected. Here is what the Human Rights Tribunal determines to be evidence.

In the same thread of thought, be careful what you offer up in your emails and conversations to the school district. They are also collecting evidence on you.

I will leave you with this case example below.

A and B obo Infant A v. School District C (No. 5), 2018 BCHRT 25 (CanLII)

A.   The Mother

[40]           Overall, I have found the Mother to be sincere in her testimony. She cares about her Child and became emotional when describing his feelings. However, I do not find her evidence reliable. I find her testimony not to be in “harmony with the preponderance of the probabilities which a practical and informed person would readily recognize as reasonable in that place and in those conditions”. The weight, and thus reliability, of the Mother’s evidence was affected by the fact that her testimony was almost entirely based on hearsay and double hearsay. The Mother was not a witness to most of the interactions she described.

[41]           The Tribunal may admit any evidence that it considers necessary and appropriate, whether or not the evidence is admissible in a court of law: Code, s. 27.2. Silver Campsites Ltd. v. James2013 BCCA 292 at para. 39. I considered the Mother’s hearsay testimony to be necessary and appropriate because it directly addressed the critical issues in the complaint and there were no other witnesses available to present it. The Father and Child did not testify on these issues. I assessed the Mother’s hearsay evidence on a point-by-point basis, with the objective of ensuring that I could make necessary findings of fact based on reliable evidence: Radek v. Henderson Development (Canada) and Securiguard Services (No. 3), 2005 BCHRT 302 [Radek]. I have considered the following in determining the weight to give to hearsay evidence:

I have considered in each instance the reliability of the evidence, the necessity for its introduction as hearsay rather than first-hand evidence, the probative value of the evidence, and whether the other parties would be unfairly prejudiced or otherwise disadvantaged through my reliance on it. (para. 54)

[42]           I have assigned relatively little weight to the Mother’s evidence where it conflicted with the first-hand accounts given by the School Counsellor, Principal, Vice Principal, and Teachers H, M, and G. I have found the Mother’s hearsay evidence considerably less reliable than the direct evidence of reliable witnesses, where there is a conflict.

[43]           The Mother acknowledged that she was probably not present for most of the incidents at school that involved her Child. At times, she had a hard time recalling events. For example, the Mother’s testimony on the psychoeducational assessment of her son was wrong by one year. She acknowledged that she was “out a year”. The Mother testified that there is no reason to dispute the emails that were authored by her at the time. The Mother testified “that is what I wrote at that time”.

[44]           During cross-examination, the Mother responded to several questions regarding her testimony about her Child’s version of events by saying that she did not know or was not there. She acknowledged that most of her knowledge of the incidents came through her Child. I find that her son was more likely than not motivated to minimize his involvement in some incidents when reporting them to his Parents, so as to avoid discipline. For example, the Mother described disciplining the Child in relation to an incident where he swore at the Principal. She described their punishment as “Draconian”. (In retrospect, the Mother regretted using that word in her letter). As another example, regarding the November 2016 Incident, the Child only reported to his Parents that he grabbed another student by the collar, whereas I find, as a fact, that the Child choked a student, pushed him over a railing, and spat in his face.

[45]           The Mother’s credibility was also impacted by her acrimonious relationship with most of the Respondent witnesses. I have considered her contemporaneous correspondence in assessing credibility because it speaks to hear capacity to perceive, recollect, and communicate facts objectively. Together with her husband, the Mother repeatedly sent letters and other communications attacking the character of most of the Respondent witnesses. For example, the Parents wrote letters about the Superintendent to the federal government, provincial government, board of education, RCMP, politicians and others. When confronted with this correspondence, the Mother minimized the tenor of her communications and its effect on the Respondent witnesses. The Mother maintained that she and her husband treated staff respectfully.

[46]           The Mother also provided inconsistent testimony. For example, the Mother testified that she did not accuse Teacher G of racism. When confronted during cross-examination, the Mother acknowledged accusing Teacher G of favouring one child over the other, and the other child not necessarily being black. The Mother ultimately acknowledged accusing Teacher G of racism. She explained finding it “very frustrating” when Teacher G prejudged her son and did not follow guidelines.

Understanding the Duty to Accommodate

In the Human Rights Code section (8), there is the Duty to Accommodate.

There are also layers under the umbrella of the duty to accommodate. There is a process that must be completed in order to obtain those accommodations. Since, this site is focused on disability rights and education focused, for this page I will be using disability as the example. First, the service provider must have proof that someone is disabled.

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.

Which now leads us to the Duty to Inquire

Duty to Inquire

Here is link to more information and the above picture.

Duty to Consult

A great case that outlines the duties to consult by schools is the Hewko v. B.C., 2006 BCSC 1638 (CanLII)

There are many great details in this case, here are a couple that speak to me regarding the duty to consult.

AND also

Duty to Co-operate

Here is the link for the source below

Am I missing any??

If anyone knows of any more “Duty to…..” established in human rights case law, please let me know. I am happy to add to the list of links and information so we parents, can learn about our children’s rights and the process.