Canadian Independent College recognizes that to achieve its vision, the environment it provides must be one which demonstrates respect, dignity, equity and safety for all members of the Canadian Independent College community.

Canadian Independent College promotes responsibility, respect, civility and academic excellence in safe learning and teaching environment. All members of Canadian Independent College have the right to be safe, and feel safe, in the school. Any form of discrimination or harassment is prohibited. The school commits to timely investigations that are thorough, objective and fair to all affected parties. Every person has the right to report an incident or suspected incident without fear of reprisal.

Canadian Independent College’s faculty and administration have a special responsibility in this area — not only must their own conduct be above reproach but they are in a position to observe and identify possible instances of discrimination, harassment and bullying. All complaints will be treated with discretion and respect for the individuals involved; however, anonymous complaints cannot be investigated. All relevant documentation will be maintained in strict confidence, subject to the school’s  ability to conduct a full and thorough investigation.

Any allegation of discrimination, harassment or bullying will be dealt with in accordance with Canadian Independent College procedures and will meet or exceed the applicable standards set out in relevant legislation, including the Child and Family Services Act, Ontario Human Rights Code and Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996.

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of the Mutual Respect Policy is to maintain a working and learning environment free from acts of harassment. This policy is a clear statement of the school’s commitment and determination to act promptly against any incident of harassment and to create an environment where harassment will not be tolerated. The objectives of the Policy are to:

  • demonstrate and promote the commitment of Canadian Independent College (CIC) to protect the
    dignity and rights of its students, volunteers and employees;
  • alert and educate students, volunteers and employees and all of the CIC community to the fact that
    harassment is prohibited under the laws of the Province of Ontario;
  • take immediate action and provide confidential, impartial and effective procedures to resolve
    complaints in ways that respect the rights of all parties;
  • provide appropriate remedies to complainants in recognition of the impact of harassment;
  • identify various roles and responsibilities for the maintenance of a harassment-free environment; and/or
  • provide appropriate responses and consequences where harassment has occurred.


Discrimination refers to unfair or prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability as set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, has the effect of preventing or limiting access to opportunities, benefits, or advantages that are available to other members of society.


Harassment is a form of discrimination and is against the law. Harassment is defined in the Human Rights Code as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.”

Harassment may be physical (e.g. pushing or other unwelcome contact), verbal (e.g. threats or insults), written or visual (e.g. graffiti or display of offensive and hurtful materials designed to exclude or marginalize their target) and may include use of the Internet. Harassment does not necessarily need to target a specific student or individual. A single act or expression can constitute harassment, for example, if it is a serious violation.

Harassment can manifest itself in many ways. Types of behaviour which constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • jokes or hostile comments relating to physical characteristics, ancestry or age;
  • physical or verbal teasing;
  • display or passing around of sexist, racist or derogatory pictures, materials or graffiti;
  • intimidation, offensive remarks, belittling and threatening behaviour;
  • leering (suggestive staring), obscene and/or offensive gestures;
  • inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life or sexual preferences;
  • practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger safety or negatively affect others;
  • hazing
  • derogatory nicknames; and/or
  • physical or sexual unwelcome contact.

Allegations of discrimination and/or harassment will be investigated.


Bullying means aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where,

(a) the behaviour is intended by a pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour
would be likely to have the effect of,

(i) causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or
academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or

(ii) creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and

(b) the behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the
pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power,
economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender,
gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education.

This behaviour includes the use of any physical, verbal, electronic, written or other means.

Cyberbullying means bullying by electronic means, including,

(a) creating a web page or a blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;

(b) impersonating another person as the author of content or messages posted on the internet; and

(c) communicating material electronically to more than one individual or posting material on a website
that may be accessed by one or more individuals.

Canadian Independent College recognizes that bullying:

  • adversely affects students’ ability to learn;
  • adversely affects healthy relationships and the school climate;
  • adversely affects a school’s ability to educate its students;
  • will not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses, or in any other
    circumstances (e.g. online) where engaging in bullying will have a negative impact on the school climate.

Students may attain or maintain power over others in the school through real or perceived differences. Some areas of difference may be size, strength, age, intelligence, economic status, social status, solidarity of peer group, religion, ethnicity, disability, need for special education, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, and race.

Bullying is a dynamic of unhealthy interaction that can take many forms. It can be physical (e.g., hitting, pushing, tripping), verbal (e.g., name calling, mocking, or making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments), or social (e.g., excluding others from a group, spreading gossip or rumours). It may also occur through the use of technology (e.g., spreading rumours, images, or hurtful comments through the use of e-mail, cellphones, text messaging, Internet websites, or other technology).

Children who suffer prolonged victimization through bullying, as well as children who use power and aggression as bullies, may experience a range of psycho-social problems that may extend into adolescence and adulthood.

What can you do?

If you are a victim, know someone who is a victim or see behaviour which you feel may be discrimination, harassment or bullying:

  • if it is safe to do so, tell the person to stop;
  • write down what happened; include names, how often it has happened, time, date, location, any witnesses, who else you have told and if you know of anyone else who may have experienced similar conduct; and
  •  if you are a student, talk with a staff member at CIC to determine the appropriate next step.
  • If you are unsure if what you witnessed and/or experienced is considered discrimination, harassment or bullying or if you are not comfortable telling the person to stop, talk with a staff member at Canadian Independent College. All reports are taken very seriously and will be handled in a timely and respectful way for everyone involved.

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