With Municipal/School Trustee elections coming on October 22, 2018, the following information should be made available to teachers, parents, ratepayers and School Community Councils.
Our schools have been used as a community location for balanced and orderly debate on various political issues outside instructional time. While there is an obvious entitlement in our society to participate in debates when there is a pending election, it is also essential that related events should not interfere with the teaching/learning process in our schools. It is important that our classrooms remain devoted to the continued implementation of the Ontario Curriculum.
In order for our schools and learning centres to remain impartial, it is important that:
a) Forums or information sessions, must be scheduled outside of instructional times, through the Principal and Community Use of Schools Office;
b) School newsletters are used only to announce forums or information sessions without editorial comment;
c) Students are not used to distribute campaign materials related to the election;
d) Teachers are advised that is not appropriate to express their personal political views during the school day; however, discussions that explain the political process and issues are acceptable;
e) If an all candidates debate is held at a school, approval process to use a Durham District School Board facility is processed through the Community Use of Schools Office and the Principal is informed;
f) Political signs are NOT to be displayed in the school or on school property;
g) All political campaign material such as brochures, signs, or stickers are NOT to be worn or distributed on school property. Buttons are NOT to be worn by staff during the school day;
h) Recognized programs like "Student Vote" should be used as appropriate.
i) Any candidates running for municipal/trustee election are not permitted to campaign at any school events (i.e. School BBQ, curriculum nights, etc.)
It is important that these guidelines be followed to ensure an environment where legitimate political expression and a sound teaching/learning context are protected.
This memo is intended to provide clarification for principals and all staff members. Please send any questions or inquiries to the Associate Director/Operations and Academic Services or the Director of Education.
Municipal/School Trustee Elections 2018