Legal Briefs: How Does Educational Law Respond to Cyberviolence?
All provinces and territories except for Nunavut specifically address, or require school boards and schools to address, bullying and cyberbullying in school codes of conduct or other related policies (such as acceptable use of electronic communications systems policies). In Nunavut, although bullying and cyberbullying are not specifically mentioned in legislation or official underlying policies, these behaviours clearly fall within broader Indigenous laws, principles, and expectations set out in policies and statements relating to students’ rights and responsibilities. Further, all provinces and territories have explicitly committed themselves to promoting respect for equity and diversity through safe, caring, and accepting schools policies or through the articulation of principles requiring respect for difference. Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, in particular, have some of the most current and comprehensive approaches to bullying and cyberbullying, incorporating not just disciplinary provisions, but also respect for diversity initiatives.
While education legislation from across Canada incorporates general provisions with respect to student conduct and punishment that could be applied to certain behaviours falling under the umbrella of “cyberbullying,” the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec explicitly refer to bullying and/or “cyberbullying” in their education legislation. Education legislation, however, barely scratches the surface in terms of understanding how cyberbullying is being addressed in Canadian schools. Layered below legislation are regulations, provincial policies and program memoranda, school board codes and policies, and school codes and policies.
Below I sketch out the relevant legislation for each province and territory. Where possible, I expand on that by referencing any underlying regulations, ministerial directives, and provincial school board and school policies.
Alberta’s Education Act defines bullying as “repeated and hostile or demeaning behaviour by an individual in the school community where the behaviour is intended to cause harm, fear, or distress to one or more other individuals in the school community, including psychological harm or harm to an individual’s reputation.” The Act imposes on students the responsibility to “report and not tolerate bullying” directed toward others, whether in school or electronically, and requires school boards to establish and implement policies to provide welcoming and respectful learning environments, including establishing codes of conduct that address bullying. The Act further establishes a bullying awareness and prevention week, and mandates school support for student organizations intended to promote welcoming and respectful learning environments, such as gay-straight alliances and anti-racism clubs. Private schools in Alberta are also required to abide by requirements to provide safe and inclusive environments.
Codes of conduct, technology or internet use guidelines, and more specific bullying and cyberbullying policies are used in Alberta to address bullying and cyberbullying behaviours in schools. Section 33 of the Act, in particular, states that student codes of conduct must be made publicly available, contain statements describing acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and be reviewed every year. In November 2014, the province issued a document reviewing code of conduct provisions in the Act, and providing guidance to school boards developing effective student codes of conduct. With regard to bullying and cyberbullying policies, a 2013 study of school board bullying and cyberbullying policies available online found only 5 policies, but noted many schools had technology or internet use guidelines. The Calgary School Board of Education’s bullying prevention policy provides one useful example of such a policy, and is available online.
While British Columbia’s School Act does not refer to bullying, it nonetheless offers tools for schools and school boards to address bullying and cyberbullying behaviours. Under the Act, all school boards must establish student codes of conduct which are consistent with standards established by the provincial Education Minister. School boards are also empowered to make rules governing student suspensions, and to compel students to comply with school rules (authorized by school principals) and board-issued policies and codes of conduct. Regulations related to the Act require teachers to ensure that all students understand and comply with school rules and policies, as well as board-issued codes of conduct.
In 2007, British Columbia’s Minister of Education issued an order reaffirming that the School Act requires all schools boards to establish codes of conduct. In accordance with that Ministerial Order, codes of conduct should (i) address, among other things, “acts of bullying, harassment, intimidation, [and] physical violence”; (ii) include a statement of purpose focused on “safe, caring and orderly school environments”; and (iii) provide statements that clearly convey expectations of student behaviour. Some examples of positive student behaviours include helping to make school a safe, caring, and orderly place by, for example, telling adults of incidents of bullying, harassment, intimidation, or other safety concerns. Codes of conduct must also specify that disciplinary action, wherever possible, will be preventative and restorative rather than punitive. A companion guide to the Order suggests, among other things, definitions for “bullying behaviour” and “cyberbullying” for schools to use in their codes of conduct, although use of these definitions is discretionary.
Various British Columbia school boards have developed policies and regulations relating to bullying and cyberbullying behaviours in schools. These policies provide for disciplinary action related to bullying and cyberbullying, as well as more broad-based plans aimed at improving diversity. For example the Vancouver School Board has issued a Student Code of Conduct Policy, endorses lesson plans on the Charter for Compassion, and offers tools for developing empathy in high school students. Some British Columbia school regulations and policies relating to acceptable use of electronic communications systems also provide for disciplinary action for misuse of technology resources, such as offensive and threatening language, or failing to demonstrate digital citizenship by “conducting all related activities in a responsible, ethical, legal and respectful manner.”
British Columbia’s Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools Strategy provides further guidance on responses to bullying and cyberbullying in the province. The Strategy was developed following recommendations for improving school safety issued by the Safe Schools Task Force in 2003. The guide to the Strategy, issued in 2008, states that BC schools work to build “community,” and foster respect, “inclusion, fairness and equity.” It also recommends that schools regularly create opportunities for students to “learn about and celebrate human rights, diversity […] and other key elements of caring schools.” In the same year, the BC Ministry of Education also issued Diversity in BC Schools: A Framework, which expresses commitments to multiculturalism, human rights, employment equity and social justice, and promotes creating school cultures that value diversity and learning environments free from discrimination, harassment and violence.
