HRC v. Peel School Bd., (1991) 47 O.A.C. 234 (DC)

Judge:Campbell, Austin and McKeown, JJ.
Court:Ontario Court of Justice
Case Date:April 02, 1991
Jurisdiction:Ontario
Citations:(1991), 47 O.A.C. 234 (DC)
 
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HRC v. Peel School Bd. (1991), 47 O.A.C. 234 (DC)

MLB headnote and full text

Ontario Human Rights Commission and Harbhajan Singh Pandori (complainants/respondents in appeal) v. Peel Board of Education (respondent/appellant in appeal)

(793/90)

Indexed As: Human Rights Commission (Ont.) et al. v. Board of Education of Peel

Ontario Court of Justice

General Division

Divisional Court

Campbell, Austin and McKeown, JJ.

April 26, 1991.

Summary:

The Peel school board de­veloped a no-weapons policy for its students and teachers because of an increasing con­cern about the use of knives and violence in the Peel schools. The policy applied to the presence of kirpans or ceremonial daggers worn by Khalsa Sikhs as required by their religion. Following a complaint a board of inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights Code determined that the policy was dis­crimina­tory and contrary to s. 10 of the Code. The school board appealed.

The Ontario Divisional Court dismissed the appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 1042

Discrimination - Religion - Schools - General - For safety concerns, a school board developed a no-weapons policy for teachers or students, including the kirpans or ceremonial daggers worn by Khalsa Sikhs as required by their religion - There was no evidence that a kirpan was ever drawn or used as a weapon in any school under the board's jurisdiction - The Ontario Divisional Court affirmed the findings of a board of inquiry under the Human Rights Code that the board's policy was unreasonable and discriminatory, contrary to s. 10 of the Code - The court affirmed that kirpans could be worn, sub­ject to certain safety restrictions and limi­tations.

Education - Topic 710

Education authorities - School commis­sions or boards - Protection of students - No-weapons policy - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1042 ].

Education - Topic 730

Education authorities - School commis­sions or boards - Powers respecting stu­dents - Safety precautions - No-weapons policy - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1042 ].

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Hothi, [1985] 3 W.W.R. 256; 33 Man.R.(2d) 180 (Q.B.), (1985), 35 Man.R.(2d) 159 (C.A.), leave refused (1986), 70 N.R. 397; 43 Man.R.(2d) 240 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 7].

Board of Education of Peel v. Human Rights Commission (Ont.) (1990), 38 O.A.C. 144; 72 O.R.(2d) 593, refd to. [para. 15].

Statutes Noticed:

Human Rights Code, S.O. 1980, c. 129, sect. 1, sect. 4(1), sect. 8 [para. 10]; sect. 10 [paras. 9-10]; sect. 10(2) [para. 21].

Counsel:

Marilyn Ginsburg and A.D. Griffin, for the complainant/respondent in appeal, Ontario Human Rights Commission;

H. Pandori, in person;

Robert G. Keel, for the respon­dent/appellant in appeal.

This appeal was heard before Campbell, Austin and McKeown, JJ., of the Ontario Divisional Court on April 2, 1991. The decision of the Divisional Court was delivered orally by Campbell, J., and released on April 26, 1991.

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