Legal Information for Everyone: The LIFE Podcast

Crossovers: Unpacking Intersections in Legal Spheres

Episode Summary

Today Sabrina and Merima meet up with Alex Battick to chat about his project "Hamilton Education Law Program (HELP)". Join us as we engage in a discussion that focuses on the different aspects associated with Education Law in the Province of Ontario, the weaving links between Education, Family and Housing law, and some of the complications of implementing access to justice for all.

Episode Transcription

 

Links mentioned in this episode

Link to information piece done at SPRC on Aboriginal Homelessness and Intergenerational Trauma: http://www.sprc.hamilton.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Intergenerational_Trauma_and_Aboriginal_Homelessness_2017.pdf

One Vision One Voice: http://www.oacas.org/what-we-do/onevisiononevoice/

 

Transcript Begins

Merima Menzildzic: Welcome to Legal Information for Everyone: The LIFE Podcast.  

Sabrina Sibbald: We are your hosts Sabrina, and Merima, and together we work on legal education projects at the Social Planning and Research Council based in the City of Hamilton.

M: The City of Hamilton sits on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Anishinaabe nations who have shared and protected this land for thousands of years. 

S: We encourage you to take a look at the link that we have shared at the beginning of the transcript for this episode—it includes more information about the ongoing effects of Canada’s colonial present and history, including racism, discrimination and intergenerational trauma. This report was published at the Social Planning & Research Council in 2017. 

M: On this episode, we have a conversation with Alex Battick, a lawyer and coordinator at the Hamilton Education Law Program. We learn information about this program, which aims to connect families to information about their legal rights and responsibilities within the education system. We hope you enjoy!

S: While financially supported by The Law Foundation of Ontario, the Social Planning & Research Council is solely responsible for all content. 

M: The information contained in this podcast is also not a substitute for legal advice and also may change as laws are updated. We are not liable for changing information.

Alex Battick: My name is Alex Battick. And I am the Hamilton Education Law Program (HELP) Coordinator at Empowerment Squared.

S: Okay, so Alex, thanks so much for joining us today. It's great to have you on the show. And can you tell us a little bit about the work that you do?

A: Yeah, I am a practicing lawyer. I work with the HELP Program to provide legal information to families, students, organizations about common issues in the school system that might have legal implications. So, the work of the Hamilton Education Law Program is to essentially provide a means of access to justice regarding educational issues by informing and empowering different stakeholders in the system.

S: Wonderful. Is there anything else you wanted to add about what the Hamilton Education Law Program is who it intends serve, and what its purpose is?

A: So the Hamilton Education Law Program is essentially empowering community members, students and their families. If they have a common—one of the common issues in schools, they can understand how best to approach it, so as to provide options before any legal implications may arise. So for example, a suspension, perhaps being familiar with the rules and responsibilities might prevent an instance where suspensions might occur or expulsions may occur and the legal ramifications of that from happening.

M: In keeping with that conversation, what are some of the main issues and questions that you see families having?

A: Yeah, some of the main issues in questions or concerns that families have..it varies, but some… one of the top things is special education. A lot of families experience challenges with the school system and providing special education accommodations for their child. And there's so many levels of… in which these issues come up, for example, you might have the school that feel that they are not able to accommodate a student. However, while that is challenge…challengeable, it might be a more systemic issue. It might be an issue that the Ministry of Education is better suited to address because school boards are allocated a certain amount of funds. So it's very challenging in that regard.

But something I think a lot more—an issue that many more families may face, may be things like truancy, missing school, habitual absence. What are the consequences of that? What are even the responsibilities that students and their families have as it relates to attending classes, or suspensions and expulsions, which, for certain groups in society, they may experience that more so than others.  Research has shown that young black students experience suspensions and expulsions at a disproportionate rate. So that is something that affects that population. There are variety of issues for sure. And I think the challenge is informing people of all these issues. They may not be fully aware how it affects them, but certainly it affects a lot of people throughout society.

S: In areas of law that we encounter, so family law and housing law, we find that there can be a gap between accessing legal information and families being able to see results from applying this information to their lives. So, this question is twofold: what do find are some barriers for families in accessing legal information, and what are some barriers that families face in terms of accessing justice?