In 2012, the BC Minister of Education introduced the Expect Respect and a Safe Education (ERASE) prevention and intervention strategy for bullying, which includes an intervention program and an anonymous online reporting tool. The ERASE strategy also provides resources and information for parents, as well as a multi-level training program for educators and community partners. The Ministry’s Digital Literacy Framework for school curriculum further addresses topics such as cyberbullying, self-image and identity, legal and ethical issues, and awareness of communication technology in society.
The Manitoba Public Schools Act explicitly defines bullying and includes “cyberbullying” within that definition. It requires that school employees report cyberbullying to their principal, and mandates that schools have technology use policies, establish codes of conduct (that address, among other things, bullying and discrimination), promote inclusivity, and establish respect for diversity policies (which must accommodate student groups seeking to promote an inclusive school environment). The Winnipeg School Division’s Code of Conduct and appropriate use of communications devices policy provide useful examples of these types of responses to bullying and cyberbullying behaviours.
In 2005, Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth issued A Whole School Approach to Safety and Belonging, a report that outlines a seven-step school plan to engage the whole community in creating a comprehensive plan for preventing violence and bullying in schools. The report also includes resources for teachers and school administrators, including sample lesson plans, incident report forms, suggested whole-school activities that highlight safety and belonging, and student surveys that allow students to anonymously report on whether or how often they have been bullied.
The New Brunswick Education Act defines a positive learning and working environment as one that is, among other things, “free from bullying, cyberbullying and harassment.” In 2012, amendments to the Education Act provided definitions of bullying and cyberbullying. The Act now also includes bullying and cyberbullying as behaviours that may constitute “serious misconduct.” Under the Act, school principals must ensure that their schools are safe and positive learning environments, and must report any incidents of serious misconduct to the superintendent of the school district.
The New Brunswick Department of Education’s Policy 703 provides a framework for creating positive learning and working environments. The Policy requires school districts and individual schools to develop positive learning and working environment plans that, among other things, address misconduct that includes bullying and cyberbullying. The province also has an anti-bullying awareness week, conducts surveys on bullying, and collaborates with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to provide safe and responsible internet use training.
Newfoundland’s School Act empowers the Minister of Education to issue policy directives with respect to safe and caring learning environments. These directives must include a code of conduct template, a definition of bullying, and a bullying intervention protocol.  The Act further empowers principals and teachers to suspend students in accordance with school board by-laws, and empowers directors to expel students for behaviour that is likely to “injuriously affect the proper conduct of the school” or is persistently disobedient or defiant. It also requires that school boards (i) adopt by-laws that relate to student suspensions, (ii) promote a safe and caring learning environment in schools, and (iii) ensure that ministerial policies and guidelines are followed.
In 2013, the Newfoundland Department of Education revised its policy relating to safe and caring school environments following an external review in 2012. The new Safe and Caring Schools Policy aims to set clear expectations for all members of the school community, encourage proactive and preventative measures, and provide remedial and restorative approaches in response to problems. It defines a safe school as one that, among other things, is free from bullying, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination, and has a code of conduct with consistent expectations and consequences. A caring and inclusive school promotes, among other things, celebration of diversity, belonging and connectedness, equity, and equality.
The Policy recognizes that developing and maintaining a safe, caring, and inclusive school environment implicates all stakeholders of a school community (including the Department of Education, school districts, schools, students, and parents). Schools, in particular, are responsible for consistently responding to bullying and other inappropriate behaviours, as outlined in school codes of conduct. They must also implement violence and bullying prevention initiatives, follow the Department’s Bullying Intervention Protocol, develop and implement plans to teach digital citizenship, and promote acceptance and inclusion of all individuals (regardless of, among other things, national or ethnic origin, body image, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity). Schools must further promote social and emotional learning, and help students develop life skills relating to, among other things, respecting self and others, maintaining healthy, positive relationships, and showing ethical and social responsibility.
The Department of Education’s Safe and Caring Schools Procedure 3: Bullying Intervention Protocol defines bullying as behaviour that is generally repeated and intended to cause harm in a situation involving a power imbalance. It also identifies forms of bullying which include electronic bullying. The Procedure establishes a five-part protocol for school staff responding to bullying incidents, requiring staff to (i) intervene, (ii) investigate, (iii) contact the affected students’ parents, (iv) subject the bully to consequences, and (v) document all incidents of bullying. While the Protocol states that consequences need not always be punitive, they should nonetheless be formative to correct the behaviour, prevent reoccurrence, protect and support the target, and take corrective action. Consequences should be premised on school codes of conduct and take contextual considerations into account. Contextual considerations may include the age and maturity of the students involved, with an orientation toward ensuring the student who bullies reflects on their behaviour, learns pro-social skills, and makes amends to their target. The Protocol further notes that some bullying behaviours are illegal and can constitute criminal harassment, threats, mischief, assault, and sexual assault offences under the Criminal Code.
The Department’s Safe and Caring Schools Procedure 5: Teaching Digital Citizenship defines digital citizenship as “norms of safe, respectful and responsible behaviour with regard to the use of technology” and refers teachers to resources for teaching digital citizenship. The Procedure promotes Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship, and recommends relevant resources for educators, parents, and the public.
