Statement from the Board of Education Regarding SPLO Program and FAQ Resource

Statement from the Board of Education Regarding SPLO Program & FAQ Resource

The Board of Education appreciates hearing from our partners, including our municipal partners regarding our decision in May 2023 to end the SPLO program. The decision was made following a two and a half year engagement process that included opportunities for all members of the learning community and the public to provide written submissions, take part in a Speakers Series and participate in a public survey. The following groups were invited to participate as members of the Review Committee: Trustees, Police Liaison Officers, GVTA representatives, CUPE representatives, VCPAC representatives, Principals and Vice Principals, Senior Leadership, students from each secondary school, Songhees Nation representative, Esquimalt Nation representative, Metis Nation representative, Urban Indigenous representative, and Resilience BC representative.

The Board of Education’s decision reflects the evolving needs of students and the importance of safeguarding the rights’ of students. Out of respect for the rights of students the Board of Education must ensure we have appropriate levels of clarity and oversight over the delivery of services to students while they are in our care. The Board of Education’s decision means that police will not be used to provide student services that should be provided by appropriately trained, qualified and regulated professionals such as district leadership, principals, teachers, Educational Assistants, counsellors, Youth and Family Counsellors, social workers or health care professionals.

Following our decision, we invited each Police Board that oversees police services in Greater Victoria to meet with us to discuss the decision and our shared responsibility for student safety moving forward. We continue to engage in discussions with police through appropriate formal channels. Police continue to play a key role in keeping our school communities safe.

We continue to rely on policing services to communicate potential safety concerns which may have an impact on our schools. We want to re-emphasize that our existing protocols for lockdowns (hold and secure), critical incidents, and violent threat risk assessments continue to be in effect. The Board of Education has prioritized working toward establishing a communication protocol with police services. Where there is a risk to a member of our learning community we will continue to activate our existing protocols to appropriately address it in collaboration with our staff, and community partners, which includes police services. Our staff continue to monitor schools for safety concerns and to seek support from appropriate community partners including police services when necessary. We are committed to maintaining strong relationships with local police and to clearly defining their roles within our schools.

The Board of Education is deeply committed to creating and maintaining safe, welcoming, and inclusive school environments for all members of our learning community. We believe that every student deserves an environment in which they can thrive academically and personally. Students in Greater Victoria School District continue to receive the necessary support and care from trained, certified, and regulated professionals in schools and community.

In addition to this statement, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions resource on the Greater Victoria School District website.

Board of Education
School District No.61 (Greater Victoria)


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