Teachers’ Licensing Body Issues Advisory on Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct
October 08 2002
October 8, 2002 (Toronto) – The professional body responsible for licensing
Ontario teachers has issued a new advisory to the profession that defines clearly
what constitutes sexual abuse and heightens awareness of the issue.
"The teaching profession itself is the driving force behind this effort
to ensure that students are safe in the care of Ontario teachers," said
College Chair Larry M. Capstick. "The profession, through the College,
wants to deal with inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature in a decisive and
The College Council decided to develop the professional advisory – Professional
Misconduct Related to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct – following
the publication of the Robins Report – Protecting Our Students. The
report led to the adoption of the Student Protection Act by the Ontario
government, which came into force September 3.
"The feedback we received following the release of the Robins Report
on sexual misconduct made it clear that the teaching profession wants clear
guidelines when it comes to inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature and the
College Council wholeheartedly endorses that direction," said Capstick.
The College’s professional advisory describes what may constitute sexual abuse,
sexual harassment and sexual relationships in light of the Student Protection
Act, the Ontario College of Teachers Act and the College’s Professional
Misconduct Regulation. It also provides examples of situations that teachers
should avoid or consider carefully.
The advisory is the first issued by the College in its five years of operation. "It’s
part of the job of a licensing body – and a number of professions like doctors
and nurses have issued similar advisories on a wide range of issues related
to professional conduct, knowledge and skills," said College Registrar
"There are a number of issues about which members of the teaching profession
have indicated they would like their College to provide guidance. We were able
to develop this advisory because there is such unanimity within the profession
on this issue. This type of conduct is just unacceptable to teachers."
The College is embarking on a provincial tour of 15 cities across Ontario
to get the message out to educators and the public about the professional advisory.
The College’s 184,000 members will also receive the advisory in their December
issue of Professionally Speaking, the College’s magazine. The advisory
is also posted on the College web site at www.oct.ca.
The College will also take the opportunity to provide teachers, administrators
and the public with information about the provisions of the Student Protection
Act and their responsibilities under it.
The act strengthens reporting requirements between the College and employers
to prevent teachers who have been disciplined for, charged with or convicted
of a sexual offence involving minors from moving from board to board or school
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