Safe and Caring Schools

Safe and Inclusive Schools Legislation

Addressing safety in schools is not new in Manitoba. The Safe Schools Charter of became provincial law in 2004 making it a duty of schools to provide students with safe and caring school environments. In 2005, all Manitoba schools were required to have a code of conduct and a current emergency response plan with the support of a Safe School Advisory Committee.

The Public Schools Act (PSA) requires that the principal of each school, in consultation with the safe school advisory committee, establish a school code of conduct for the school. Principals are required to ensure that the annual review of the school’s code of conduct and emergency response plan is completed by October 31 of each year.

The Appropriate Disciplinary Consequences in Schools Regulation (92/2013), under The Education Administration Act, requires the principal to ensure that disciplinary consequences for violation of the code of conduct are consistent with any directives from the Minister.

The Provincial Code of Conduct (2013 rev. 2017), sets out a range of appropriate disciplinary consequences for all schools to consistently follow. The Appropriate Disciplinary Consequences in Schools Regulation (92/2013) under The Education Administration Act confirms and restates the authority of principals, schools, and school divisions and requires principals of Manitoba schools to ensure that appropriate interventions and disciplinary consequences are included in their school codes of conduct.

The Public Schools Amendment Act (Cyber-Bullying and Electronic Devices, 2008) expanded the definition of bullying to include cyber-bullying and required school boards to establish policy respecting appropriate use of electronic devices.

Further amendments to The Public Schools Act continued to strengthen the provision of school safety, including:

  • Reporting Bullying and Other Harm, 2012, requires adults in schools to report unacceptable student conduct.
  • Safe and Inclusive Schools, 2013, revised the definition of bullying and required school boards to expand polices related to appropriate technology use and the reporting of cyber-bullying, and directed school boards to establish respect for human diversity policy that promotes the respect and acceptance of others in a safe, caring and inclusive school environment.

Manitoba’s Definition of ‘Bullying’

‘Bullying’ is behaviour that is intended to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm to another person’s feelings, self-esteem, body, or reputation or is intended to create a negative school environment for another person.

Bullying takes place in a context of a real or perceived power imbalance between the people involved and is typically, but need not be, repeated behaviour.

It may be direct (face to face) or indirect (through others), and it may take place through any form of expression – including written, verbal, or physical – or by means of any form of electronic communication (referred to as cyber-bullying), including social media, text messaging, instant messaging, websites, or email.
The Public Schools Act

All school division policy on discipline must be consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and The Human Rights Code. Manitoba school divisions are responsible for developing policy on discipline of all students and ensuring parents and students know and understand the policy.

See the Links and Documents sections for support documents and reference links.