Monday, 7 January 2013

Back to School & Quick Law 1

     I am officially back at school for my LAST semester of university before graduation and I can't believe that I am finally in the last four months of my six year program! It is safe to say that the graduation countdown has officially started. This semester we have two months of classes followed by two months of student teaching and... that is it! I don't even count student teaching as school because it is what I love, so I'm really only counting down two months until I get to be back in the classroom!

     This semester my schedule includes:
English Methods
- My teachable subjects in my undergraduate degree were History and
  Geography so I have already taken my mandatory methods classes:
  Social Studies Methods (Middle Years & Senior Years) and Science Methods
  (Middle Years & Senior Years). Even though I don't have a teachable in
  English I decided to take English Methods as my elective because I think it is
  important for all teachers to be familiar with the English curriculum because every
  single class requires our students to read, write and communicate. I also thought
  that an extra methods course might look good on a resume (especially in a small
  school where you may bounce around from subject to subject).
Educators & The Law
- I originally chose this class because it is with one of my favourite professors
  (this will be the 3rd time I've had him in 2 years). It covers everything an
  Educator needs to know about the relationship between the law and education,
  the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, Tort Law, School Governance,
  School Operations, In Loco Parentis, and a lot more. It seems like most of it
  is based off the analysis of various case studies which I think will be really interesting.
  We are required to prep "Quick Law" case studies every few days and I will be
  posting them on here in preperation for class.
Teaching Reading, Thinking & Study Skills
- I think this class compliments my English Methods course as it deals with student
  literacy, comprehension and communication. As a high school teacher it is really
  easy to get into the mindset that, "By Grade 9 my students will already know how
  to read and write at grade level so that will never be an issue." We know, however,
  that this is not the case so I am looking forward to learning more about teaching
Internet for Educators
- I am most excited for this course! I am hoping that it will be right up my ally. I know
  one aspect of the course is to blog so I am looking forward to that. We will also be
  having in guest speakers from across the province and I am excited to meet some of
  the people that I have been networking with via Twitter. In addition to the "Quick Law"
  case studies for Educators & The Law I will also be posting on a variety of topics
  for this course.

     So that is my semester! I am looking forward to getting into the material and finishing up my LAST semester at university. I am also still hosting my 1 Year Blogiversary Mystery Prize Package Giveaway so make sure you enter!


Quick Law 1

Winans, Jay. (2006). "Supreme Court Permits Kirpan in School". Education Law: Preventative Law For Effective School Management. Vol. 17, No. 7, pg 1-2.
- Kirpan: a ceremonial sword/dagger carried by practicing Sikhs which represents 
  and honour, it is 1 of 5 "articles of faith" that are required to be worn at all times.
- During recess, a 12 year old student had his Kirpan fall out from under his clothing 
  during recess.
- The school had a code of conduct that prohibited the carrying of weapons but a 
  previous agreement had been made that it could be worn if it was sewn into the 
  clothing in a manner that would prevent use.
- The school then prohibited the student from wearing his Kirpan but would allow a 
  ceremonial Kirpan made out of material other than metal.
- The father filed with the Supreme Court who granted the student permission to wear
  the Kirpan at school, providing it met specific safety guidelines and practices but the
  Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the decision.
- The student's family decided to place him in private school where he would be
  allowed to wear the religious symbol.
- I don't believe that there is a problem with a student practicing the religion of their
  choosing while at school. 
- I think that, in a school setting, it is reasonable to require the Kirpan to be in a
  scabbard or other protective covering that prevents the student or other students
  from using it. 
- Safety is always a concern but from my understanding, a Kirpan is not a hostile
  weapon, it is a religious symbol. 
- I would also think that there would have to be education in the classroom about
  a Kirpan. (I picture 12 year old boys and swords and I think they would be very
  tempted to play with it.) I am not sure how to go about that appropriately though
  without singling out the student. Maybe he could teach the class about it and once
  there was understanding it would just become a day-to-day thing? 
- If this were to happen in a school I was in I would think that safety would be the
   most pressing concern for most people. It would have to be worn under certain
  guidelines for most people to be comfortable with it.

Winans, Jay. (2005). "Liability for Homosexual Bullying Extended to School Board". 
- A student was bullied by peers, called "homo", "queer", "faggot" and had his
  clothes damaged, property urinated on, and was physically assaulted among
  other things over the course of Grade 8-Grade 12
- The student was not homosexual 
- The student complained multiple times to administration who put in place an
   escalating consequences policy which included detention, notification of parents,
- Some students stopped the assault but some didn't 
- A code of conduct was put in place in the school and staff attended a PD session
  on dealing with harassment and other human rights issues (support staff too)
- The student filed a complaint against the school
- The school appealed because the student was not actually homosexual so they
  said no actual discrimination had taken place
- The student appealed and the court allowed it
- Regardless of whether the student was homosexual or not, the student was still
  being harassed at school and did not access to a safe environment
- The school did address the "big picture" but seemed to fail to address the specific
- The situation itself should have been addressed.
- The conversations that happened during the implementation of the code of
  conduct and the information supplied at the PD session should have been more
  effectively applied in the school.
- I think the main point is that regardless of what the situation was (homosexuality
  or not) (PD sessions or not) the student did not have a safe learning environment 

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