04/24/2015 11:15 EDT | Updated 07/22/2015 03:59 EDT

Nova Scotia government introduces provincewide school code of conduct

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia is proposing to bring in a new provincewide school code of conduct that would allow principals to suspend students for a longer period without school board consent.

Amendments to the Education Act would increase the time a principal may suspend a student without the board's approval from five to 10 days.

Education Minister Karen Casey says the legislation would also clarify definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and make clear the roles and responsibilities of the Education Department, school boards and schools.

Casey says the new code helps address concerns heard from 19,000 people who responded to a panel on education about disruptions in the classroom and inconsistencies in discipline.

If passed, the changes would replace all school codes of conduct on Sept. 1.