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.
Complaint: Physical and verbal abuse of students and inappropriate
behaviour with a parent
A parent complained that a teacher had yelled at students, grabbed students by the collar and slammed a classroom door while shouting at students. The parent also indicated that the teacher was not willing to allow the parent to remove his child from the class, given that the parent had not signed in at the school office. The parent also stated that the teacher had grabbed his shoulder while following him to the office.
Information obtained indicated that neither the students, who allegedly had been victims of these behaviours, nor their parents had raised concerns with the school. A statement was also received indicating that the teacher did not yell at students while slamming the classroom door. The teacher acknowledged having touched the parent’s shoulder after requesting that the parent follow school procedure when removing the child from the school.
A panel of the Investigation Committee reviewed the matter and determined that the information did not support the complaint and that the matter had been appropriately resolved at the school level. Consequently, the panel directed that no further action should be taken regarding the complaint.
Complaint: Physical abuse of a student
A school board notified the College that it had restricted a teacher’s duties as a result of allegations concerning the physical abuse of a student. In response to the complaint, the teacher indicated that the physical contact had occurred accidentally. A number of witnesses stated that the teacher had purposefully hit the student.
A panel of the Investigation Committee admonished the teacher for inappropriate physical contact with a student and advised the teacher to employ appropriate classroom management strategies to promote a safe learning environment.
Complaint: Inappropriate comments, harassment and intimidation of a
A teacher complained that another teacher had subjected her to inappropriate comments, some with a sexual component, and that the teacher had also harassed and bullied her. All the allegations concerned comments and incidents that had occurred over a period of years.
With respect to the first allegation, a panel of the Investigation Committee cautioned the teacher in writing to ensure that his future conduct and behaviour were appropriate. Regarding the second allegation, the panel was of the opinion that the allegations, even if proven true, did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity and that such matters are more appropriately addressed at the school or board level.
Complaint: Physical and verbal abuse of a student
A parent complained that a teacher had grabbed his child by the neck, resulting in choking and had then warned the student not to tell his parents or he would face reprisals.
The investigation yielded contradictory information from witnesses regarding the alleged incident.
A panel of the Investigation Committee reviewed the matter and found that the information was inconsistent and did not support the allegations. The panel thus directed that the matter not be referred to the Discipline or Fitness to Practise committees.