Doing What’s Best for Kids

Students AP 355: Student Discipline


The Division is committed to the development and maintenance of an environment in schools which is welcoming, caring, respectful and safe.  The Division promotes values expressed in the Alberta Human Rights Act, respecting the rights of all individuals in accordance with the law and prohibiting discrimination based on race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. 

Consequences for inappropriate behaviours must be applied in a reasonable, firm and judicious manner and be designated to teach students to be responsible citizens in the school community and to promote personal and social development.  We expect students to demonstrate an increase in personal responsibility and self-discipline as they move through the grades.  As such, students can also expect escalating consequences for inappropriate behaviour as they move through the grades.

Progressive discipline establishes a process of clear, timely, consistent, and documented communication with a student and their parent/guardian to reinforce an understanding of expectations, to provide an opportunity to correct and inappropriate behaviour, to improve appropriate behaviour, and to assure due to process.  There is a focus on restitution and mediation so that consequences are restorative in nature rather than punitive.

Consequences will be reasonable, bearing in mind the nature of the breach of conduct including special considerations such as the age, mental ability and disabilities of an intellectual, physical, sensory, emotional, or behavioural nature.

School expectations concerning student conduct and the responsibilities of parents/guardians and staff are to be developed by the Principal through consultation with students, parents/guardians and staff and communicated to all three groups. When appropriate, consultation is to include community agencies. Students, parents/guardians and staff are to be made aware of the possible consequences faced by students who are found responsible for serious or repeated misconduct.

In planning and implementing provisions for effective school discipline and safe school environments, principals are to take advantage of community agencies and resources. At all levels at which disciplinary decisions are made which seriously affect the education of the student, provisions for appeal are to be established and made known to students, staff and parents/guardians.

Incidents involving the possession or use of alcohol and drugs, violent acts, and other forms of serious misconduct will result in immediate consequences. Consequences are to be consistent with Board policies, Division administrative procedures, Alberta Education policies and with the legislation of the various levels of government.

For the purposes of this Administrative Procedure, staff shall include all employees and designated supervisory personnel.


Personal harassment is any behaviour that has as its intent or effect to alarm, provoke, intimidate, or belittle a person. It can include but is not limited to the following:

  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Unwelcome remarks or compromising invitations
  • Verbal abuse or display of suggestive pictures
  • Inappropriate gestures
  • Including by electronic means

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behaviour, which is sexual in nature. It can include but is not limited to the following:

  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Unwelcome remarks or compromising invitations
  • Verbal abuse or display of suggestive pictures
  • Leering, whistling, innuendoes, jokes or other behaviours or gestures of a sexual nature
  • Demands for sexual favours
  • Including by electronic means


