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From the Winnipeg Free Press–The St. James-Assiniboia School Division’s biannual reports on student suspensions will now include specific details on disciplinary actions taken against children in foster care throughout the academic year.

Following years of discussion on the subject, SJASD trustees approved a motion to require administrators to regularly report on the number of youth involved in Child and Family Services who are suspended from school.

All trustees in attendance at a public board meeting this week, except for Bruce Chegus, who cited procedural concerns, voted in favour of the request.

The board of trustees’ governance committee at the St. James Assiniboia School Division has been tasked with looking into requiring elected officials to submit criminal record and vulnerable sector checks. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)
“I believe that we, as an institution of the state, have an extra responsibility to kids in care — above and beyond other children because oftentimes, when they are in care, they may be lacking some sort of tenacious advocate,” said trustee Holly Hunter. “We, as trustees, have to be an advocate for them.”

SJASD principals must promptly document any suspension and give their superintendent a written report about it within 24 hours, per division policy, which promotes “positive and preventative (disciplinary) approaches.”

Read the rest of the article here.