A: I think one of the barriers for families accessing information is… in the school system at least is that it's almost as if it's so hidden…this and the understanding of rights and responsibilities… it's not a conversation that is approached like very confidently. I don't know. I guess understandably, the hesitation is liability and stuff like that. But at the same time, one of the reasons the Hamilton Education Law Program exists is because in an effort to build better collaboration between students, families in the school system, one would hope that understanding your rights but your responsibilities as well, would allow for better communication if issues arise. 

So in the context of accessing justice, or how this looks in reality, and why it's a challenge for many families on a day to day basis, I think it's because there's no real conversation about the fact that legal implications may occur or these very common issues of from day to day have far reaching consequences. For example, a simple incident at school winds up on your Ontario student record. The consequence of that could potentially be labeling, for those familiar with it the label that you are maybe a bad or negative student may be used against you for a suspension later on. So things like that have implications and to be better informed is to be more cognizant of how you conduct yourself and how you can work with the school in the future. So to sum up,  I think one of the challenges for sure is just this hesitation towards talking about the law in school.

Do you mean a hesitation on the part of schools to talk about legal information with parents? 

A: Yeah, I think the school boards in general or the school system–there isn't this kind of branch or arm or understanding within it to inform the students and their families about certainly what their responsibilities are. And that's conveyed in things like an agenda and stuff but it's also not like, like putting your face like, “here, make sure you acknowledge that these are the rules.” But also, there's a very, very the I think schools, school boards shy away from explaining your rights as well. And I think many students and families could benefit from understanding what their rights would be, especially if we're considering student success and what that means understanding your rights to having an education, going to school, challenging a decision by the school certainly speaks to the larger theme of student success. So, yeah, the school board I think, would it be in their interests, I think as well as students’ interest for them to inform all the population that they serve about the rights and responsibilities owed from them and students.

S: So you mentioned the right to attend school as an example of a right that families might not be aware of; what are some other rights that people might not be aware of?

A: [08:00] It depends on what the context is, what the issue you're facing, for sure. There are many different types of issues that can arise in schools, and your rights to those are varying. For example, for a suspension, you have a right to get a letter outlining what the suspension includes, how long are you out of school, so on and so forth. But also as it relates to student discipline, the right to progressive discipline, the idea that you can't go zero to 100 in disciplining a student. But even if there is a valid reason for discipline, there's also factors that must be considered before disciplining students. So we're families often find in, you can find instances of kids being suspended at age like 6, 5—the fact that young children are being suspended when the law literally allows for you to consider things like their age or their ability to foresee consequences and things like that, that is very relevant to a family's ability to advocate for their child. And the consequences, like I said before about it being on your student record, is that this snowballs in the long term, those suspensions can be used against them in the future. So when it comes to the rights [10:00] that parents or students should be informed about. As it relates to student discipline, I think it's just the whole gamut of it. The fact that there are so many rights that you are owed, but not necessarily directly told about them. Yeah. And that's your student discipline there. There are many different unique issues that arise that have their own rights that would be attached to it. Yeah.

S: Where can parents go to find out more information about legal rights and responsibilities within the school system?

A: Yeah, so the first… so students and families can actually head over to different resources online to find more information about these different legal issues that may arise from common challenges in school. There's a website called justice for children youth, jfcy.org where it is quite a huge resource for all these different student issues. But there are several other websites that also speak on these different challenges and how to overcome them. But for the Hamilton Education Law Program, we also talk about special education, bullying and harassment, suspensions, expulsions, and of course, the right to attend school. 

S: Can you talk a bit more about what families could expect if they want to get more legal information by attending one of your workshops? 

Alex Battick: We try to do more of those practical solution-based kind of outcomes, like how do we address a suspension? Or how do we address an expulsion? Or special education need? How do we make that make that known and what are the steps from there? Whilst, for students, it's not necessarily about coaching them into how to resolve these situations, but familiarizing them with the different issues that are common to their peers or are in schools. So they become familiar with it, and hopefully, if they're ever able to identify it, they can raise it with an adult, a trusted adult and that adult, hopefully after they've been informed as well and may know how to go ahead and deal with that situation.

Merima Menzildzic: One thing that we encounter in the Tools for Tenant Rights initiative and Family Learning Project is that many families might not see that the spaces they’re entering have different legal implications—such as when dealing with a landlord, or with respect to a parent’s responsibilities to a child. And then when families do encounter an issue and find that there are legal implications, and there is this whole legal framework embedded within the schooling system, or any kind of social sphere, then there is a mistrust that can understandably develop. Is this something that you have encountered for families with respect to the education system?

