224 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Sep 1999
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Education, Student Rights and the Charter

UBC Press, Purich Publishing

Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the interpretation of its provisions by the courts is forcing educators to pay increasing attention to student rights. According to author Ailsa M. Watkinson, this is a positive development because acknowledging student rights makes for a more democratic and caring education system. In turn, this makes for a better learning environment.

This book addresses questions facing both educators and parents. Those include the ability of teachers and principals to search students and their lockers; whether teachers can limit the contents of student newspapers; whether school boards are responsible for sexual harassment within schools; what constitutes corporal punishment and whether it can be used; and what accommodation schools must make for students facing learning difficulties because of the environment in which they grew up.

Ailsa M. Watkinson has worked as a teacher-librarian, and served in various capacities with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for over twelve years. She holds a professional teaching certificate and earned a doctorate in educational administration specializing in human rights law and education. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina, Faculty of Social Work (Saskatoon Campus) and is the mother of three children. In addition, she is a frequent media commentator on educational and other social issues.


1. Human Rights Legislation
Federal and Provincial Human Rights Legislation
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Convention on the Rights of the Child

2. Caring and Contextuality
The Ethic of Care
Caring and Contextuality in the Law
Caring in Education

3. Limiting Rights and Freedoms Process
Application to Education

4. Freedom of Conscience and Religion
Application to Education
School Prayer and Religious Practices
Compulsory Education and Religion
Patriotic Exercises

5. Freedom of Expression and Assembly
Freedom of Expression
Hate Propaganda
Material and Substantial Disruption
Lewd and Indecent Speech
Student Publications
Reading Material
Freedom of Assembly

6. Race, Gender, Economic Status, and Sexual Orientation
Application to Education
Racialized Students
Sexual Orientation

7. Students with Disabilities
Application to Education
The Emily Eaton Case
Eldridge and Eaton Compared
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities

8. Sexual Harassment
Application to Education

9. Group Punishment, Suspensions, and Expulsions
Application to Education

10. Search, Seizure, and Detention
Search and Seizure
Strip Searches, Locker Searches, and Private Possessions

11. Corporal Punishment
Criminal Code
Equality Rights and Discrimination
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Liberty and Security of the Person
Necessary Justification

12. Conclusion

Appendix: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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