However, other areas of discipline and control â€“ such as dress codes and the question of the right to search students â€“ are not specifically provided for, and therefore the precise extent of schools' powers in these areas are not fully clear. It would seem that these areas fall within the general power of school Boards of Trustees to control and manage their schools.
School boards are given very wide statutory powers of control and management. The Act gives them "complete discretion" to control the management of their schools as they think fit, and also gives them power to make bylaws that they think are necessary or desirable to control and manage the school.
The ability of school boards to impose uniform codes under their general powers of management must be weighed against the right of freedom of expression in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights says that the rights contained within it are not absolute but are subject to limitations that are reasonable in a free and democratic society. Accordingly, the right of students to express themselves is subject to reasonable limitations that are necessary for the management of the school.
Decisions of the courts indicate that they would probably be reluctant to intervene and substitute their own judgement as to what is "reasonable" for that of a school board. In the case of a court challenge to the imposition of compulsory uniforms, it is likely therefore that the courts would defer to the school's decision that this was a legitimate and reasonable measure in the interests of running the school.
However, the particular process by which compulsory uniforms are introduced and the precise contents of a uniform code may be more susceptible to legal challenge on the grounds of unreasonableness.
In more serious cases, a school principal is specifically empowered to stand down a student for several days, or the Board of Trustees may suspend a student for a longer period. In the most serious cases, the board may permanently "exclude" the student (if under 16) or "expel" the student (if 16 or over).
For more detail on these measures, see How to: Stand-downs, suspensions and expulsions from schools.
These grounds of discrimination are:
However, some exceptions apply: see "Discrimination by schools" in How to: Enrolment and attendance at schools.
For how to make a complaint, see How to complain about discrimination to the Human Rights Commission.
Solve your own legal issue cost effectively with these DIY documents
Other related HowTo articles that may be helpful