A: For sure. So I think the starting point for that is even me growing    up in the education system until I became a lawyer doing a lot of this work, I had no idea about some of these rules to begin with. So for families that are newcomers or just not fully appreciative of the law and how it intersects with education system, there is a real kind of blindfold there, just being able to interact with a school and not knowing that there are consequences for your behaviors, whether or not that's positive or negative. So for families that might encounter an issue, and may not deal with it appropriately, they can find that there is some backlash from it. 

M: Can you give an example of a situation?

Alex: So yes, if I were to think about hypothetical situation I imagine parent challenging a school for, let's say the curriculum, they are unaware of how schools and the curriculum work together, they might be very upset with a teacher for teaching a specific issue in, a specific topic in school. And that might escalate. Without knowing or understanding and fully appreciating how the education system is structured the way in which curriculum is actually dictated and informed. You may not realize that the teacher is not the best person to speak to about that issue or the principal. 

M: What do you think parents can do to familiarize themselves with general legal implications within the school system and how they can navigate issues that come up?  

A: Understanding that the… it's a system as well that has a lot of moving parts stakeholders in it. There are many different roles. And I think that is part of understanding the legality of the education system, understanding who has what powers to do what. So informing a family about just the structure of the education system may help them realize that maybe your trustees the best person advocate for you when it comes to the curriculum, or maybe you should write your own letter to the Ministry of Education to have informed them that you don't believe this topic is the most appropriate or whatever the case may be. But being more informed these different things allow for families to work with the school system I think, to better and more appropriately address a lot of the student issues are and ultimately help students with their success.

M: Do you know of any resources within the school system that can address different needs that people have in order to enable even the discussion or delivery of legal information? For example, if there's a language barrier, or if there's a barrier to putting food on the table or paying rent?

A: I don't know if I know of any legal kind of programming that is in conjunction with any schools—there actually might be some in Toronto, for students to just learn more about a law, maybe garner their interest kind of thing—but nothing to support the legal kind of issues that families, especially newcomers, may face. So that is an obvious gap, I think, especially if we are to consider that schools play a much larger role than just holding kids for the day and teaching them some new stuff. The school certainly has a social element to it. And if we can acknowledge that families may need a student, a child to be babysat after school, to engage in programming for health and fitness and all that stuff, certainly we should acknowledge that a part of the totality of an individual and have families to also provide for the legal needs that may arise. 

So it'd be very interesting to see schools try to partner with different programming or organizations to better address the needs of families [20:00]. And when you think of newcomer families, they have many of these different legal challenges that almost directly correlate with students, whether it's a family law issue or a landlord tenant issue. It certainly would be helpful if the school were able to provide resources.

S: So what I'm hearing from you is that it would be nice to have some sort of consistent delivery so that parents, regardless of what school board they're in, are able to access legal information that is necessary to their child's success as they're moving through the system. Now, I want to jump back to something that Merima mentioned a few minutes ago, which was mistrust. And I think that also relates to with what you were saying earlier Alex, about how racialized students especially black youth, are more likely to receive disciplinary action—and more extreme disciplinary action—within schools. Can you expand on this a bit, as well as discuss what can students can do if they feel like they have been unfairly disciplined because of racism or another form of discrimination within the school system? 

A: Yeah, so mistrust in students or families may come back to, I think, broader issues of systemic injustices. And certainly, things like a suspension and expulsion on a systemic level are more symptomatic of larger issues. So for example, students that are…. black students who are suspended more often than other groups of students, it may be the result of a lack of cultural and anti-oppressive, anti-racist kind of training in schools. How do school boards address that? It's an interesting point and if you're familiar with some of the school boards in the past few years that have actually undergone some of the what the ministry calls a review of some of the systemic issues that are going on. There is very credible information to suggest that these symptoms, the lack of accommodations for special needs students, or rather, disproportionate rates of suspension or expulsion are directly correlated with systemic problems coming from higher up in the boards or even at the Ministry level. So when it comes to the mistrust, of course, it's there for many families, how do they manage that situation? It's hard to really manage something that's systemic. Certainly your individual child might be able to escape some of the issues that they find themselves play with or your systemic, your situation might just be very… what's the word I'm looking for? One situation might be very vulnerable and allow for the systemic issues to have a more detrimental impact on that individual. For example, a student who… a black student who is from a low income family, and is suspended because of those disproportionate rates and arguably, biased decisions, they could be completely turned off of the trajectory or life course that they may have had the potential to be in. So, I think, in the school board, the ministry is actually taking steps to address some of these things, from my understanding, whether or not they can put out all the different fires across Ontario at the same time. I don't know if they are going to be doing that. But certainly, I think they're taking it one school board at a time so far.

