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Questioning at School

Questioning at school

When a student has done something or is suspected to have done something that the school may think is inappropriate, usually by breaking the school rules, the school will likely question the student to understand what had happened, and whether punishment is needed to enforce the school rules.

This section talks about questioning in the school environment.

What is questioning at school?

Questioning at school normally happens when the school thinks you know about or have done something considered inappropriate or wrong in the school environment.

Most questioning at school will be from a teacher and to do with day-to-day things like school work or attendance. Other times, it may be from someone more senior like a dean or principal, and be about a more serious incident.

At times, a police officer or an MCOT worker may come to school to question you about these issues.

I’m questioned by the guidance counsellor, will they tell other people?

The guidance counsellor is usually there to help you. Their role is to talk through problems you’re having so that you can try and fix them or to help you feel supported emotionally. At your first meeting, it’s a good idea for the guidance counsellor to tell you what will and won’t be private – guidance counsellors have to keep almost everything you tell them confidential unless you tell them someone is in danger or will be in danger. You don’t have to tell them anything, but remember they’re usually trying to help you. If you’re uncertain about your privacy, you should discuss this with the guidance counsellor at your first meeting.

What happens if I’m questioned by the principal, deputy principal or dean?

The principal, deputy principal or dean may question you about misconduct, especially a serious incident of misconduct. There is no law that says that you must answer any questions, but if you decide not to, you could still be disciplined. They can also ask other students and staff about the incident and form an opinion based on that.

While the principal has the power to take you out of class and question you in their office, if you feel upset or uncomfortable, you may ask the principal to contact your parents or someone else to support you. The principal must tell your parents if there are any problems that are negatively affecting your education.

Can the school ask a police officer to question me?

If the school thinks a crime has taken place at or near the school, the police may be called to question any students who might have been involved. The police also may investigate anything that’s happened out of school hours. The police officer may or may not be in uniform. You have extra rights if you are under 17 and being questioned by police as a suspect. Usually, the police is called if something very serious happens, otherwise, it is usually dealt with within the school.

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