Student Rights and Responsibilities
It is the personal responsibility of each student at Ballenas Secondary School to be aware of, to support, and to abide by the School Code of Conduct and applicable Qualicum School District policies.
These rights and responsibilities apply to all students while under the jurisdiction of the school. This includes student behaviour at school, while on school activities and when traveling to and from school. Students who contravene the Code of Conduct will be subject to a program of progressive discipline, which seeks to clarify expectations, provide support for behavioural change, and assign appropriate and timely consequences for breaches of school rules and/or district policies.
General rights and Responsibilities
- Each student and teacher has the right to be treated, at all times, with dignity and in a respectful manner.
- Each student has the right, unless removed following due process, to attend classes and participate in a full range of class and non-class activities.
- Each student has the responsibility to attend classes regularly and to be punctual.
- Each student has the responsibility to behave in a manner which does not distract, disrupt, offend or endanger self/others or cause damage to school property or equipment.
The teachers at Ballenas believe that every student is able to be a successful learner. In order to bring about this success, each teacher develops an appropriate learning climate according to his or her subject, discipline and teaching practices.
Students must also abide by all District Policies, including:
- Substance Abuse Policy (No. 7165)
- Violence Policy (No. 7030)
- Weapons Policy (No. 7163)
- Bullying, Intimidation, Discrimination and Harassment Policy (No. 7164)
Detailed information on district policies can be found here.
Suspensions are issued when students fail to respond to other disciplinary measures, or when more severe consequences are warranted and it becomes necessary to temporarily remove a student from the school. Parents will be notified of any suspensions.
While the administration has the authority to suspend for up to five days, the length of the suspension depends upon the circumstances. For more serious offences, students may be suspended to the school board (over 5 days). Students will be required to meet with the District 69 discipline committee to determine a return to school or an alternate plan. Students are not to be on the school grounds, nor can they participate in any school-sponsored activities during the period of their suspension. Suspended students are responsible for keeping up with all schoolwork while suspended and must meet with the Principal or Vice-Principal prior to their return to classes. Students under suspension during exam periods will be provided with arrangements to write exams.
Smoking & Vaping
Provincial Government Legislation dictates that smoking or the use of vapour products are not permitted in schools or on school property. Administrative procedure to ensure that all school district facilities, vehicles and grounds are smoke free and vapour product free, without exception, in compliance with the Tobacco Control Act of British Columbia. Ballenas students are not permitted to smoke or vape within one block of the school. Any student smoking or using vapour products on school property will be considered in breach of Legislation and Board Policy.
Ballenas Secondary has a dress code in effect that reflects district policy #7003. Changing times, community values and fashion trends have sometimes blurred our working definition of appropriateness. For the purpose of clarification, we require that students wear clothing that is appropriate to a work place environment.
The following clothing choices would be considered breaches of the appropriateness guideline:
- Clothing (including hats and bandanas) which promotes alcohol, drugs, violence, vulgar language, racism or sexism
- Clothing which exposes undergarments or is unduly revealing (exposed midriffs, skirts/shorts shorter than mid-thigh, low cut or strapless, backless or spaghetti strap tops, bathing suit tops, muscle shirts)
This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather representative of our shared values in these areas. Students found to be outside of these guidelines will be warned, or asked to cover-up or change clothing. Chronic breaches will be considered as acts of defiance and non-compliance.
Please be aware that Ballenas is a Scent-Free Zone. Perfumed products can cause allergic reactions and respiratory distress in some people. For that reason, we ask that you do not wear any perfumed personal products.
Students are expected to abide by the school’s ‘acceptable use’ policy when using school computers. This policy is shared directly with students at the beginning of each semester. Offences include: downloading music or videos, playing peer-topeer games, accessing chat groups, multiple site use, or the use of sites unrelated to course material. For more serious offences (such as computer hacking), students may have their privileges removed for the rest of the school year or for their entire time at Ballenas and face additional disciplinary measures.
Electronic devices can be both a powerful learning tool and a distraction to learning. Electronic Devices may be used for learning in classrooms with teacher permission and direction. All members of the Ballenas Community are reminded that any recording (video, picture, voice or other) of anyone without permission is strictly prohibited.
Students who are not able to manage their devices properly will have a discussion, classroom consequences (this may include removal of the device) and communication home. Repeat offences will put students on a progressive discipline track with escalating consequences.
Acceptable Use: Students may use their cell phones* ONLY during NON-instructional time while in the school building, or on school property. This means that students are NOT permitted to use their cell phones during instructional time (i.e. teaching time for all students), in classrooms, hallways, common areas, washrooms, or school grounds. It is expected that, during instructional time, cell phones will remain out of sight and turned off so as not to create distractions.
Consequences of Unacceptable Use:
- If a student is found using his/her cell phone during instructional time anywhere in the building, or on the grounds, a staff member will direct the student to turn over the cell phone—the student will be expected to comply, or face consequences for defiance/non-compliance which may result in suspension.
- All forfeited cell phones will be turned in to the office, and the student may retrieve the cell phone at the end of the school day.
- After the third breach of the policy, a parent/guardian must meet with the administration to have the cell phone returned.
- Any further breaches of this policy will be dealt with as defiant/non-compliant behaviour under the terms of the school’s progressive discipline process.
Staff Procedure for Handling Forfeited Cell Phones:
- Bring forfeited cell phone to the office.
- Place the cell phone in an envelope, with student name, your name, and date.
- Place envelope in the grade vice principal’s letterbox.
- Staff to record student name on log book, documenting student name and date of the breach of policy.
- The student may retrieve his/her cell phone after 3:05pm, from the office.
- Upon the third forfeiture, administration will contact the student’s parent/guardian to arrange a meeting to discuss the student’s cell phone use and retrieve the cell phone.
* For the sake of ease, the term cell phone will be used in this policy to refer to any piece of technology that allows students to
communicate electronically with their peers through voice, text, or visual means.