JO Sharing Information on Students with Status under Youth Criminal Justice Act
Adopted: June 14, 1999
Amended: June 23, 2009
The Board of Education is responsible to provide a safe and caring environment to all students and staff. To fulfill this important responsibility, school staff require timely information about young people involved in the youth justice system. Some students enrolled in a school may have to attend school or participate in an education program to comply with an order of a court. In order to ensure the safety of all students, school administrators need to know if any young person is a safety concern and therefore, require such information to provide appropriate support. School staff must balance the need to receive information with, a student’s right to confidentiality and privacy.
The sharing of information on a young person with status under the Youth Criminal Justice Act shall be on a need-to-know basis and limited to school staff assigned to provide instruction, supervision or support to the young person.
Independent student is a student who is 16 years of age or older and living independently, who is party to an agreement under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act or a student who is 16 - 17 years of age who has withdrawn from parent authority.
Justice system personnel includes probation officers, social workers, caseworkers, intervention workers or other persons employed or contracted by Alberta Justice to provide services or support to young people. Other personnel may include those carrying out any program or duty under the School Act.
Young person with young offender status refers to a young person is 12 – 17 years of age who is charged with an offence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act or a young person with status under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
In keeping with Section 129 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, a person who is given access to a record or to whom information is disclosed, shall not disclose that information to any other person unless that disclosure is authorized under that Act.
Justice system personnel (e.g., probation officers, police officers, peace officers, youth workers or a person under contract with Alberta Justice), are to provide information identifying a young person with young offender status to the school principal or designated school staff member, for the following reasons:
Disclosure of information shall be limited to offences which threaten the safety of students or staff, including:
The school principal or designated staff member may request information from justice system personnel to protect the safety of students, staff and others. The disclosure of information is limited by justice system personnel and includes:
Information disclosed on a young person with young offender status shall be kept confidential and contained in a file separate from any other record on the young person enrolled as a student. The school principal shall make reasonable security arrangements to protect information received on a young person with young offender status against risks such as unauthorized access, use, disclosure or disposal of information. A list of staff who subsequently received information disclosed on a young person should be included in the confidential file. Inappropriate disclosure of student information or information on a young person could result in a fine, imprisonment and/or a guilty charge of unprofessional conduct.
Access to the information on a young person shall be restricted to school staff designated to receive such information. The school principal shall restrict the initial disclosure of information to school administration and school counsellors. Subsequent sharing of disclosed information shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the need-to-know, to other staff who have primary responsibility for the young person’s supervision or education program. Subsequent sharing of information on a need to know basis should be to:
If justice system personnel request information from the school record, parent consent to release information is required if the student is less than 16 years of age. A student can provide consent to release information if the student is 16 years of age or older.
If neither parent nor student provide consent to release information from the student record, the principal shall refer the matter to the Superintendent or his designate. Parent permission to receive information or subsequently share information on a young person with young offender status is not required under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The school principal shall ensure that the contents of a student record are only disclosed in accordance with:
Upon the request of justice system personnel to provide information for the purpose of preparing a report for the court, the school principal shall arrange for the release of the following student information:
Information on a young person shall be physically destroyed or electronically deleted when the information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was disclosed, when the young person transfers to another school or school district, or upon the expiry of the court order or disposition.
When the young person transfers to another school or school authority, the school principal shall inform the justice system personnel. Permission to share information with the receiving school principal can only be shared with consent of justice system personnel.
Where a young person with young offender status or the parent requests counselling services, the request should be referred to the justice system personnel. If another professional is responsible for counselling that young person, a school counsellor shall not provide such services.
School staff who agree to serve as an advocate, witness or participant in a court hearing on behalf of the young person, must fulfill this request as a personal choice not as a representative or employee of the Board of Education.
In circumstances where there is a difference of opinion or conflict between the school principal and justice system personnel regarding the nature or extent of information disclosed, the school principal shall refer the matter to the Superintendent or his designate.