  1. There are to be a range of actions for negative behaviour including but not limited to:
    1. Counseling or referral to counselling
    2. Teacher/Administrator conference
    3. Parent/Guardian/School conference
    4. Detention (If students are to be detained after school hours, available transportation must be taken into consideration. Students are not to be detained beyond 4:30 p.m. Parents/Guardians of elementary students are to be informed if their children are being detained for more than one-half hour after school).
    5. Loss of Privileges
    6. In School Suspension
    7. Out of School Agency referral
    8. Out of School Suspension
    9. Expulsion
  2. The Division accepts the use of student suspensions as a disciplinary measure designed to encourage students to demonstrate self-discipline and appropriate behaviour.
  3. The Division accepts the use of expulsion where the continued presence of a student in a school is deemed to be a danger to the safety and well being of staff and/or students or the quality of the learning environment.
  4. The Division prohibits corporal punishment.
  5. Suspensions:
    1. Suspensions are defined as exclusions up to five school days from regular student activities (classes, school, riding on a school bus or extra-curricular)
    2. Suspensions are to generally be used only after less severe forms of action have been taken.
    3. Circumstances under which suspension may be considered include but are not limited to:
      1. Habitual neglect of duty;
      2. Open opposition to authority;
      3. Use of improper or profane language;
      4. Deliberate and wanton destruction of property;
      5. Violation of the Division's smoking tobacco and tobacco-like products (including but not limited to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping, cannabis, hookah) and use of illegal drugs (including alcohol and cannabis) Administrative Procedure; or
      6. Personal or sexual harassment; 
  6. Expulsions
    1. Expulsions are defined as exclusions from regular student activities for more than five school days.
    2. Expulsions will only be used when:
      1. It is deemed that other means of corrective action including consultation with parents/guardians, counselling and suspensions have failed to achieve orderly and appropriate student behaviour; or
      2. The student's continued presence in the school is deemed to seriously threaten or disrupt the orderly functioning of the school or the student’s presence is deemed to be a danger to persons or property.
    3. Expulsion procedures must ensure that the rules of natural justice and due process are followed including a right to appeal the Board's decision to the Minister.
    4. The seriousness of misbehaviour may warrant immediate suspension or a recommendation to the Board for expulsion on the first offense.
  7. General Provisions
    1. Development and Communication of School Discipline Procedures
      1. School discipline procedures are to be maintained in the form of a written statement and included in the school handbook and include school expectations for student behaviour and provisions for serious forms of misbehaviour.
      2. The school's discipline procedures concerning student conduct are to be:
        1. Developed by the Principal in consultation with students, parents/guardians and staff, and, if considered appropriate by the Principal, with community agencies
        2. Consistent with law and with Division and Alberta Education policies and procedures.
        3. Reviewed at regular intervals.
      3. Following initial development and major revisions, the above statement is to be given to:
        1. All staff, parents/guardians and students at the beginning of the school year; and
        2. New students upon registration during the school year.
      4. The statement provided to staff, parents/guardians and students is to make clear reference to:
        1. The school's expectations for student conduct
        2. The consequences faced by students when they are found responsible for serious or repeated misconduct.
      5. In communicating with parents/guardians regarding discipline, principals are expected to make an effort to reach all members of the school's parent/guardian community
  8. Suspension From School and School-Related Activities
    1. The Principal may suspend a student from:
      1. One or more class periods;
      2. One or more courses or school programs;
      3. School;
      4. Riding on a school bus; or
      5. Participating in an activity sponsored or approved by the Division.
    2. When a Principal suspends a student from school, school activities or riding the school bus, the following procedures will apply:
      1. The Principal will confer with affected staff to gather information about the student's misbehaviour;
      2. The Principal will inform the student about the proposed suspension, its consequences and the reason the suspension is being considered;
      3. The student will be given an opportunity to offer an explanation for their behaviour;
      4. If a suspension is warranted, the Principal will inform the student of the reason for the suspension and length of the suspension;
      5. The Principal shall inform the parents/guardian of the student by telephone, of the suspension, including reasons and length, and shall report in writing all the circumstances of the suspension to the parent/guardian with a copy to the Superintendent;
      6. Where a student is not to be reinstated within five school days of the date of their suspension, the Principal shall immediately report in writing all the circumstances of the suspension to the Board, together with their recommendations;
      7. Upon receiving a report from a Principal pursuant to Section 24, the Board shall, within ten (10) school days from the first day of suspension, reinstate or expel the student.
  9. Suspension With Recommendation For Expulsion
    1. When the student's misbehaviour or history of misbehaviour is very serious, the Principal may suspend the student and refer the matter to the Board along with a recommendation for expulsion.
    2. When a suspension is referred to the Board, the following procedures will be adhered to:
      1. The Principal shall inform the parent/guardian of the student and the Superintendent by telephone and shall immediately report in writing all the circumstances of the suspension to the parents/guardians or designate with a copy to the Superintendent. Parents/Guardians shall be advised of the date of the Board meeting at which the hearing will be held, their right to be assisted by a resource person or advocate, and their right to have access to the information to be presented.
      2. As outlined in Board Policy 13 – Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters, the Board shall, within ten (10) school days from the first day of the suspension, conduct a hearing into the case and render a decision to either reinstate or expel the student from school.