Overview

Harris & Company has provided legal advice on a wide range of legal issues to school boards and independent schools in B.C. for decades.

Our employment and labour law advice is informed by our broad and deep knowledge of how boards and schools operate and the importance of a quality education system.

Our role as legal counsel is to assist schools in fulfilling their educational mandate by preventing and solving problems in an efficient and cost-effective manner. We understand the goals schools seek to achieve, and the challenges they face. We know that to assist our school clients in providing quality educational programs for children, we have to understand the unique character of each school community. We regularly travel to communities throughout B.C. and other provinces and territories to provide advice to public, independent, and First Nations school officials and boards.

In addition to the full scope of workplace law services we provide to schools, we provide advice on the School Act, the Independent School Act, and all applicable regulations and ministerial orders. Because we also understand how schools operate, we can provide practical guidance on the legislation and the school environment.

Services

Our Education Law services:

  • Rights and duties of school boards, school officials and school trustees;
  • Rights and duties of students and parents under the School Act and other governing legislation, including parent appeals, special needs student accommodation and student discipline;
  • Defamation issues including defamation on social media;
  • Trademark and copyright issues;
  • Current or historical sexual abuse claims;
  • Trustee elections;
  • Board governance;
  • Conflict of interest;
  • School District Business Corporations;
  • School budgets;
  • Bylaws and policy development;
  • Parliamentary procedure;
  • School fees;
  • Teacher Regulation Branch proceedings;
  • Procurement;
  • Special education;
  • Minority language rights;
  • Codes of conduct;
  • Custody and access issues;
  • Parental rights;
  • Student records;
  • Section 177 orders;
  • School closures; and
  • School calendars.

As the recognized leader in education law in Western Canada, we understand the importance of education. Harris regularly hosts seminars and workshops for our school clients to keep them up to date on new developments in education law. We also offer annual scholarships to students throughout the province to help them to pursue their goals of a higher education.