The Department’s Code of Conduct Guidelines and Template provides a provincial template for school codes of conduct. The Guidelines specify expected standards of behaviour for students which relate not only to behaviour on school property, but also on buses, in extra-curricular activities, during off-site school sponsored activities, and during any activity “which will have an impact on the school climate.” The Template lists inappropriate behaviours which include any violent or bullying behaviour (including electronic) that intentionally harms another person. This includes using violent, profane or discriminatory language, and using technology to intentionally abuse or bully another person.
The Template groups bullying behaviours into tiers: Level 1 behaviours are those which can be dealt with by a teacher, while Level 2 behaviours are those which must be addressed by an administrator. It then lists both proactive and reactive strategies for dealing with Level 1 and Level 2 behaviours, ranging from discussing appropriate behaviours with students, adult modelling of appropriate behaviours, curricular and extra-curricular programs to promote social skill development (such as Gay Straight Alliances), “verbal reminders,” and out-of-school suspensions.
School board and school-level initiatives also reflect the priorities set by the Department of Education. For example, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District’s website includes access to Department of Education policies and also incorporates “My Anti-Bully Pledge”, a form that can be completed and submitted online. Students signing the Anti-Bullying Pledge must identify themselves and commit to standing up for victims of bullying and taking steps to prevent bullying from happening in the first place.
The Northwest Territories’ Education Act was amended in 2013 to explicitly define “bullying” to include online behaviours such as impersonation or sharing harmful content, and to require regulations establishing a Territorial School Code of Conduct promoting a positive learning environment. Moreover, a Territorial Safe Schools Plan is currently in development. The plan responds to a motion calling for a territory-wide campaign against bullying, and would aim to foster healthy relationships and eliminate bullying.
The Nova Scotia Education Act specifically refers to bullying and cyberbullying in relation to teachers’ duties to maintain order and discipline, principals’ duties to investigate and respond to reports of disruptive behaviour, and staff members’ duty to report severely disruptive behaviour. The Act also empowers the Minister of Education to establish regulations defining bullying and cyberbullying, and establish a provincial school code of conduct that relates, among other things, to those behaviours. While regulations under the Act previously set out a regional school code of conduct policy to be established by school boards which defined “bullying” and “cyberbullying,” the relevant section containing those definitions was repealed in 2015 to allow for passage of a new code.
The new Nova Scotia Provincial School Code of Conduct Policy establishes expectations for student standards of behaviour province-wide. It contains a code of conduct which sets out acceptable standards of behaviour, including in relation to respecting diversity, responsibly using information and communications technology, and refraining from bullying, cyberbullying, intimidation, racism and discrimination. The Policy also sets out responses to unacceptable behaviour, including suspension for specifically-listed behaviours including bullying, cyberbullying, and discriminatory behaviour, all of which are explicitly defined in the Policy. Furthermore, the Policy emphasizes meting out consequences in a way that does not disproportionately affect equality-seeking groups, and promotes using restorative methods where appropriate.
The policies and commitments at the provincial level are reflected in school board and school-level policies. For example, Halifax Regional School Board has a Safe Schools division that is tasked with, among other things, helping schools promote healthy relationships and address cyberbullying. Yarmouth’s Regional School Board policy on mobile device use by students requires students to exhibit the same good behaviour expected of them offline in their online interactions, and provides for disciplinary action where mobile devices are used to violate the privacy of other students.
Nunavut’s Education Act does not incorporate any specific provisions with respect to bullying, cyberbullying or harassment. However, the education framework in Nunavut is governed by Inuit laws of relationships to the environment and to people, the cycle of life and the cycle of seasons. Essential to Inuit Maligait (natural laws) is the interconnectedness in the world, underpinned by working for the common good (emphasizing unity and social responsibility), being respectful of all living things, maintaining harmony, and continually preparing for a better future.
Inuit Piqujangit (communal laws) include Inuuqatigiitsiarniq (caring and respect for others), Tunnganarniq (being welcoming and open to others, and building positive relationships), and Piliriqatigiingniq (working together for a common purpose). These laws form core overarching competencies to be learned within the Nunavut curriculum. The curriculum therefore requires that students learn to develop core competencies in, among other things, accepting new students, respecting differences, and not making fun of others.
In terms of discipline, s 62(1) of the Nunavut Education Act permits a principal to suspend a student for conduct that is “injurious to the physical or mental well-being of other students” or contrary to the Inuuqatigiitsiarniq policy (as described above). This disciplinary power could be used in relation to bullying or cyberbullying behaviours, although the Act does not explicitly refer to them.
In 2008, Ontario amended its Education Act to explicitly extend the power to suspend and expel students not only in relation to activities at school, but to school-related activities and activities that would have an impact on school climate. Bullying was specifically added to the list of infractions for which suspension was discretionary, and a mandate was issued requiring school officials to consider an expanded list of mitigating factors prior to issuing a discretionary suspension (or to determining the duration of a mandatory suspension). The province also issued policy/program memoranda (PPM) on bullying prevention and intervention, progressive discipline, and promoting positive behaviour, and revised its existing PPM on codes of conduct to include a statement against hate propagation and hate or bias motivated behaviours.
In the same year, the government-appointed Safe Schools Action Team delivered a report entitled Shaping A Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Healthy Relationships, which focused on, among other things, the impacts of identity-based harassment and “bullying” on equality-seeking groups (such as girls, racial minorities, the poor, and sexual minority students). The report was an influential factor in the province’s subsequent transition toward understanding safety in terms of equity and inclusion, recognizing that marginalization of students from equality-seeking groups undermined their sense of safety and belonging.
