OCDSB Human Rights Policy Consultation

OCDSB Human Rights Policy Consultation

We are all born free and equal, in dignity and rights. 

We have the right to enjoy our human rights without discrimination because of our ancestry, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, ability, age, religion, language, gender, or who we love.

Education is a fundamental human right. OCDSB students have the right to equally access an education that helps them develop to their fullest potential, that teaches them about diversity and to respect different cultures and people, and that gives them an understanding of the culture, history, contributions and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Students have the right to an education that centres the best interests of the child and is free from discrimination.  

Principals, teachers, management and support staff have a role to play in helping deliver education to children in a way that fully respects their rights. Employees also are entitled to work free from discrimination. 

The OCDSB is committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of its students, their families, its employees and the wider OCDSB community. It has a variety of policies and procedures that relate to some aspects of human rights, but we need a central human rights policy that sets the standards and clearly outlines how they will be enforced.

The OCDSB Human Rights Policy will meet several aims. It will:

  • promote and protect human rights within the OCDSB community; 
  • set out rights, roles and responsibilities of students, parents, staff and the OCDSB itself; 
  • establish accountability mechanisms to allow people to request changes that will remove barriers that may result in discrimination and seek resolution of human rights-related concerns or complaints.

To do this, we need your help. 

Starting in January 2021, we will be consulting with students, parents/guardians, staff and community members as the OCDSB works to create a district-wide human rights policy.

How can I get involved? 

Human rights are for everyone and you are encouraged to participate. We want to hear from you!  

The OCDSB will work with you to develop a policy that meets the priorities of all of the people it serves. It should be accessible for students, staff, family and community members of all identities, backgrounds and experiences. 

You can make your voice heard by choosing to do one or more of the following:

  • Complete our survey (Open until April 5, 2021 at 11:59 PM
  • Volunteer to lead a virtual discussion/consultation with your class (for teachers), club or group of friends. We will provide you with the materials that you need. Reach out to us at consultation.humanrights@ocdsb.ca 
  • Participate in a virtual consultation (watch this space for dates and times)
  • Write us a message and share your thoughts and ideas: consultation.humanrights@ocdsb.ca  
  • Encourage friends and family to participate too - share the link to the survey, share the video, etc.

Note: Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, we are unable to host in-person group  meetings at this time. 

Your input will be used to help create the first draft of the policy, which we will then share for further input.

Consultation Timeline:

The Board of Trustees approved a Consultation Plan in December 2020. We expect that the draft policy will be ready in spring 2021, and the final board approved policy by  October 2021.  

Phase One - January to March 2021

  • Will seek information about current gaps and challenges related to human rights within the Board, special considerations that are a priority for certain identity groups, whether grounds protected from discrimination should be expanded, recommendations for how to design a complaints process that everyone will trust and use,  what types of outreaach is needed to help eveyone understand and use the new policy. to ensure effective uptake of a new policy. 
  • An internal working group of subject matter experts will draft a policy based on feedback from Phase One.  

Phase Two  - April to October 2021

Will revisit the groups originally consulted to share and seek feedback on the draft policy. Efforts will be made to seek out feedback and use a collaborative process to ensure that the policy is relevant and accessible to a diverse range of anticipated users.  Feedback will be considered and incorporated where possible.

Phase Three - October 2021 onwards

Will involve bringing the finalized policy and associated procedures and informational tools back to the groups we consulted to share information about how the final policy will work and to answer questions.

The OCDSB wants to hear your thoughts and opinions.  We are offering a space for the entire OCDSB community to engage in dialogue. We are also offering affinity group discussion sessions for students, families and community members. Affinity groups provide an opportunity for people to explore, unpack and engage in conversation on the various interpersonal dynamics that shape each person’s lived experiences. 

Each session will be led by a staff member from the OCDSB equity team or designated facilitator.

Further questions? 

Contact: consultation.humanrights@ocdsb.ca

Human Rights Policy
Human Rights Policy - Group Discussions
Policy Framework
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