When it comes things like special education and the issues that families who need accommodations for students in school, that is for sure ministry problem, I think the way in which budgets are allocated; I think that certainly needs to be explored at those higher levels for a solution. But yeah, back to the individual students and the families that encounter these challenges. There are step by step things that they can do. Whether or not it's super effective is on a case by case basis for sure. Simply because all situations are different, but also because some students are more vulnerable than others. For families who have more resources, they can certainly find themselves out of that situation. But for those who don't have the resources or for students who don't have in a supportive adult in their lives or in their family, it becomes a much more difficult system to get out of.

S We see that too when we’re working within Family Law: families might come to the attention of the system because of a biased report or decisions and that how many resources they have, like if they’re able to connect with an interpreter, really affects how they navigate the system. So, there’s definitely many parallels between what families experiences within the education system and the family law system, and of course, the housing system. So that’s why I’m so appreciative that we’re all able to sit together and explore the overlaps. 

M: I think this idea that is problematic is this idea just knowing your rights and knowing your responsibilities is sufficient at addressing an issue, especially when there exists a mistrust that might act as a barrier from people seeking help or trying to act on their rights. I mean it isn’t enough to just think about your rights within a given context, you actually need to feel like you’re able to put them in practise but if you don’t feel like that will end well for you, then there can be some difficulty with actually being able to do so. 

A: Yeah, I think also one of the mistrust is a big factor for sure, but I think almost the opposite of that, as well as this reliance and trust in the idea that the school is a moral authority; schools, teachers, principals can't be wrong, or they just generally speaking, want what's best for your child. I think that's also determines a lot of the success of students as well. And some of the issues that arise come from not fully understanding or appreciating that although the school does work in the best interests of all children, sometimes the group can have a very direct and different kind of relationship against the individual. So there's always, I think, going to be that tension, the individual versus the collective group, especially when it comes to maintaining some rights and as a student in school, and families may… they're certainly not made aware of it, but it's definitely a conversation that always needs to be had. Whenever [28:00] you start to think about what is best for your child in these situations, in many instances, you probably will have what's in the best interest of your child. Whereas the school, their duty is to make sure that all children are being looked after. And that can have a lot of conflicts that pop up.

S: When we run workshops with newcomer families, we talk about potential steps you can take if you’re approached by the Children’s Aid Society, such as let the worker know if you need an interpreter, and to ask for the business card of the worker to make sure that you can contact them. Of course, things change depending on the situation. Do you have general tips or pointers for parents who are trying to navigate an issue for their children within the school system?

A: Yes, I have a lot of tips for families. But I think the number one thing I would, almost as a disclaim I would want to share is that although in this program what I do is to inform families and students about their rights and responsibilities. It's often seen as a very adversarial kind of approach, when that's actually counterintuitive to what you would want to be doing and working with the schools. So I think I always start off by saying, you are…. your child at least has a relationship with that school, with the teachers there, the principal there, they're probably going to be there for at least a few years. So that means you've been dealing with these people for at least a few years. And with that said, you always have to remember that although you have rights and responsibilities and you want to enforce those rights that you are owed, it's still a collaborative relationship that you have with those schools. So that means that any discussions going in with the school about particular issues should be worked out in a way that appreciates and fully understands that you’re a team trying to solve a problem together. Certainly the school… schools have many problems, many issues that need to be addressed , but it becomes a little bit difficult when it's adversarial. And I can completely appreciate why schools would need things like a lawyer when other lawyers come in to represent families. But when you start to involve the legal system, I don't think it's best suited for addressing some of these very, almost intimate kind of details around a child's life, it becomes a little bit more difficult to have progressive kind of solutions put forward when you come from it from an adversarial perspective. So for families, for sure, just to approach the situations in a very teamwork-oriented kind of way while still acknowledging appreciating your rights and responsibilities. So with that said, Yeah, you want to make sure that you have, you are able to document things, make sure that you can get the appropriate documents to rely on, but you also want to arm yourself with the rules and responsibilities that would be owed to the school and ensure that your child is able to follow those rules and responsibilities. When it comes to things like the special education accommodations system in place at schools, you, there, there are so many rules surrounding that. And it may be best to touch base with some resources that can best inform you of how to proceed. There's—the education system is so big, and there's so many different issues that come into play. There's also a lot of things that you might have to be aware of before addressing some of those issues, none of which I could explain all of this short podcast, but certainly there are allies and resources out there for families to check in with and gather some more information. So that would probably be on the list of things to do if you want to work with the school.

