The Effects Of Ontario’s Safe Schools Policy On Racialized Students (2000-2013)
Hussain, Shaheeda Alicia
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The purpose of this study was to explore how Ontario’s school safety policies influenced the educational experiences of racialized students between 2001 and 2013—a time period during which Ontario’s school safety policies underwent a philosophical shift from more punitive measures toward a more progressive discipline approach. To fulfill this purpose, I conducted a systematic policy analysis of the Safe Schools Act (SSA, 2000), Progressive Discipline and School Safety Act (PDSS, 2007), Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Act (KOKSS, 2009), and the Accepting Schools Act (ASA, 2012). I also engaged the voices of 20 self-identified racialized youth from Ontario’s two largest metropolitan areas (Toronto and Ottawa) who were suspended and/or expelled from Ontario public schools between 2001 and 2013, half of whom were excluded from school prior to and half after PDSS went into effect on February 1, 2008. Drawing from multiple data sources, findings indicate that, although safe schools legislation in Ontario changed from a punitive approach employed between 2000 and 2007 to a progressive discipline and restorative practice approach between 2008 and 2013, there was still disproportional suspension and expulsion of racialized students. The number of students being suspended and expelled from Ontario schools has decreased since PDSS (2007) was put in place (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2013a, 2013b). However, far too many students who experience exclusion from schools under these policies become increasingly disengaged from education. Racist, sexist, ableist, and homophobic ideologies still occupy the social structures in which racialized students, teachers, school administrators, school safety policymakers, and safe schools legislation all exist. These ideologies have historically resulted and continue to result in the inequitable treatment of racialized students in Ontario’s public education system, as seen through the eyes of 20 self-identified racialized students who participated in this study.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/13729
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