Ontario College of Teachers to Review Report on Sexual Abuse
April 07 2000
TORONTO - The Ontario College of Teachers will pay close attention
to the recommendations of the report by former judge Sydney L. Robins on sexual
abuse in Ontario Schools. The report, Protecting Our Students: A Review
to Identify and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in Ontario Schools, was released
today by Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty.
"The College has put in place an open and efficient process to deal with sexual
abuse and implemented a rigorous professional misconduct regulation since it
opened in 1997," said College Chair Donna Marie Kennedy. "We have also put
in place a criminal record check policy for all new members of the College.
School boards are obligated under the Ontario College of Teachers Act to
inform the College of any criminal conviction of a teacher for a sexual offense
involving a minor. The College notes the recommendation that the reporting
responsibilities of school boards be more explicitly defined.
"The creation of the College has opened up the disciplinary process and allowed
the public to be informed and protected. Our disciplinary hearings are public
and we publish disciplinary decisions in Professionally Speaking, the
College's magazine, and on our web site. The decisions are also noted on the
College's public registry, allowing employers to verify the status of teachers
with the College.
"The College received the report today and will carefully review the 39 recommendations
that deal with the College's code of ethics, investigation and discipline procedures
and the relationship between the College and other stakeholders. The College
is prepared to work with all the parties to ensure that schools are safe places
for children, adolescents and young adults."
Since 1997, the College has revoked the teaching certificates of 26 teachers mostly
for sexual misconduct and suspended three others. Teachers who have their
certificates revoked are barred from teaching in publicly funded schools in
Ontario and the College shares that information with education authorities
across Canada, the U.S. and overseas.
The College received about 15 complaints of sexual nature in 1999.
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