In 2012, after a series of high profile teen suicides, the province passed the Accepting Schools Act. The new Act explicitly defines bullying and cyber-bullying, and also mandates professional development for teachers on bullying prevention and programming. It requires that the Ministry of Education develop a model bullying intervention and prevention plan for use by school boards in developing their own plans for schools to implement.
It further requires that schools have equity and inclusive education policies, calls for school boards to support students seeking to establish Gay Straight Alliances or other organizations against bullying and support positive school climate, requires that School Climate surveys be administered biannually, and establishes an annual Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. With regard to school suspensions, the new Act makes suspension mandatory for bullying infractions where the student had previously been suspended for bullying, and where their presence created an unacceptable safety risk to another person. It also introduces mandatory suspension for bias-motivated infractions.
Following passage of the Accepting Schools Act, the Ministry also released a Model Bullying Prevention Plan developed by PREVNet with the Accepting Schools Expert Panel. The Plan is intended to help school boards develop their own bullying intervention and prevention plans. Among other things, it recommends:
incorporating the “bullying” definition from the Act;
identifying the ways that bias, prejudice, and hate can lead to bullying;
developing awareness of the factors contributing to a safe and accepting environment;
making students aware of how they can help address bullying;
using school climate surveys to evaluate strengths and weaknesses with respect to school plans for addressing bullying as a basis for improving plans in future;
clearly communicating procedures with respect to bullying and harassment; and
fostering a positive learning and teaching environment to help reduce harassment and bullying incidents.
Each school board in Ontario, therefore, should have a bullying prevention plan in place, and each school should have an equity and inclusive education policy in place.
In 2015, Ontario issued a revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum for grades 1-8 and 9-12. These curricula implement part of the equity and inclusive education guidelines referred to above, requiring that issues such as self-protection from cyberbullying, understanding media stereotypes, healthy relationships, and respect for diversity be incorporated into classroom learning.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island’s School Act does not refer specifically to bullying or cyberbullying. In terms of discipline, s 73(1) of the Act empowers principals and teachers to suspend or expel students (subject to the policy of a school board), while s 72(1) provides that school discipline is to be “similar to that administered by a kind, firm and judicious parent, but shall not include corporal punishment.” Discipline for bullying and cyberbullying appears to fall under this power. In 2012, a motion was presented to the provincial government encouraging the province to adopt anti-bullying legislation.
The policies of both the English Language School Board and La Commission scolaire de langue francaise in Prince Edward Island recognize broad responsibilities to abide by human rights obligations, and express commitments to challenging prejudice and discrimination while promoting acceptance and respect for all people. Before being given access to communications technologies, students and parents receive “Expectations for Students” and an Acceptable Use Agreement for students, the latter of which must be signed by a parent or guardian and by all students in grades 4-12. The Agreement specifies that, among other things, students must not use these technologies for “illegal activities, [or] to harass (cyberbully).” Further, students must report threatening or hurtful messages to the school and keep copies of offending content, and they must not use technology in a way that interferes with other users. Penalties for misuse can include cancelled access, searches/seizures of personal devices, any other disciplinary measure, and/or calling the police.
Quebec’s Education Act, as modified by Bill 56, provides a definition of bullying that includes behaviours occurring in cyberspace. It requires that students “conduct themselves in a civil and respectful manner toward their peers and personnel” and also requires schools to provide “a healthy and secure learning environment.” Furthermore, pursuant to s 75.1 of the Act, all schools in Quebec must have an anti-bullying and anti-violence plan in place that includes prevention measures, reporting procedures, and a set of actions to be taken in response to bullying or violence. St. Vincent Elementary School’s Anti-Bullying & Anti-Violence Action Plan, which also explicitly refers to “cyberbullying,” provides a useful example of a school-level plan issued pursuant to the requirements of the Act.
Since 2012, private educational service providers in Quebec must also have an anti-bullying plan in place which specifies the form and nature of the undertakings to be given to bullied students or their parents. Private educational institutions must also set up an anti-bullying team to collaborate in implementing their respective plan, and the governing board of private schools in Quebec must annually evaluate progress in dealing with bullying and violence.
Some school board and school-level policies and codes of conduct in Quebec also address bullying, cyberbullying, discrimination and harassment specifically. For example, the English Montreal School Board’s “Safe Schools and Centres” Policy specifically addresses harassment, bullying, and intimidation in its section on disciplinary action.
Beaconsfield High School’s Code of Conduct lists freedom from physical and verbal harassment as a student right, and respect for the rights of others as a student responsibility. It further defines harassment to include bullying, cyberbullying, racial/ethnocultural, and sexual discrimination.
Saskatchewan’s Education Act does not specifically refer to bullying or cyberbullying, and principals’ suspension powers are limited to a list of quite specific offences. Some bullying and cyberbullying incidents may implicitly fall within school principal’s powers to suspend students for persistent opposition to authority or for “engaging in any other type of gross misconduct.”
In 2006, the Saskatchewan Ministry issued a model bullying prevention plan under its Safe, Caring and Respectful Schools policy. The Prevention Plan sets out a procedure for dealing with bullying, including taking all reports seriously, doing everything possible to stop bullying behaviour when it happens, and holding bullies responsible in an age and context-appropriate way. The Plan also provides that where bullying crosses the line into criminal behaviour, police may become involved.
