Hamilton school board to hire human rights officer

News May 23, 2018 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Parents and students who feel their rights aren’t being properly considered at Hamilton public schools should soon have an expert to help address their concerns.

Trustees on the school board’s finance and facilities committee are budgeting $150,000 in the coming school year for an equity and human rights officer who will also advise principals and other staff trying to resolve issues or prevent them from arising in the first place.

While still requiring full board approval, the move anticipates the province covering at least half of the cost in 2020. A pilot project on similar positions at 19 other boards is expected to begin next year.

“As there’s more awareness related to human rights, both for our students and for our staff, it is important for the board to have that expertise on staff,” associate director Stacey Zucker said in recommending the non-union position.

Board chair Todd White said afterwards the officer’s role builds upon a previous plan to have someone to guide parents of students needing special learning accommodations.

The officer will also be “a point person” on a wide range of other human rights issues, he said, using the example of a request for a gender-neutral washroom.

“If the concern goes directly to the principal, then the principal may reach out to the human rights officer and ask for advice,” White said.

“On the other side, if a student wants to raise that issue and isn’t comfortable speaking with their principal, they can bring it to the human rights officer, raise it, and then work with them through that process, setting up an accommodation.”

White said an advisory committee of staff, students and community members will help define the role and scope of the officer, who will report to education director Manny Figueiredo to ensure accountability and quick action on concerns.

“We want to make sure this is a resource and support for whom it’s intended,” he said. “Rather than try to put it in place and then figure out all the flaws later on, let’s work with those that will access someone in that position so we can get it right from day one.”

 

Hamilton school board to hire human rights officer

New position will guide students, parents and staff on thorny issues

News May 23, 2018 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Parents and students who feel their rights aren’t being properly considered at Hamilton public schools should soon have an expert to help address their concerns.

Trustees on the school board’s finance and facilities committee are budgeting $150,000 in the coming school year for an equity and human rights officer who will also advise principals and other staff trying to resolve issues or prevent them from arising in the first place.

While still requiring full board approval, the move anticipates the province covering at least half of the cost in 2020. A pilot project on similar positions at 19 other boards is expected to begin next year.

“As there’s more awareness related to human rights, both for our students and for our staff, it is important for the board to have that expertise on staff,” associate director Stacey Zucker said in recommending the non-union position.

As there’s more awareness related to human rights, both for our students and for our staff, it is important for the board to have that expertise on staff. — Stacey Zucker

Board chair Todd White said afterwards the officer’s role builds upon a previous plan to have someone to guide parents of students needing special learning accommodations.

The officer will also be “a point person” on a wide range of other human rights issues, he said, using the example of a request for a gender-neutral washroom.

“If the concern goes directly to the principal, then the principal may reach out to the human rights officer and ask for advice,” White said.

“On the other side, if a student wants to raise that issue and isn’t comfortable speaking with their principal, they can bring it to the human rights officer, raise it, and then work with them through that process, setting up an accommodation.”

White said an advisory committee of staff, students and community members will help define the role and scope of the officer, who will report to education director Manny Figueiredo to ensure accountability and quick action on concerns.

“We want to make sure this is a resource and support for whom it’s intended,” he said. “Rather than try to put it in place and then figure out all the flaws later on, let’s work with those that will access someone in that position so we can get it right from day one.”

 

Hamilton school board to hire human rights officer

New position will guide students, parents and staff on thorny issues

News May 23, 2018 by Richard Leitner Hamilton Mountain News

Parents and students who feel their rights aren’t being properly considered at Hamilton public schools should soon have an expert to help address their concerns.

Trustees on the school board’s finance and facilities committee are budgeting $150,000 in the coming school year for an equity and human rights officer who will also advise principals and other staff trying to resolve issues or prevent them from arising in the first place.

While still requiring full board approval, the move anticipates the province covering at least half of the cost in 2020. A pilot project on similar positions at 19 other boards is expected to begin next year.

“As there’s more awareness related to human rights, both for our students and for our staff, it is important for the board to have that expertise on staff,” associate director Stacey Zucker said in recommending the non-union position.

As there’s more awareness related to human rights, both for our students and for our staff, it is important for the board to have that expertise on staff. — Stacey Zucker

Board chair Todd White said afterwards the officer’s role builds upon a previous plan to have someone to guide parents of students needing special learning accommodations.

The officer will also be “a point person” on a wide range of other human rights issues, he said, using the example of a request for a gender-neutral washroom.

“If the concern goes directly to the principal, then the principal may reach out to the human rights officer and ask for advice,” White said.

“On the other side, if a student wants to raise that issue and isn’t comfortable speaking with their principal, they can bring it to the human rights officer, raise it, and then work with them through that process, setting up an accommodation.”

White said an advisory committee of staff, students and community members will help define the role and scope of the officer, who will report to education director Manny Figueiredo to ensure accountability and quick action on concerns.

“We want to make sure this is a resource and support for whom it’s intended,” he said. “Rather than try to put it in place and then figure out all the flaws later on, let’s work with those that will access someone in that position so we can get it right from day one.”