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: Inappropriate verbal and physical behaviours
Outcome of investigation: Admonishment

The complainant reported that when he entered a classroom on the day he was to move out of the room, he found a teacher colleague forcefully removing items from the walls and tossing classroom furniture across the room. The complainant indicated that when he questioned these actions the member yelled and used inappropriate language. No students were present during the discussion, however non-teaching staff witnessed some of the events.

In his response to the complaint, the member indicated his regret that he had reacted in frustration to the situation. He admitted raising his voice and uttering inappropriate words but stated that, although he did remove items from the walls and move classroom furniture around, he did not do so with the force described by the complainant.

Upon review of the results of the investigation, the panel of the Investigation Committee decided to admonish the member in writing for inappropriate behaviour such as physical aggression, name calling and swearing. The panel reminded the member that teachers are significant role models in our society. The member was also advised not to repeat the behaviours, regardless of motive, to maintain appropriate boundaries and professional relationships within the school community, and to avoid situations that could be interpreted as abusive boundary violations.

Case #2

Complaint: Not taking appropriate action regarding a student’s concern
Outcome of investigation: Not referred

The complainant stated that an administrator, a member of the College, did not take appropriate action when the complainant, a teacher, notified the administrator that a student had reported being pushed by another teacher. The administrator responded to the complaint, indicating that the complainant first informed her of the concern by e-mail on the day before an extended school holiday and that because no students were present in the school the concern could not be investigated. The member also indicated that she had met with the student several times during that month and that the student had not mentioned any such concerns.

As part of the College’s investigation, school staff and students were interviewed. A panel of the Investigation Committee reviewed the information obtained in the investigation and determined that the member had taken appropriate action and that no further action was required.

Case #3

Complaint: Yelling at students and causing students to fall off their chairs
Outcome of investigation: Caution

A parent complained that a member, under the mistaken impression that students were not to be in a room at that time, repeatedly yelled at the students. The parent also stated that while students were gathering their effects to leave the room the member moved students’ chairs, causing the seated students to fall.

In his response, the member indicated that his voice level and tone were appropriate in the circumstances. He stated that he had moved a student’s chair but in an appropriate manner, to prompt the student to leave, and that the student had not fallen.

A panel reviewed the information, including information provided by students who had observed the events. The panel was of the opinion that the allegations involving shouting at students, even if true, did not rise to the level of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.

Regarding the allegations of causing students to fall by moving their chairs, the panel cautioned the member to maintain appropriate boundaries with students and to employ appropriate strategies when dealing with students in challenging situations. The panel also advised the member to exercise good judgment in all circumstances and reminded the member that teachers are significant role models in society.