Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board v Grant [Expulsion for marijuana off school property]
Court: Divisional Court, 2010
JFCY intervened in case where a high school student had been expelled from school for sharing marijuana with other young people at a house party on a Saturday night. The student had won his appeal at the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Tribunal which hears appeals of student expulsions. The School Board then made an Application for Judicial Review of the Tribunal’s decision, seeking to reinstate the expulsion. JFCY intervened in this case because of the important issue of determining just how far Schools and School Boards can go when it comes to disciplining students for conduct that occurs off school property. The Divisional Court sided with the student, holding that the Tribunal’s decision to overturn the expulsion was reasonable. In order to discipline by way or suspension/expulsion, a Principal must have evidence of a “nexus” between the student’s off-campus misconduct and a negative affect at school. This was an important result for JFCY and students across the province.
On the evidentiary issue, the hearsay evidence was rejected as unreliable. Para 45 of the decision states: “The Tribunal also rejected evidence from the Vice-Principal that three strudents had identified Q as having bought and sold drugs. Those students were never identified by name now were they called as witnesses. Therefore, the Tribunal reasonably found this hearsay evidence unreliable.”
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