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Backgrounder: Professional Misconduct Related to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct

October 08 2002

Professional Misconduct Related to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct

About the Professional Advisory

  • The College's professional advisory Professional Misconduct Related to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct is an official document approved by the College's Council to explain to members and the public what their professional obligations and responsibilities are in terms of professional misconduct related to sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.
  • The advisory also clarifies the criteria used by the College to enforce legislation.
  • The professional advisory helps inform members by offering practical examples and reflects changes in the law or in professional practice. It also serves as a reminder/refresher for College members.
  • The advisory demonstrates to the public that the profession understands its responsibilities and is assuming them.
  • The advisory underlines for parents and the public the professions commitment to carrying out its responsibilities for student safety.

Why a Professional Advisory?

  • The advisory stems from the recommendations of the Robins Report, the adoption by the Ontario government of the Student Protection Act that came into force September 3 and recent changes in the legislation.
  • The Student Protection Act implements key legislative changes that affect the duties and responsibilities of all members of the College, and affect as well employers of certified teachers in Ontario.
  • The College is committed to ensuring the safety of our students. Our primary concern and the purpose of the advisory is to help members prevent the sexual abuse of students and sexual misconduct.
  • College members want to keep sexual offenders out of the profession. This advisory is one of the actions the College is taking to support that intent.

Student Protection Act Highlights

  • The Ontario government passed The Student Protection Act in June and the act came into force September 3. It affects all members of the College, as well as employers of certified teachers in Ontario, including tutoring services, private schools and school boards.
  • Employers must remove from the classroom a teacher charged with or convicted of a sexual offence with minors, or an offence the employer believes may put students at risk. This includes temporary teachers not licensed by the College working on letters of permission from the Ministry of Education.
  • The act defines "sexual abuse of a student by a member" in the Ontario College of Teachers Act as:
    1. sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the member and a student,
    2. touching, of a sexual nature, of the student by the member, or
    3. behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by the member towards the student.
  • If an employer dismisses a member or restricts his/her duties "for reasons of professional misconduct," they must report this action to College Registrar in writing within 30 days and include reasons for dismissal or restriction.
  • When a member resigns during employers investigation, the employer must report within 30 days in writing to Registrar of the College. The report must include the reasons on which the employer intended to act when the employer believes that the allegations, if proven, would amount to professional misconduct.
  • The College has a reciprocal duty to inform employer of the action and decision it has taken "as soon as is reasonably possible." This information is confidential to the employer and the College.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

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