Governing Ourselves

The College investigates and considers complaints about members that relate to alleged professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. If the Investigation Committee concludes that a complaint does not relate to one of those three matters or is frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process, it does not proceed with the complaint.

Approximately four out of five complaints are not referred to the Discipline Committee but are dismissed or resolved by other means. Examples of cases considered by the Investigation Committee and not referred to a hearing are provided here.


Case #1

Complaint: Injuring a student and not allowing the student to seek assistance for the injury
Outcome of investigation: Written caution

A parent complained that a member had pulled a chair out from underneath her child, causing him to fall and injure his tailbone, and that subsequently the member had not allowed the student to seek help for his injury.

In response, the member stated that when she noticed the student leaning back in his chair such that its front legs were raised from the floor, she asked him several times to sit correctly. When he did not, she put her hand on the back of the chair to gently place the front legs on the floor, and with the student sitting on the chair, she slowly pulled the chair back and asked him to stand up, indicating that he could not use the chair if he could not sit properly. He did not stand up but rolled off the side of the chair and fell to the floor. The member stated that he then yelled at her, said that he wanted to leave the classroom, circulated around the classroom, and at no time indicated that he was injured or in pain.

The panel reviewed the documentation, including information from students who were present who said that the member had pulled the chair out and that the student did not appear to be injured as he walked around the classroom laughing. Information from the local Children's Aid Society, stating that the member had acted inappropriately in pulling out the chair, was also reviewed.

The panel decided not to refer the matter to the Discipline Committee, feeling that the information it received was inconsistent. However, the panel cautioned the member to avoid physical redirection of students and to use appropriate classroom management strategies when dealing with students in challenging situations.

Case #2

Complaint: Not complying with emergency drill procedures
Outcome of investigation: Written caution

Following an employer's notification, the Registrar filed a complaint alleging that a member had not fully complied with safety procedures during the simulation of an emergency and had later admonished students for sharing their concerns with school administration.

In his written response, the member acknowledged that he had not fully complied with the expectations associated with the emergency drill. He explained that he began implementing the safety procedures, for example by locking the classroom door, but could not complete all the required steps as some of the classroom equipment was broken. The member stated that, as a result, he had instructed the students to remain quietly at their desks rather than proceed with the next steps, as those steps were rendered futile due to the faulty equipment. The member also said that he had not admonished students for speaking to the administration but had advised them to share any concerns with him before seeking out the school's administration. The panel thought that, although there were difficulties in meeting the requirements of the drill, the member was responsible for maintaining student safety and implementing alternate safety measures.

The panel also noted that, while the member indicated that he had not aimed to intimidate the students, the school reported that some students felt that he had reprimanded them for taking their concerns to the administration. The panel cautioned the member about properly implementing school safety procedures and communicating with students.

Case #3

Complaint: Prohibiting a parent from attending parent-teacher interviews and inappropriately issuing a trespass notice
Outcome of investigation: Not referred and no further action

The College received a parent complaint stating that a member, a school administrator, had acted inappropriately by telling the parent that he was not welcome at scheduled parent-teacher interview nights and by later issuing an unjustified trespass notice to him in retribution for complaints he had filed against other members at the school.

In her response, the member said she was aware that the complainant had a history of difficult relationships with the school board and its representatives, and that, as a result, his attendance at parent-teacher interviews would be disruptive to staff, parents and students who might be present. However, the complainant was invited more than once to meet at an alternate time with the member and other administrators in lieu of attending the parent-teacher interviews.

As to the trespass notice, the member said the complainant had been observed in a restricted area on school property outside the school and that she had taken action that she deemed necessary to protect the safety of students.

The panel said that, although the complainant was not allowed access to the school on the day of the parent/teacher interviews, other arrangements were made on two separate dates to allow him to obtain information about his child's academic progress. The panel also noted that a telephone conference with the complainant, a superintendent and the member did occur at a later date to allow for the sharing of information about the complainant's son.

The information provided suggested to the panel that the member had appropriate reasons to issue the trespass notice and that there was insufficient information to suggest that the notice was issued because the complainant had filed complaints against other school staff members.