S: I am glad that you brought the teamwork approach. It's something that is suggested when working with the Children’s Aid Society—acknowledging that—as much as you want to be adversarial, you do have to have kind of a collaborative relationship to resolve the issue. That being said, sometimes families encounter situations where, you know, the other part of the team, such as the school board or the Children’s Aid Society, is being discriminatory, for example. So, when do you think families might want to consider speaking to a lawyer? Or what other next steps might they be able to take?

Alex Battick: So another tool I think families have in their arsenal is the idea of escalation. So it's...it's a tool because one on one hand, you want to make sure you're working with the school, like we mentioned, but also it acknowledges that there are higher authorities to the individual that you're dealing with, and if that issue can't be sorted out at that level, escalate it to the next one, escalate until you exhaust it. Now being familiar with the system would mean knowing and understanding who you'd escalate specific issues to. So certainly once you're able to develop that understanding, you'll be able to use escalation as a part of your tool belt. But when you would call a lawyer in is probably when you've exhausted all options—the escalation brings you to the highest individual who might be able to address that situation and you still feel that no solution to your issue is able to be reached. A lawyer would be able to help you understand your rights as it relates to that situation. And certainly, I would suggest speaking to a lawyer if you do believe that your rights have been directly impacted, just to even get advice whether or not that means [34:00] involving them as a different story. And certainly on a case by case basis as well, you want to kind of determine whether or not you want to escalate it to a lawyer’s involvement. But having advice after escalating through all those different channels is definitely a route one would want to consider.

Merima Menzildzic: On the topic of knowing where and how to escalate a concern, which is something important within the area of housing as well, it isn't always clear who the people are that are in a position responsible for those escalations. Are there any tools you know of that people can access if they want to know where they can escalate the problem to?

A: So in terms of tools for determining who you would escalate to, the Ministry of Education provides you with a list of roles for individuals in the system itself. So it starts off with students and students having the responsibility showing up to class, doing tests, exams, all the way up to the top to the government, whose role it is to make education laws in place. So it outlines what each stakeholders’ role is within that system. Understanding the roles will help you to determine who you can best identify for a specific issue. Now when it comes to understand or learning all the roles available to you [36:00], like I said, the Ministry of Education, but also the School Board trustees. I believe they have a website where you can learn more about trustees but also becomes a little bit more clear about what are the different roles within School Boards. And it also shows kind of a hierarchy, I believe, within School Boards that you'd be able to reference as well. Some School Boards have even taken on the task of kind of making diagrams, I can't remember which board but they have made a diagram about I think it was a four quarter kind of image with four different issues. And in those different quarters, they kind of listed who you can raise those issues with. So super helpful for families who may have a specific issue but don't know who to go to. And having… having something like that, at all school boards would be very beneficial for the communities they serve, but I can't think of which School Board I did see that at I don't know if the ministry or the School Board trustee’s website provides something similar to that. But they will show you on those websites the different roles in the School Board as well as the responsibilities of those roles which will definitely be informative for families who are looking for a touch point.

M: Do you know of specific legal clinics that people can go for support on these issues?

A: There are some Legal Clinics, some specialty Legal Clinics that will address some issues that relate to specific groups of people. The specific Legal Clinic I think of is Justice for Children and Youth that address a wide range of school issues that students experience. Black Legal Action Clinic, I believe is the Ontario's Legal Clinic that is, their mandate is to basically address systemic anti-black racism. So for students that experience anti-black racism in school, that would be a touch point for them. 

Sabrina Sibbald: And one great resource, of course, are the workshops that you run for students and families through the Hamilton Education Law Program. Where can people go to learn more about the program? 

A: So people can visit empowermentsquared.org to learn more about the Hamilton Education Law Program. You'll find dates of upcoming sessions, as well as links to resources there as well.

S: Well, we're so appreciative that you come. Is there anything that you think is important to end with and that you want to share that you didn't get to say?

