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5th Session, 40th Legislature

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Bill 215

THE PREVENTION OF INTERPERSONAL AND FAMILY VIOLENCE THROUGH EDUCATION ACT (PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACT AND EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION ACT AMENDED)


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS reducing interpersonal and family violence, promoting respectful relationships, improving family functioning and creating better environments for raising children are among the most important objectives in Manitoba today;

AND WHEREAS childhood exposure to violence can increase the risk of future perpetration of violence;

AND WHEREAS education provides valuable knowledge and skills that contribute to the prevention and reduction of interpersonal and family violence and the development of a more respectful and equitable society where interpersonal and family violence are not tolerated;

AND WHEREAS education offers a unique opportunity to examine, confront and challenge the root causes of interpersonal and family violence and is a much needed approach to breaking the cycle of interpersonal and family violence which is present in Manitoba today;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba enacts as follows:

PART 1

THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACT

C.C.S.M. c. P250 amended

1           The Public Schools Act is amended by this Part.

2           Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definitions:

"family violence" means interpersonal violence that a person experiences from

(a) a family member, including an extended family member, or

(b) a person with whom he or she is or was involved in a spousal, conjugal, intimate or dating relationship, whether or not they have ever lived together; (« violence familiale »)

"interpersonal violence" means the intentional use of physical or psychological force or power, whether threatened or actual, between two or more persons that results in or is likely to result in,

(a) death,

(b) physical injury, or

(c) emotional or psychological injury; (« violence interpersonnelle »)

3           The following is added after subclause 47.1(2)(b)(iii):

(iv) interpersonal violence or family violence;

4           The following is added after section 47.1.2 and before the centred heading to section 47.2:

INTERPERSONAL AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Interpersonal and family violence policy

47.1.3(1)   Every school board must establish a written policy concerning interpersonal and family violence.

Purpose

47.1.3(2)   An interpersonal and family violence policy is to promote and enhance

(a) the recognition and identification of interpersonal and family violence;

(b) an understanding of best practices to prevent interpersonal and family violence; and

(c) an understanding of how to address interpersonal and family violence and any of its precursors when it occurs.

Implementing policy

47.1.3(3)   A school board must ensure that

(a) the interpersonal and family violence policy complies with all requirements established by regulation under The Education Administration Act;

(b) the interpersonal and family violence policy is implemented in the school division or school district;

(c) the interpersonal and family violence policy is reviewed at least once in each year by the local school committee or area advisory committee;

(d) the updated policy is submitted each year to the Interpersonal and Family Violence Advisory Committee established under The Education Administration Act; and

(e) information about actions taken to implement the policy is reported as part of each school's annual school plan.

Identifying resources

47.1.4      An interpersonal and family violence policy must include

(a) a requirement to identify all resources within a school division or school district that can provide assistance to pupils and school-based staff who are experiencing interpersonal or family violence; and

(b) a requirement to provide information to all school-based staff on how to access the resources within the school division or school district that provide assistance to pupils and school-based staff who are experiencing interpersonal or family violence.

Training for school-based staff

47.1.5(1)   An interpersonal and family violence policy must include a requirement that all school-based staff receive ongoing training respecting the following:

(a) recognizing, identifying and appropriately responding to indicators of interpersonal and family violence in the school environment;

(b) the nature of interpersonal and family violence and its prevention in the school environment;

(c) the origins and precursors of interpersonal and family violence;

(d) an understanding of interpersonal and family dynamics as they occur in various cultures and how they may relate to the development of interpersonal and family violence;

(e) optimum teacher-pupil and teacher-parent interaction in situations where pupils are experiencing interpersonal or family violence.

Required content

47.1.5(2)   The training provided under subsection (1) must include specific training respecting sexual violence and gender-based violence.

Instruction for pupils

47.1.6(1)   An interpersonal and family violence policy must include a requirement that all pupils receive age-appropriate instruction on

(a) recognizing, identifying and appropriately responding to indicators of interpersonal and family violence in the school environment; and

(b) the nature of interpersonal and family violence and its prevention.

Required content

47.1.6(2)   The instruction provided under subsection (1) must include specific instruction respecting sexual violence and gender-based violence.

PART 2

THE EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION ACT

C.C.S.M. c. E10 amended

5           The Education Administration Act is amended by this Part.

6           Section 1 is amended by adding the following definitions:

"advisory committee" means the Interpersonal and Family Violence Advisory Committee established under section 17.1; (« Comité consultatif »)

"family violence" means family violence as defined in The Public Schools Act; (« violence familiale »)

"interpersonal violence" means interpersonal violence as defined in The Public Schools Act; (« violence interpersonnelle »)

7           The following is added after clause 4(1)(o.1):

(o.2) respecting the framework of a school board's interpersonal and family violence policy, the requirements to be contained within the policy and its implementation;

8           The following is added after section 17:

INTERPERSONAL AND FAMILY VIOLENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Advisory committee established

17.1(1)     The Interpersonal and Family Violence Advisory Committee is established.

Advisory committee duties

17.1(2)     The advisory committee may, at the minister's request, provide advice to the minister on

(a) the direction and priorities for the education system with regards to interpersonal and family violence, including curriculum requirements respecting those matters;

(b) the ability of the education system to meet and respond to the needs of pupils and school-based staff experiencing interpersonal or family violence; and

(c) any other matter as directed by the minister.

Terms of reference

17.1(3)     The minister may establish terms of reference for the advisory committee to follow in providing advice to the minister.

Appointments

17.2(1)     The advisory committee is to consist of at least five persons appointed by the minister.

Appointment considerations

17.2(2)     The advisory committee must include persons with documented knowledge and experience in the following areas:

(a) developmental psychology;

(b) curriculum development for kindergarten to grade 12;

(c) non-violent crisis intervention;

(d) research into interpersonal and family violence;

(e) family dynamics and counselling;

(f) family dynamics and counselling in indigenous communities;

(g) family dynamics and counselling in immigrant communities;

(h) legal issues relating to interpersonal and family violence.

Term

17.2(3)     A member is to be appointed for a term not exceeding three years.

Appointment continues

17.2(4)     After a member's term expires, the member continues to hold office until he or she is re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.

Re-appointment

17.2(5)     A member whose term expires may be re-appointed, but no member may serve more than six years in consecutive terms. Once a member has served six years in consecutive terms, the member may not be re-appointed until at least three years have elapsed since the member last served.

PART 3

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

9           This Act comes into force on September 1, 2017.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Public Schools Act. It requires every school board to establish an interpersonal and family violence policy. The policy will require all school staff to receive training on the nature and origins of interpersonal and family violence. Staff will also be taught how to recognize both types of violence and how to act when a student experiences interpersonal or family violence. All students will receive instruction on interpersonal and family violence.

The Bill also amends The Education Administration Act. It establishes the Interpersonal and Family Violence Advisory Committee. This committee includes persons with expertise on a range of issues involving interpersonal and family violence. The committee is to provide advice to the minister on curriculum and support services to address interpersonal and family violence.