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Expulsion

A. Suspension and Expulsion


The ISOC has exercised its option to add to the list of infractions for which suspension or expulsion is mandatory and create a list of infractions for which suspension or expulsion is discretionary.[71] It has constructed a Consequences of Inappropriate Student Behaviour Chart, which lists all the infractions, the minimum number of days a student must be suspended or expelled for, and whether the principal “may” or “shall” notify the police. The additional infractions for which suspension is mandatory are:


  1. Physical assault.
  2. Threats of serious physical injury.
  3. Extortion.
  4. Sexual harassment.
  5. Racial harassment.
  6. Distribution of hate material.
  7. Hate motivated violence.
  8. Inappropriate use of electronic communications/media.
  9. Possession or misuse of any harmful substances.
  10. Fighting.
  11. Bullying, intimidating, threatening.

There is only one additional infraction for which expulsion is mandatory: possession of an explosive substance.


The new list of infractions for which suspension is discretionary includes:


  1. Persistent truancy.
  2. Persistent opposition to authority.
  3. Habitual neglect of duty.
  4. Willful destruction of school property; vandalism causing damage to school or Board property or property located on school or Board premises.
  5. Use of profane or improper language.
  6. Conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school or to the physical or mental well-being of others.
  7. Use of tobacco.
  8. Theft.
  9. Aid/incite harmful behaviour.

The list of infractions for which expulsion is discretionary is cross-referenced with some of the infractions for which suspension is mandatory:


  1. Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person.
  2. Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil's school or to property located on the premises of the pupil's school.
  3. Physical assault.
  4. Threats of serious physical injury.
  5. Extortion.
  6. Distribution of hate material.
  7. Hate motivated violence.
  8. Inappropriate use of electronic communications/media.
  9. Possession or misuse of harmful substances.

B. Mitigating Factors


The Safe Schools Procedures Manual makes it clear that although one or more of the mitigating factors set out in the Education Act and Regulations may exist to preclude a mandatory suspension or expulsion, the principal may still impose a discretionary suspension or expulsion.


The Manual also sets out the factors that a principal must take into account in selecting the most appropriate type and duration of consequence:


  • nature and circumstances of the incident;
  • number of individuals involved;
  • degree of harm caused to the victim and the school community (both people and property);
  • intent to cause harm;
  • age of the individuals involved;
  • history of offences;
  • consistency of application across the Board; and
  • willingness of the individual to undertake a program of restitution or rehabilitation.

When a student with exceptionalities is involved, the principal must also consider:


  • the nature of the exceptionality;
  • extenuating circumstances (parental input to be sought);
  • level of understanding and communication of the student;
  • degree of intention;
  • environmental triggers;
  • the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP); and
  • ▪ appropriateness of negative consequences in relation to the exceptionality.

A teacher who suspends a student must follow the same rules. Although one or more of the mitigating factors may exist to preclude a mandatory suspension, a teacher may still impose a discretionary suspension.[74] A teacher must also take into account the same factors as above in selecting the most appropriate consequence. As a matter of practice, however, the teachers’ federations in Ontario have advised their members not to suspend students and to refer all disciplinary matters to the principal.


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