In 2013, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education developed Saskatchewan’s Action Plan to Address Bullying and Cyberbullying. The Plan defines bullying and cyberbullying, and provides six key recommendations for the Saskatchewan government to use to address bullying. In particular, the Plan recommends that the province (i) collaborate with education sector partners to create consistent policies, (ii) align priorities across government agencies, (iii) support students to develop responsible online behaviour, and (iv) engage youth in creating solutions to build positive relationships.
It also states that the province should take a restorative approach to incident response through the renewal of the Caring and Respectful Schools Policy, and engage the Office of the Advocate for Children and Youth. Further, it recommends that the province partner with SaskTel’s “I am Stronger Campaign” to put an anonymous reporting tool on SaskTel’s website, and also encourages the province to provide teachers with support and student resources to teach appropriate online behaviour. Key concepts from the Plan are reflected in some school and school board policies.
Saskatchewan schools also promote digital citizenship education at all grade levels. The Ministry has issued an education policy statement confirming the government’s commitment to safe school environments (where students feel included, protected, and respected), and further expressing support for alliances for sexual and gender diversity. A number of school board and school policies reflect these commitments.
Yukon’s Education Act does not explicitly refer to bullying or cyberbullying. It does, however, specify a host of student duties, including the duty to respect the rights of others and observe school rules. It further empowers principals to suspend students for breaching those duties.
The Yukon Education “Safe and Caring Schools Policy 1101,” adopted in 2008, confirms a commitment to diversity and equity, while also defining bullying, harassment, and discrimination. The Policy requires schools to send a clear message that these latter three behaviours will not be tolerated, and sets out procedures for reporting and dealing with incidents (noting the possibility of suspension under the Education Act). This approach is reflected in school codes of conduct within the Yukon. Some schools also expressly incorporate Indigenous laws and principles such as belonging, generosity, and independence into their school handbooks.
In 2012, Yukon Education issued a policy on sexual orientation and gender identity which affirmed a commitment to valuing diversity and addressing, among other things, homophobic and gender-based comments, discrimination, and bullying. The policy provides for a range of responses, including prohibitions on discriminatory language, adult modelling of respect for LGBTQ students and families, intervention on and consequences for discriminatory acts (regardless of intent), in-class education reflecting accomplishments and contributions of LGBTQ persons, and training for staff on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Education Act, SA 2012, c E-0.3, s 1(d).
Ibid, s 31.
Ibid, s 33(2).
Ibid, ss 35, 35.1.
School Act, RSA 2000, c S-3, s 28.
 See Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities, “Alberta’s Education Act: Developing an Effective Student Code of Conduct” (November 2014), online: <www.asba.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ts_develop_code_conduct.pdf>
 Nikki Nosworthy & Christina Rinaldi, “A Review of School Board Cyberbullying Policies in Alberta” (Winter 2013), 58:4 Alberta Journal of Educational Research 509 at 514, online: <http://ajer.journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ajer/article/viewFile/1000/926>.
 Calgary Board of Education, “School Culture & Environment: Bullying Prevention” (20 June 2016), online: <www.cbe.ab.ca/about-us/school-culture-and-environment/Pages/Healthy-Relationships.aspx>.
School Act, RSBC 1996, c 412.
Ibid, s 85(1.1).
Ibid, s 85(2)(c)(ii).
Ibid, s 6(1).
School Regulation, BC Reg 265/1989, s 4.
 British Columbia, BC Ministry of Education, Ministerial Order M276/07, online: <www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/legislation-policy/legislation/schoollaw/e/m276_07.pdf> [Order M276/07].
 British Columbia Ministry of Education, Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools: A Guide (November 2008) at 17, online: <www.bced.gov.bc.ca/sco/guide/scoguide.pdf> [BC Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools Guide].
 Order M276/07, supra note 69, s 7(a).
 British Columbia Ministry of Education, Developing and Reviewing Codes of Conduct: A Companion (British Columbia: August 2007), online: <www.bced.gov.bc.ca/sco/resourcedocs/facilitators_companion.pdf>. See generally Gillian Angrove, “She’s Such a Slut!: The Sexualized Cyberbullying of Teen Girls and the Education Law Response” in Jane Bailey & Valerie Steeves, eds, eGirls, eCitizens (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2015) 307 at 319-20 [Angrove].
 Vancouver School Board, “JGD: District Student Code of Conduct Policy” (7 June 2016), Vancouver School Board, online: <https://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-policy/jgd-district-student-code-conduct-policy>.
 Vancouver School Board, “Compassion in Action” (undated), Vancouver School Board, online: <www.vsb.bc.ca/compassion-action>; Karen Armstrong, “Charter for Compassion” (2009), Vancouver School Board, online: <www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/Charter%20of%20Compassion.pdf>.
 Vancouver School Board, “Lesson Plan: Developing Empathy” (undated), Vancouver School Board, online: <www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/Developing%20Empathy.pdf>
 See e.g. Greater Victoria School District, “Expectations for Students using School or District Electronic Communications Systems” (undated), Greater Victoria School District, online: <https://district.public.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2014/08/Regulation-5131.9a-Student-Acceptable-Use-of-Electronic-Communications-Systems-in-Schools.pdf>; Greater Victoria School District, “Regulation 5131.9: Student Acceptable Use of Electronic Communications Systems in Schools” (26 September 2005), Greater Victoria School District, online: <https://district.public.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2014/08/Regulation-5131.9-Student-Acceptable-Use-of-Electronic-Communications-Systems-in-Schools.pdf>.
