Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More on Youth Records

Back in August, this blog had information on youth records: who can see your youth record and when are youth records destroyed?

Today we bring you some more information about other issues a Youth Record may present.

1) A Youth Record may prevent you from being admitted into another country such as crossing the US-Canada border or flying abroad. If you have a record for drugs, weapons or violent crimes you may be denied access into another country.

2) A Youth Record can seriously affect your immigration status in Canada. If you are a visitor, refugee claimant, or landed immigrant (not a citizen) and you are found guilty or convicted of a crime in Canada, you may face serious consequences, and could be forced to leave Canada. This is a very serious area of law. Contact a lawyer right away if you are arrested. 

3) A Youth Record may prevent you from getting a job. It is not legal for an employer to ask about your youth record. It is legal for an employer to ask for a police record check. If your employer asks for a police record check, you make the request and the information comes to you. It is then up to you if you decide to show it to the employer. Unfortunately, the decision you make may affect your chances of getting a job.

This area of law is complicated. If you have any questions consult a lawyer. 
Who to Contact: 

Lawyer referral service: 

Justice for Children & Youth:
(416) 920-1633 (GTA)or1-866-999-5329

Friday, January 21, 2011

Guest Blogger: Volunteering at the JFCY Benefit!

Last November, JFCY held a benefit to raise funds for valuable programs that assist youth. We publicized the event on the JFCY blog here.

Guest Blogger Tracy Chen, a third-year Ryerson Journalism student volunteered at the JFCY Benefit and writes about her experience below. We'd like to thank all our volunteers and hope that all who attended enjoyed the event!

 It was a great night of live music as the Gladstone Hotel was filled with people who were there to support Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY). 

Some of the talented musicians were Jen Schaffer and the Shiners, Bidiniband, Jack Connolly and the New Bend. There was also a silent auction with many generous donations of artwork, tickets and books. 

As the JFCY volunteer, I spent the night greeting guests at the door and wrapping up the lovely artwork that the supporters had won. I got to meet some people that allow JFCY to have invaluable programs such as Street Youth Legal Services and youth engagement. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and I hope more youth come to the event next year. 


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Topic in the News: Bullying

Our last post, we had a guest blogger write on the topic of bullying. This is a topic that is often in the news. Here some very interesting articles from people who were bullied and a short video by Rick Mercer on the topic of bullying! Take a look!

An Incredible Life Waits Beyond the Bullying

Lawsuits Question Schools Responses to Bullying

Rick Mercer Rant - Bullying - It Gets Better

Monday, January 3, 2011

Guest Blogger Yasmin Rajabi on School Bullying

Yasmin is a grade 10 student in Toronto and a volunteer member of JFCY's Public Legal Education Committee.  She has written a blog on bullying. 

Consider Yasmin’s scenario:

Harry’s books were once again knocked out of his hands. His heartbeat sped up and his palms became slippery with sweat. “Move, this hallway isn’t for losers,” Tom sneered at Harry.  Harry was pushed aside roughly as Tom pushed past him.  Tom walked a couple of steps before turning back. “I better not see you in this hallway again or else…” Harry’s stomach filled with dread…what was he supposed to do?

Harry decided to ignore Tom's threats, it's not like he would go through them, right?

Harry got home that day and checked his Facebook account, waiting for his cousin Phil to come online. With a sense of dread Harry noticed that Tom was online. The chat bar opened.

Tom: “You're such a loser Harry, no wonder you don't have any friends. Why don't you just help us all and not show your face around school anymore.  Otherwise, there could be trouble for you…”

Harry logged off after reading Tom's message. He didn't want to be scared anymore, he felt that he had to do something. He decided to tell someone.

The next day Tom was called to the office by his Vice-Principal, Mr. Vandelay, who said:

"Tom, Harry has been telling me that you've been bullying him inside and outside of school. I’m going to have to suspend you…"

Legal Information on Bullying from JFCY:

Here is some general legal information about bullying.  For specific advice, contact a lawyer!

Education Law Issues: Students have the right to feel safe at school and learn in an environment that is free of harassment. As a result, school principals have the legal power to impose discipline on students who bully other students, teachers and school staff. Sometimes students who bully others can be suspended or expelled for their conduct.  Bullies can sometimes be disciplined for conduct that takes place away from school—such as online on Facebook—if there is evidence that the conduct makes another person feel unsafe at school or otherwise impacts the school climate.

Criminal Law Issues: In most cases, school Principals will contact the police if the bullying involves violence or a threat to the safety and security of the student or others at the school.  Bullying can sometimes lead to criminal charges, such as assault, uttering threats and criminal harassment. Sometimes the criminal charges can lead to a situation where the police and/or the Court will prohibit the bully from going back to the school. This can sometimes be the case even if the bully was not suspended or expelled. 

If you are a youth and require more information on legal issues relating to bullying, school discipline and criminal law, please contact JFCY at 416.920.1633 or toll-free at 1.866.999.5329 to speak with a lawyer.