A: Well, I think I want to ask you guys, what is the intersection between landlord tenant law and family law with education law that you have observed?

S: I find that often times, families who have concerns about navigating child protection expectations are often also frustrated with the process of navigating other legal systems—such with respect to housing and schooling. And this often comes down to an issue of access: access in terms of having legal information that talks about navigating these systems. But it also comes down to an issue of access in terms of being able to access resources that make it possible to actually apply what they law says into their everyday lives—sure, the law says that inadequate supervision could lead to a form of harm or risk due to an omission by the caregiver—but having this knowledge doesn’t help families who are isolated without a support system, or who cannot afford childcare. Or sure, knowing that you have certain rights as a tenant does not make it easier for families who have tried to voice their concerns with their landlord but have not received any follow up. And issues within housing law or education law can become another reason that families might come to the attention of the Children’s Aid System.

M: Building on that, I think something that sticks out to me a lot of the time is what comes with moments of crisis. Losing your housing might have impacts on your ability to meet other needs – and the reason for why you’ve lost housing might be impacted by your inability to fund many different needs at a time. To say that displacement from home doesn’t impact how a child behaves in school, or responds to not having a lunch because the family is trying to secure their housing, is missing the relatedness of our lives, but especially the lives of children. I think there is sometimes a disconnect in that sense – and a child’s actions might be interpreted as being rude or upsetting, when in reality, they are dealing with the loss of housing, or food, or whatever the case may be. 

A:  I think; you bring up a good point as well. But for better or worse, I think schools treat students the same. Yeah. So if you're in a class, a guy, sure, I was next to someone who was much lower income than me at some point in school, and I would never have had any idea in the way they experienced school and I experienced school, but that might be for the worse in the sense that they might be going through a lot and maybe they were just displaced or going to be displaced to your point. And how does that impact their ability to do well in school? Or how does that impact the way in which they manage school on a day to day basis? That's, yeah, interesting to me and school being a more of a social sphere, for sure, to your point needs to involve and encompass how these different elements of life that have such a clear impact on students, how does that integrate with the school and just not kind of remove it from the equation?

S: That becomes especially salient too when acknowledge that teachers are one of the main mandated reporters that contact the Children’s Aid Society about a child who has been harmed or is at likely risk of harm. If mandated reporters are applying their own personal version of what “good parenting” looks like, and what maltreatment looks like, then they can bring families to attention of the system for something that is not harm at all, but could actually just a cultural difference, for example. At the same time, we do know that mandated reporters, including within schools, very much don’t treat kids the same; for example, the One Vision One Voice initiative has found that Black families are more likely to be reported to the Children’s Aid Society than White families, even though there is no significant difference in the overall incidence of child maltreatment.  This again is very similar to things that we have talked about within education law—I think there's so much overlap between education law, family law and housing law. They just really do feed into each other. 

M: I mean, people's lives aren't neatly separated like: this is a housing issue, that is dissociated or disjointed from the food accessibility issue. And so, on and so forth. And I think we run into problems for how we support people when these issues are separated. 

S: Ideally, interventions would be more family-focused and deliberatley tend to these overlaps. And I think that's what we're trying to do by meeting and talking together.

M: And enforcing rights isn’t always practical or affordable. It doesn’t feel as simple as knowing what the law is – it’s  figuring out what you can afford to respond to at the moment, and it will usually be to ensure you have those basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and not necessarily getting expensive legal advice.

Alex Battick:  So, I think that's a great point, the practicality of enforcing your rights is often not practical at all, especially for some issues when it comes to education. For example, if you've been suspended for one day, certainly you don't want that on your Ontario student record, but for a family that might not have the resources to either advocate for themselves or… or hire someone to advocate for them. They face a real challenge of: is it worth doing this? 

Sabrina Sibbald: So, we’re going to turn it back to you now, Alex. Is there anything you want to say that you didn’t get to say?

A: Yeah, what I would close with is that we can strengthen the collaboration between the communities and the schools, I believe,  if we empower students and families to fully appreciate their rights and responsibilities in school.

Merima Menzildzic: Thank you so much for joining us today Alex. We really appreciate all the time you’ve taken to come out and this great conversation. We hope our listeners heard something that spoke to them. If you have any feedback, comments or questions, please feel free to contact us through email. See you next time. 

 

End of the Interview Transcription