Reviewed/Revised: March 2011


When elections are called, the school system must be seen not only as promoting but as acting in an ethical and impartial manner toward all candidates and political parties seeking office in Federal, Provincial, Municipal and school board elections. It should be stressed that participation in the election process by students as part of the learning process is part of the curriculum for both elementary and secondary schools and should be encouraged. When a class discusses political party or election issues/candidates, however, information must be presented in an unbiased manner. This ensures transparency, open dialogue and the ability of learners to be exposed to all aspects of political issues, candidates and the ability to discern their support for or against an issue/party or candidate. Beyond the above, schools, school staff, candidates and Catholic School Council members must be seen not only as promoting but as acting in an ethical and impartial manner. Specifically, reference is made to the relationship of the above mentioned with students and families. Parents send their children to school to participate in a learner-focused environment. It is not appropriate for either candidates, Catholic School Councils or staff to use students to deliver a political message home either during an election campaign or at any other time of the year. It is unethical to “use students” in what are typically adult matters. Employees’ democratic rights as citizens to participate in an election process are fundamental to our society. Employees do not have the right, however, to support or assist in any capacity candidates or political parties for public office when performing their duties as an employee. The same applies to trustees and Catholic School Council members.