Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ombudsman's office inundated with complaints about school boards

Ontario’s Ombudsman has received more than 60 complaints about school boards — on issues from busing and discipline to special education — since they fell under the watchdog’s oversight Sept 1.

“It exceeds the number of complaints we were predicting, but maybe some people were holding their fire until school started,” said Ombudsman André Marin. Of the 65 complaints received by Friday, 39 are about English-language public schools — the largest system — and about 24 about English-language Catholic schools.

Complaints range from school boards’ expulsion and suspension policies to the availability of special education support and access to bus stops in certain neighbourhoods.

While a couple also focus on the province’s new sex-ed curriculum, that in itself — as government policy — is not something Marin has the authority to review.

“We can look at whether the implementation or administration of the new curriculum has been done improperly — if there were, say, problems in communication — but we elect people to Queen’s Park to legislate, and we live in a democracy so we have to respect that,” he said.

The expansion of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to include school boards is long overdue, noted Marin, whose office said it has had to turn away more than 1,200 complaints about school boards over the past 10 years.  (more...)

No comments:

Post a Comment