Family Law Basics for Legal Support Staff

Course Date: June 3, 2003

Welcome and Introduction

Wendy J. Harris, QC — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Page E. Kendall — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver

Education in the Broader Context: The Future is Now

  • Our education system is continually evolving in response to national and international conceptions of the place of education in our society and our understanding of how children learn.
  • The panel will discuss some of the developments which are affecting our school system, as we move into the 21st century.
  • Understanding the broader context within which the school system operates will inform us of the current legal issues and those on the horizon.

Professor Andre E. Mazawi — Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, University of BC, Vancouver
Professor Charles Ungerleider — Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, University of BC, Vancouver

BC College of Teachers: Legal Developments in Teacher Professionalism

  • The recent Avison Report has heightened public attention on the BC College of Teachers.
  • This panel will review how the College operates and examine recent case law and legal issues related to the discipline of teachers and disciplinary proceedings before the BC College of Teachers.

Lorraine Shore — Barrister & Solicitor, Burnaby
Jean P. Whittow, QC — Barrister & Solicitor, Vancouver
Eric Wredenhagen — Legal Counsel, BC College of Teachers, Vancouver

Networking Break

Arbitration Awards in the Public Sector

  • Class size, professional autonomy, and teacher misconduct are among the many issues which have been the subject of recent arbitration awards.
  • The panel will review some of the key recent arbitral decisions and consider their implications.

Wendy J. Harris, QC — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Randall J. Noonan — Noonan Hewson Law Office, Vernon

Lunch (on your own)

Social Networking: Legal Challenges for Educators

  • This panel will address legal issues presented by emerging technologies in schools, including the Internet, social networking sites, text messaging, cell phones, and online videos.
  • The panel will provide perspectives on the legal rights and responsibilities of school authorities, focusing on regulating student misconduct such as cyber-bullying, sexting, and defamation of school staff.
  • The panel will also address the potential for blurring professional boundaries between teachers and students where teachers communicate with students through social media.

Page E. Kendall — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Robyn P.M. Trask — BC Teachers’ Federation, Vancouver

Freedom of Expression: In and Out of the Classroom

  • The evolving law on freedom of expression has fundamentally altered traditional rules governing the workplace.
  • The panel will review recent court and arbitration decisions on this important topic.
    Judith C. Anderson — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
    Marjorie S. Brown — Victory Square Law Office, Vancouver 

Networking Break

Recent Developments in Special Education: The Moore Decision

  • The legal parameters of the duty to accommodate students with special needs in the school system continues to be the subject of litigation across Canada.
  • The BC Court of Appeal has sought to answer this question in its recent ruling in the Moore case; however it is now under appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • This panel will review the Moore case and other seminal cases on special education.

Leah Greathead — Ministry of Attorney General, Vancouver
Frances M. Kelly — Community Legal Assistance Society, Vancouver
Diane C. MacDonald — BC Teachers’ Federation, Vancouver
Sari Wiens — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver

Concluding Remarks

Wendy J. Harris, QC — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Page E. Kendall — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver