Hearings

Three-member panels of the Discipline Committee conduct public hearings into cases of alleged incompetence or professional misconduct. The panels are a mix of elected and appointed Council members. Members found guilty of incompetence or professional misconduct may have their certificate revoked, suspended or limited. In professional misconduct matters only, the committee may also reprimand, admonish or counsel the member, impose a fine, order the member to pay costs or publish the order in Professionally Speaking.

Discipline Committee panels have ordered that summaries of these recent disciplinary cases be published in Professionally Speaking. Copies of the full decisions are available at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.

Also available online are decisions and memorandums of agreement ratified by Investigation Committee panels that explicitly stipulate that documents will be made available through the College’s library or Quicklaw, a legal subscription service, or other means.

Hearings

Member: Albert Wierenga
Registration No: 148259
Decision: Suspension, reprimand, conditions

A Discipline Committee panel suspended the certificate of Albert Wierenga, a teacher at a private school in Newmarket, for inappropriate physical interactions with students and for making comments with sexual overtones about former students on Facebook.

Wierenga, who was certified to teach in June 1979, did not attend the October 11, 2012, hearing, nor was he represented by a lawyer.

In the fall of 2008, Wierenga knelt in front of a student and made a slashing motion across the front of her knees to indicate where her skirt length should have been. In doing so, he may have touched her knee.

In February 2009, while performing uniform checks, Wierenga touched the jaw of a student, asking if she had gum in her mouth. A school administrator verbally cautioned him as a result.

Wierenga was also found to have put his hands on the hips of a student attempting a 12-foot horizontal climb so she could successfully finish, and put another student across his knee as if to spank her after she swept dirt in his path while voluntarily cleaning nearby sheep farms.

Between November 2009 and September 2010, Wierenga posted comments to Facebook about former students who had gone on to university. For example, he referred to a former female student as “babe,” used the term “going commando” and referred to a picture of a former student and her boyfriend kissing as “an anaconda and crocodile struggling to swallow each other.”

The member retired from the school in October 2010.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of College counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found Wierenga guilty of professional misconduct.

The panel ordered Wierenga’s certificate suspended for a month, directed him to face the panel for a reprimand and ordered him to complete a course on professional boundaries at his own expense.

Information about the disciplinary action appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Robert Louis Pickering
Registration No: 388472
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of Robert Louis Pickering, a private school teacher in connection with a criminal conviction for sexual assault against two female students.

Certified in June 1982, Pickering did not attend the October 16, 2012 hearing nor was he represented.

The panel heard evidence that the member befriended the first student, who saw him as a father and/or brother-like figure and a source of comfort. As time passed and when no one was around, Pickering gave her little nudges, which progressed to hugs and then kisses, first on the cheek and then the lips. The student recalled a couple occasions where he fondled her breasts and asked her to have sexual intercourse. She declined.

Pickering taught at the school when the second student attended. One night, he kissed, groped and engaged in sexual touching with her. The relationship continued with most encounters happening on school property, but also included sexual intercourse in his car.

In December 2010, York Regional Police charged Pickering with sexual assault against the first student and sexual assault and touching a young person for a sexual purpose regarding the second student. Pickering pleaded guilty and was found guilty on two counts of sexual assault in 2011. The charges of seducing and touching were withdrawn. In May of 2011, he was given a two-year conditional sentence, including one year of house arrest followed by three years of probation.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof and the submissions of College counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found Pickering guilty of professional misconduct and ordered the Registrar to revoke his certificate.

“A member who has been convicted of sexual assault against his students is not suitable to be in a position of trust and authority over children and, therefore, his Certificate of Qualification and Registration must be revoked,” the Discipline Committee panel said.

Information about the disciplinary action appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Larry J. Greenspan
Registration No: 246914
Decision: Reprimand, conditions

A Discipline Committee panel reprimanded former Toronto DSB high school teacher Larry J. Greenspan for inappropriate comments and unprofessional behaviour with two female students.

Certified to teach in June 1981, Greenspan did not attend the November 7, 2012, hearing, but he was represented by legal counsel.

In the 2004–05 and 2005–06 school years, Greenspan taught Special Education and supervised/coached girls’ basketball teams at a Toronto DSB high school. He made a number of inappropriate comments to one student that could be interpreted as sexual innuendo. He also touched the student, and a second student, in a manner the committee found unprofessional.

Greenspan said he would often pat the shoulders or backs of players he was coaching to congratulate, encourage or console them. Regarding the comments, he said they were intended to be humorous.

Greenspan retired from the Toronto DSB in 2010.

Having considered the evidence, the onus and standard of proof, the statement of uncontested facts, the plea of no contest, and the representations by counsel, the panel found Greenspan guilty of professional misconduct. He was ordered to face the panel after the hearing to receive a reprimand and appeared for that purpose in January 2013. He was also ordered to complete two courses at his own expense regarding appropriate boundaries and boundary violation issues, and classroom management with particular emphasis on positive discipline strategies within three months of the date of the order.

“Members of the profession must be aware of expectations regarding professional behaviour and recognize the significance and serious implications of engaging in unprofessional conduct,” the panel wrote in its decision. “The reprimand of the member in respect of his inappropriate communication and behaviour with students serves as a specific deterrent to such conduct. The fact that the reprimand will be recorded on the register further serves as a specific deterrent to the member and a general deterrent to the profession regarding unprofessional conduct.”

A notation about the disciplinary action appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Not identified
Decision: Reprimand

A Discipline Committee panel reprimanded a Toronto DSB elementary teacher for inappropriately touching two special needs students.

The member, who was certified to teach in June 1981, attended the October 15, 2012, hearing with legal counsel.

The panel heard evidence that, on separate occasions in May 2008, the member grabbed the arms of students with autism who were having difficulty focusing and finishing their work to redirect them to their seats. In a separate incident, she asked one of the same students, who was disturbing the class by making funny faces and noises, to “be quiet” and then used two fingers to pull the student’s lips down into a frown and told him to stop laughing. On both occasions, the member intervened when the educational assistant was unable to manage the student.

The member argued that she had been taught that students with autism often respond better to physical rather than verbal cues and that her touching of the students resulted from the teaching strategy.

In March 2009, the board suspended the teacher for four days without pay for the events in May 2008. She has been teaching at another school since without incident. Prior to the hearing, the member completed a course in classroom management and received counselling in anger management.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of legal counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found the member guilty of professional misconduct and ordered her to appear before the panel to receive a reprimand.

“The member has acknowledged that the behaviour was inappropriate and has taken steps of her own accord to remediate,” the panel said in its written decision.

Information about the disciplinary action is online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Stephen Michael Lane
Registration No: 313409
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of Stephen Michael Lane for possessing child pornography.

Certified in June 1968, Lane failed to attend the hearing held on October 10 and November 9, 2012, and he was not represented by a lawyer.

In April 2010, the founder and former president of the Weston Baseball Association was charged by Toronto Police for possessing pornography on his home computer of boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 15.

Lane has pleaded guilty to the police charge and awaits sentencing. He has not taught in any private or public school since 1972.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of College counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found Lane guilty of professional misconduct and ordered the Registrar to revoke his certificate.

“Possession of child pornography is a crime against children and perpetuates a market which thrives on the abuse of children,” the Discipline Committee panel said. “This conduct is morally reprehensible and the member should not be in a position of trust.

“Possession of child pornography is one of the most serious offences, which should result in the most serious of consequences.”

Information about the disciplinary action is online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: John Roy Maycock
Registration No: 241938
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of John Roy Maycock, an elementary school teacher with the London District Catholic SB, for a criminal conviction of possessing child pornography on his home computer.

Certified in June 1980, Maycock did not attend the October 16, 2012, hearing, nor was he represented by a lawyer.

In June 2009, London police charged Maycock with unlawfully possessing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to the charge in August 2011, and in November 2011 was sentenced to nine months in jail followed by two years probation. Further, he was prohibited from coming into contact with anyone under 16 in a work or volunteer situation, via computer or in community settings such as parks, school grounds, swimming areas or community centres for 10 years.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of College counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found Maycock guilty of professional misconduct and ordered the Registrar to revoke his certificate.

Information about the disciplinary action appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Eric Gerard Brouillard
Registration No: 456554
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the teaching certificate of Eric Gerard Brouillard in connection with a criminal conviction for sexual assault involving a Grade 8 girl.

Brouillard, who was certified to teach in 2002 and was working as an elementary teacher for the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario at the time of the incident, did not attend the November 28, 2011, hearing, nor was he represented by a lawyer.

The Discipline Committee panel heard evidence that Brouillard pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault in November 2009 after the mother of a female student he was teaching discovered the teacher and her daughter kissing in the back seat of his truck in a local park.

Brouillard received a suspended sentence with 24-months probation, was directed to seek rehabilitative assessment and counselling, and was ordered not to come within 100 metres of the student’s residence, school or place of employment. That same month, he resigned from the board.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of College counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found Brouillard guilty of professional misconduct and ordered the Registrar to revoke his Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

“The member abused the authority and trust vested in him in his role as a teacher, without regard for the well-being of the student,” the Discipline Committee panel said. “The conduct of the member was unacceptable and in conflict with the duty of a teacher to protect students. The member, as a result of his conduct, has forfeited the privilege of holding a teaching certificate and being a member of the teaching profession. Revocation is the appropriate penalty for misconduct of this severity.”

A notation regarding the revocation appears on the member’s certificate online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Michael Alexander Wood
Registration No: 196227
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB teacher Michael Alexander Wood for sexual assault.

Wood, who was certified to teach in September 1994, represented himself at the October 31, 2012, hearing.

Following a criminal conviction in February 2011, Wood was sentenced in May 2011 to two years less a day in jail and three years of probation for an incident that occurred in June 2008.

The Discipline Committee panel heard evidence that the member and the victim were at a cottage for a retirement party and, having consumed alcohol, decided to stay over. Later, the sleeping woman was awakened by a rocking motion and discovered a man having intercourse with her without her consent.

On the basis of DNA testing, Wood was arrested, charged and convicted of the assault. He did not appeal the conviction or the sentence.

The panel agreed with Justice B.G. MacDougall who said that Wood “took advantage of a very vulnerable victim” and “engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with all of its inherent risks to the victim.”

“As a result of his shameful conduct, the member has forfeited the privilege of holding a teaching certificate and being a member of the teaching profession,” the panel said.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of College counsel and the member, the Discipline Committee panel found Wood guilty of professional misconduct and ordered the Registrar to revoke his certificate.

Information about the disciplinary action is online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: John Ondricko, OCT
Registration No: 393128
Decision: Reprimand, conditions

A Discipline Committee panel reprimanded Greater Essex County DSB elementary school teacher John Ondricko for using slang terminology and making inappropriate comments in his health class, and for references about the school custodian and black people.

Ondricko, who was certified in June 1993, did not attend the November 30, 2012, hearing, nor was his lawyer present.

In the 2010–11 school year, Ondricko’s teaching methods and the content of his Grade 7 health class went beyond the curriculum, and he was restricted from teaching health until June 2012. Ondricko also referred to the school custodian as the “Afro-American janitor” and referred to black people as “coloured people” in a history lesson.

In an agreed statement of facts, Ondricko said he used slang terminology in very limited circumstances in health class, solely for explaining the correct terminology to students. He also responded to various questions from students on sex education topics. He acknowledged that at times this went outside the health curriculum, however, his intention at all times was to attempt to demystify sexual education for the students and to resolve students’ misperceptions and inaccuracies.

Having examined the evidence, the agreement on the facts, the joint recommendation for resolution, the guilty plea and the submissions by College counsel, the panel agreed that Ondricko was guilty of professional misconduct. He was ordered to face the panel after the hearing to receive a reprimand. He was also ordered to complete a course regarding appropriate teacher-student boundaries.

A notation about the disciplinary action appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Jan Francis Matejovic
Registration No: 469523
Decision: Revocation

A panel of the Discipline Committee has directed the Registrar to revoke the Certificate of Qualification and Registration of Jan Francis Matejovic, a science teacher at an independent school in Toronto, for sexually abusing a student.

Certified to teach in 2003, Matejovic attended the December 13, 2012, hearing with legal counsel.

Between March and around September 2010, he engaged in emails of a sexual nature with a female student of the school who had been his student the year before. Following the student’s graduation, he engaged in a sexual relationship with her in early August 2010 that ended about one month later.

Having reviewed the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of legal counsel — and considering the plea of no contest, the statement of uncontested facts and joint submission on penalty — the panel agreed that Matejovic is guilty of professional misconduct and directed the Registrar to revoke his Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

“The member engaged in reprehensible conduct unbecoming a member of the teaching profession. It made no difference that the student had graduated, was an adult or that she may have initiated the relationship. He abused the authority and trust associated with his role as a teacher,” concluded the committee in its decision.

Given that the member’s conduct was a very serious abuse of trust, the publication of his name is warranted and appropriate in the circumstances. Publication with the member’s name reiterates the message to the profession and to the public that behaviour of this nature will not be tolerated.

A notation about the revocation appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Marc Paul J. Bourgon
Registration No: 161609
Decision: Revocation

A panel of the Discipline Committee has directed the Registrar to revoke the Certificate of Qualification and Registration of Marc Paul J. Bourgon, an English and geography high school teacher with the Ottawa-Carleton DSB.

Certified to teach in 1978, Bourgon did not attend the hearing and was not represented by legal counsel. The hearing was initially set for February 2010 but occurred in November 2012 after the member requested numerous postponements.

Between 2004 and 2007, Bourgon:

Bourgon misled the community to believe that the school board had endorsed the ETA programs. He ignored warnings from administration not to conduct ETA business through the school and that this was a conflict of interest.

He promised students that they could earn credits for their participation in the trips organized by his company but failed to make arrangements to allow them to do so. As a result, at least two students relied on these credits to graduate but were unable to do so.

Having reviewed the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions made by College counsel and information received on behalf of the member, the panel agreed that Bourgon is guilty of professional misconduct and directed the Registrar to revoke his Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

“The member put his own interests above those of his students by taking their money, their hopes and their dreams. The memories the students have are not the ones they signed up for. He brought the profession into disrepute through his actions. He used his position as a teacher to exploit students and their families for his own financial gain and compromised public confidence in the public education system,” concluded the panel in its decision.

A notation about the revocation appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.


Member: Geoffrey Richard Ludkin
Registration No: 536455
Decision: Revocation

A Discipline Committee panel revoked the certificate of Geoffrey Richard Ludkin, an occasional teacher for the Northeastern Catholic DSB and the DSB Ontario North East, for using a computer to lure a child for sexual purposes.

Ludkin, who was certified to teach in August 2008, did not attend the November 7, 2012, hearing, nor was he represented by legal counsel.

In September 2011, Ludkin pleaded guilty to police charges of luring a child by way of computer for the purpose of sexual assault and luring for the purposes of procuring, and was sentenced to a year’s conditional sentence followed by two years of probation. Further, he was prohibited for five years from attending public parks, swimming areas, daycare centres, school grounds, playgrounds or community centres where anyone under 16 is or might be present. He was also prohibited from seeking, obtaining or continuing any job or volunteer position in which he might be in a position of trust toward anyone under 16, and from using a computer system to communicate with anyone under 16.

Having considered the evidence, onus and standard of proof, and the submissions of College counsel, the Discipline Committee panel found Ludkin guilty of professional misconduct and ordered the Registrar to revoke his Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

The committee panel found Ludkin’s offences to be “very disturbing.”

“Children are vulnerable members of society and must be safeguarded against predators who use the internet to lure them into a situation where they can be sexually exploited and abused,” the panel decision says. “The member’s actions were criminal and warrant revocation.”

Information about the disciplinary action appears online at oct.ca → Members → Complaints and Discipline → Decisions.