 See Central Okanagan School Board, “486: Student Use of Electronic and Social Media Communication” (26 November 2014), Central Okanagan School Board, online: <www.sd23.bc.ca/Board/Policies/Section%204%20%20Students/486.pdf>.
 BC Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools Guide, supra note 70, at 9.
Ibid at 31. See generally Angrove, supra note 72 at 318.
 British Columbia, Ministry of Education, Diversity in BC Schools: A Framework (British Columbia: November 2008), online: <www.bced.gov.bc.ca/diversity/diversity_framework.pdf> at 1, 4.
 British Columbia Ministry of Education, “ERASE Bullying: Policy to Action”, online: <www.erasebullying.ca/policy/policy.php>; Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC, “Cyberbullying: Empowering children and youth to be safe online and responsible digital citizens” (November 2015) at 21-22, online: <www.oipc.bc.ca/special-reports/1882> [OIPC].
 OIPC, ibid, at 21.
The Public Schools Act, CCSM c P250, s 1.2(2).
Ibid, s 41(1)(b.2).
Ibid, s 47.1(2).
Ibid, s 41(1)(b.1).
 Winnipeg School Division, “Code of Conduct: For Students, Staff and Parents/Guardians” (6 October 2014), Winnipeg School Division, online: <https://www.winnipegsd.ca/Parents/safe-schools/Documents/WSD%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf>.
 Winnipeg School Division, “Policy JFCBA: Appropriate Use of Communication Devices and Online Information Resources” (6 October 2014), Winnipeg School Division, online: <https://www.winnipegsd.ca/Governance/policy/Documents/FINAL%20COPY-%20JFCBA-Appropriate%20Use%20of%20Communication%20-%20Policy.pdf>.
 Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth, A Whole-School Approach to Safety and Belonging: Preventing Violence and Bullying (2005), online: <www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/docs/support/guidance/WholeSchoolApproachComplete.pdf>.
 See e.g. Ibid at 52 (providing a guide for teachers to create a social contract for their classrooms).
 Bill 45, An Act to Amend the Education Act, 2nd Sess, 57th Leg, New Brunswick, 2012 (assented to 13 June 2012).
Education Act, SNB 1997, c E-1.12, s 1.
Ibid, s 28(2)(c), (c.2).
 New Brunswick, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, “Policy 703: Positive Learning and Working Environment” (1 April 1999, last revised December 2013), online: <www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ed/pdf/K12/policies-politiques/e/703A.pdf>.
Ibid, s 6.3.
 New Brunswick, Education and Early Childhood Development, “Annual Report on Bullying 2013-2014: Promoting Diversity and Respect in New Brunswick Schools” (New Brunswick: 2015), online: <www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ed/pdf/Publications/AnnualReportOnBullying2013-2014.pdf>.
Schools Act, SNL 1997, c S-12.2, s 177(b)(vii.1).
Ibid at ss 36, 37.
Ibid at s 74.
Ibid at ss 75 (1)(c.1), (d).
 Goss Gilroy Inc., “Report on the Evaluation of The Department of Education’s Safe and Caring Schools Policy and its Implementation” (31 August 2012), online: <www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/safeandcaring/eval_safe_caring_schools_policy.pdf>.
 Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Education, “Safe & Caring Schools Policy: Revised 2013” (2013) at 3, online: <www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/safeandcaring/policy.pdf>.
Ibid at 4.
Ibid at 11.
Ibid at 12.
Ibid at 13.
 Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Education, “Safe & Caring Schools: Procedure 3: Bullying Intervention Protocol” (2013) at 1-2, online: <www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/safeandcaring/procedure_3.pdf>.
Ibid at 3.
Ibid at 2.
 See e.g. MediaSmarts, “Passport to the Internet”, online: <http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/licensed-resources/passport-internet-student-tutorial-internet-literacy-grades-4-8/passport-internet-description> (teaching students to use online tools and websites in secure and ethical ways); MediaSmarts, “MyWorld: A digital literacy tutorial for secondary students”, online: <http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/licensed-resources/myworld-digital-literacy-tutorial-secondary-students> (helping students in Grades 9-12 develop digital media literacy); MediaSmarts, “Web Awareness Workshop Series”, online: <http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/licensed-resources/web-awareness-workshop-series> (for professional development workshops targeted to parents and educators); Atlantic Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, “Cybersafe Girl” Cybersafe Girl, online: <www.cybersafegirl.ca> (providing information to girls, parents, and educators about how girls can be safe online).
 Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Education, “Safe & Caring Schools: Procedure 5: Teaching Digital Citizenship” (2013) at 1, online: <www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/safeandcaring/procedure_5.pdf>.
 These elements include digital health and wellness (recognizing physical issues ranging from poor ergonomics to internet addiction), digital commerce (including legally and illegally obtaining goods and services online), digital communications (discussing decision-making when communicating online), digital access (recognizing that not all individuals have equal access to technology), digital etiquette (learning to act appropriately online), digital security (advocating for hard-drive backups, virus protection, and other digital security measures), digital rights and responsibilities (defining basic digital rights, including rights to privacy and free speech), digital literacy (including teaching about technology and how it may be used) and digital law (discussing responsibility for one’s actions online, and the ethics of technology use within a society): Ibid at 4-5. See generally Mike Ribble, Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, online: <www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html>.
 Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Education, “Safe and Caring Schools: Procedure 2: Code of Conduct Guidelines and Template” (2013), online: <www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/safeandcaring/procedure_2.pdf>.
Ibid at 1.
Ibid at 3.
Ibid at 3-5.
 Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, “My Anti-Bullying Pledge: Complete Your Pledge” (2015), online: <https://www.nlesd.ca/MemberServices/AntiBullyingPledge>.
Ibid at s 1.
Ibid at s 34(1).
 Northwest Territories, “Response to Motion 5-17(2): Anti-Bullying Measures” (13 June 2012), online: <www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/sites/default/files/12-06-13td33-173.pdf>.
Ibid; See Nova Scotia, Education and Early Childhood Development, “Amendments Clear Way for New Provincial Code of Conduct” (24 April 2015), online: <www.novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20150424001>.
 See Cyber-safety Act, SNS 2013 c 2 [Cyber-safety Act].
 Nova Scotia, “Provincial School Code of Conduct Policy” (September 2015) at 4, online: <www.cbv.ns.ca/welcome/modules/mastop_publish/files/files_55e4bbf064ce7.pdf>.
Ibid at 5.
 “Bullying means behaviour, typically repeated, that is intended to cause or should be known to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, exclusion, distress, or other harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property, and can be direct or indirect and includes assisting or encouraging such behaviour in any way […] Cyberbullying means any electronic communication through the use of technology including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, computers, other electronic devices, social networks, text messaging, instant messaging, websites and electronic mail, typically repeated or with continuing effect, that is intended to or ought reasonably be expected to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress, or other damage or harm to another person’s health, emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation, and includes assisting or encouraging such communication in any way. […] Discriminatory behaviour includes any discrimination based on race, culture, ethnicity, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability or mental disability, mental illness, age, national or aboriginal origin, socio-economic status or appearance” [emphasis added]: Ibid at 7.
Ibid at 1-2.
 Halifax Regional School Board, “Safe Schools”, online: <www.hrsb.ca/about-our-schools/parents/safe-schools>.
 Tri-County Regional School Board, “Procedure under Policy No 760: Mobile Device Use by Students” (5 May 2015), Tri-County Regional School Board, online: <www.tcrsb.ca/School%20Board%20Policies/700%20-%20Students/760%20Mobile%20Device%20Use%20by%20Students.pdf>.
Education Act, S Nu 2008, c 15.
 Nunavut Department of Education, Curriculum and School Services Division, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Education Framework (2007) at 24, online: <www.gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/files/Inuit%20Qaujimajatuqangit%20ENG.pdf>.
Ibid at 27-8.
Ibid at 32-33.
Ibid at 44.
Ibid at 47.
Education Amendment Act (Progressive Discipline and School Safety), SO 2007, c 14, s 4 (enacting new s 306(1)).
Ibid at s 4 (enacting new ss 306(2), 310, and O/Reg 472/07).
 Ontario, Ministry of Education, Shaping a Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships, (Ontario: 11 December 2008) at 3, online: <www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teachers/RespectCulture.pdf>.
Ibid at 6.
 Ontario, Ministry of Education, Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, (2009), online: <https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/equity.pdf>.
Education Act, RSO 1990 c E-2, as amended by the Accepting Schools Act SO 2012 c 5, s 126.96.36.199.
 The Act defines “bullying” as: aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where,
(a) the behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would be likely to have the effect of,
(i) causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or
(ii) creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and
(b) the behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education: Ibid at s 1(1). Further, the Act specifies that “bullying” behaviour could incorporate physical, verbal, electronic, written or other means: Ibid at s 1(188.8.131.52).
 The Act defines “cyberbullying” as “bullying by electronic means,” including web pages or blogs created and falsely attributed to another person, impersonating someone as the author of content online, and communicating material to or posting information online that is available to more than one person: Ibid, s 1(184.108.40.206).
Ibid at ss 169.1(7.1), (7.2).
Ibid at ss. 303.2 and 303.3.
Ibid at s 29.1.
Ibid at s 303.1(1)(d).
 Ontario, Ministry of Education, “School Climate Surveys” (4 September 2013), online: <https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/climate.html>.
Accepting Schools Act, supra note 152, s 300.0.2(1).
 Ontario Ministry of Education, The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (Revised 2015), online: <www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health1to8.pdf> [Revised Curriculum 1-8]; Ontario Ministry of Education, The Ontario Curriculum Grades 9-12: Health and Physical Education (Revised 2015), online: <www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/health9to12.pdf>.
School Act, RSPEI 1988, c S-2.1.
 Prince Edward Island, Legislative Assembly, “Motion 14: Encourage Government in the Adoption of Anti-Bullying Legislation in Prince Edward Island”, 64 Leg, 2nd Sess (17 April 2012) at 286, online: <www.assembly.pe.ca/sittings/2012spring/motions/14.pdf>.
 Prince Edward Island, English Language School Board, “Operational Policy: Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights in Learning” (10 June 2014), online: <www.gov.pe.ca/edu/elsb/files/2014/07/403_Race_Relations_Cross_Cultural_
 Prince Edward Island, La Commission scolaire de langue francaise, “Politique Gen-305” (17 June 2009), online: <www.edu.pe.ca/cslf/documents/Les%20politiques/300%20-%20GÉNÉRAL/GÉN-305.pdf>.
