Halton School Board and Transportation Service amend transportation policies and procedures to address parents' disabilities

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - A human rights matter was settled involving a single parent's request to move her children's school bus stop closer to her home, owing to her disabilities.

The Halton District School Board and Halton Student Transportation Services agreed to add a school bus stop closer to the family home.   They also agreed to amend their transportation policies and procedures respectively to accommodate parents with similar needs.

The settlement followed a rare interim decision issued by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in February 2013.   The Tribunal ordered Halton Student Transportation Services to pick up the children closer to home.  Associate Chair David Wright wrote "The loss of a year of junior kindergarten, or unnecessarily missing portions of grade two, is something that can never be replaced."

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre represented the mother with regard to her human rights application.  The Centre's lawyer, Clara Matheson, spoke for the mother (who has not been named to protect her children`s identities). "We hope that school boards and school transportation authorities across the province will follow Halton's lead."

The Ontario Human Rights Commission intervened to develop solutions that could be used by school boards across the province.  OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall praised the settlement:   "Students across Ontario have the right to use school bus services without discrimination because of disabilities or other Code-related needs that they or their parents or guardians may have."

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides free legal support to people across Ontario whose human rights under Ontario's Human Rights Code have been violated.

SOURCE: Human Rights Legal Support Centre

For further information:

Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre

416-597-4958, mobile: 416-522-5931

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