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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
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:
- Education human rights cases tend to be very long and complex. Weeks long.
- The human rights tribunal is already an overwhelmed system as it is. 3-5 years is the current estimate start to end time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.