 Prince Edward Island, Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture, “Minister’s Directive MD No. 2012-02: Acceptable Use of Communication and Information Technology” (2012), online: <www.gov.pe.ca/eecd/index.php3?number=1043875&lang=E>.
Ibid, Schedule B.
Education Act, CQLR, c I-13.3.
 Bill 56, An Act to prevent and stop bullying and violence in schools, 2nd Sess, 39th Leg, Quebec, 2012.
Education Act, supra note 172, s 13(1.1).
Ibid, s 18.1.
 Central Quebec School Board, St Vincent Elementary School, “Anti-bullying and Anti-Violence Action Plan” (2015), Central Quebec School Board, online: <www.cqsb.qc.ca/Elementary_School/StVincent/Documents/Bullying/Bullying%20-actionplan-svs-final%20copy-2014-15.pdf>.
 An Act Respecting Private Education, CQLR c E-9.1, s 63.2.
Ibid, s 63.5.
Ibid, s 83.
 English Montreal School Board, “Policy: Safe Schools and Centres”, English Montreal School Board, online: <www.emsb.qc.ca/en/governance_en/pdf/BoardPolicies/CommunityServices/SafeSchoolsAndCentres.pdf>.
 Beaconsfield High School, “Code of Conduct 2014-2015” (2015), Lester B Pearson School Board, online: <www.beaconsfield.lbpsb.qc.ca/Documents/CodeofConduct.pdf>.
Education Act, SS 1995, c E-0.2.
Ibid at s 154.
 Saskatchewan Learning, “Caring and Respectful Schools: Bullying Prevention: A Model Policy” (September 2006), online: <http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/11/85695-bully-prevention-model-policy.pdf>.
Ibid at 12.
Ibid at 13.
 Saskatchewan, Ministry of Education, Saskatchewan’s Action Plan to Address Bullying and Cyberbullying (November 2013), online: <www.gov.sk.ca/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?mediaId=584fefe2-c769-4c12-a91a-fa3e49353b11&PN=Shared>.
Ibid at 1: “Bullying is a relationship issue where one person or group repeatedly uses power and aggression to control or intentionally hurt, harm or intimidate another person or group. It is often based on another person’s appearance, abilities, culture, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Bullying can take many forms: physical, emotional, verbal, psychological or social. It can occur in person or through electronic communication.”
Ibid at 11: “Cyberbullying is emotional, psychological, or social bullying that occurs using technology to forward or spread hurtful messages and/or images through email, texting, social media or other forms of electronic communication.”
Ibid at 13.
Ibid at 14.
 See e.g. Warman Elementary School, “Bullying Prevention Policy” (undated), Prairie Spirit School Division, online: <www.blogs.spiritsd.ca/wes/bus-information/wes-student-handbook/bullying-prevention-policy>.
 Saskatchewan, Ministry of Education, Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools: A Policy Planning Guide for School Divisions and Schools to Implement Digital Citizenship Education from Kindergarten to Grade 12, by Alec Couros & Katia Hildebrandt (Saskatchewan: Ministry of Education, 2015), online: <www.publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/11/83322-DC%20Guide%20-%20ENGLISH%202.pdf>.
 Saskatchewan, Ministry of Education, Deepening the Discussion: Gender and Sexual Diversity (2015), online: <www.publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/11/84995-Deepening%20the%20Discussion_Saskatchewan%20Ministry%20of%20Education%20Oct%202015%20FINAL.pdf>.
 See, for example: Regina Public Schools, “School Division #4”, online: <www.rbe.sk.ca/school-division>; Saskatoon Public Schools, “Board Policy Manual: Policy 15 - Human Right Equity” (Last revised 11 October 2005), online: <www.spsd.sk.ca/Board/manual/Documents/Policy%2015%20Human%20Rights%20Equity%20Oct1105.pdf>; Saskatoon Public Schools, “Safe Caring and Accepting Schools”, online: <https://www.spsd.sk.ca/division/safeandcaringschools/Pages/default.aspx>.
Education Act, RSY 2002, c 61.
Ibid, ss 38, 39.
 Yukon Education, “Safe and Caring Schools Policy 1011” (31 January 2008), online: <www.education.gov.yk.ca/pdf/policies/safe_caring_schools.pdf>
Ibid at 3: “Bullying is a pattern of repeated aggressive behaviour, with negative intent, directed from one person to another, or from one group to another. In many cases bullying occurs when there is a power imbalance. Repeated bullying behaviors can take many forms and are not limited to; physical (e.g. pushing, tripping), verbal (e.g. name calling, put-downs), social (e.g. social isolation, gossip), intimidation (extortion, defacing property of clothing) or cyber bullying (threats or harmful and demeaning text messages, photos or videos distributed or published to the internet)”.
Ibid at 4.
 See Watson Lake Secondary School, “Conduct Policy” (undated), Yukon Education Student Network, online: <www.yesnet.yk.ca/schools/wlss/pdf/11-12/conduct.pdf>; Elijah Smith Elementary School, “School Handbook (2015-2016)” at 15-16, Yukon Schools, online: <http://ese.yukonschools.ca/uploads/4/8/3/3/48336245/eses_handbook_2015-2016.pdf> [Elijah Smith].
 Elijah Smith, ibid, at 15.
 Yukon Education, “Policy Subject: Sexual orientation and gender identity policy” (5 September 2012), online: <www.education.gov.yk.ca/pdf/policies/sexual_orientation_and_gender_identity_policy.pdf>.