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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: Verbal, emotional and psychological abuse of students, parents and teachers by a principal

Outcome of Investigation: No investigation undertaken

Parents of three students in SK and Grades 4 and 6 complained about the general conduct of the principal at their children's school. In a total of 24 allegations, the parents alleged that the principal:

  • denigrated students
  • cancelled fundraisers without explanation
  • interrupted classes
  • was insensitive in speaking to students, teachers and parents
  • failed to address an incident of bullying on a bus by a student of another school
  • failed to contact parents when their children did not arrive at school
  • caused a student, who was comforting another student who felt ill, to cry by the tone in which the principal spoke to that student
  • refused to allow a parent to be in the school unaccompanied by staff
  • singled out one of the complainants from a group of parents
  • stared at one of the complainants
  • and conducted unauthorized fundraisers.

A panel of the Investigation Committee considered the complaint and decided that most of the allegations related to matters that were within the employing board's purview and the remainder did not relate to professional misconduct.

Case #2

Complaint: Unfair treatment of an exceptional student by a special-education teacher and failing to provide emotional support

Outcome of Investigation: No investigation undertaken

A parent of a Grade 4 student, identified as exceptional, complained that the child's learning-resource teacher showed bias towards the student labelled "perfectionist" and did not advise the parents that the student was anxious and tearful before tests.

The parent also claimed that the teacher failed to provide emotional support for the student by allowing the tests to continue with the student in that state and by failing to provide information to the parents about the student crying. The parent claimed that the teacher "refused to be accountable."

A panel of the Investigation Committee considered the complaint and instructed staff not to investigate it because the allegations, even if proven to be true, did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. The panel commented that these matters were appropriately dealt with at the board level.

Case #3

Complaint: Inappropriate touching

Outcome of Investigation: Written caution

As a result of a notification by a school board of its concerns about the actions of one of its teachers, the Registrar initiated a complaint against the teacher.

The school board's concerns related to allegations that the teacher:

  • inappropriately touched the buttocks and waist area of a 10-year-old during gymnastics instruction
  • rubbed the abdomen of a six-year-old
  • patted the buttocks of another student, grabbed the shoulders of and pushed a Grade 8 student
  • rubbed the back of a Grade 2 student
  • allowed another Grade 2 student to sit on the teacher's lap
  • rubbed the neck of another student and kissed a student on the forehead and massaged the student's back.

A joint police and Children's Aid Society (CAS) investigation into the alleged behaviour resulted in a finding that allegations of sexual harm were not verified and no criminal charges were laid.

The CAS recommended, however, that the member "operate a hands-off policy with all children" and that the teacher should continue to be placed with older children, with another adult to be present during gymnastics coaching.

A panel of the Investigation Committee considered the complaint and directed that the member be strongly cautioned to conduct all professional duties in line with the CAS recommendation and specifically to follow a hands-off policy in interactions with all students.

Case #4

Complaint: Inappropriate conduct towards a student in Grades 6 and 7

Outcome of Investigation: Complaint dismissed

A former student made a formal complaint against a teacher alleging that in 1969 and 1970 the teacher acted inappropriately by touching the student with a yard stick as the teacher walked up and down the aisles of the classroom.

The former student also alleged that the teacher, while playing the guitar and singing to the class, looked the complainant in the eyes and blew kisses and winked. The teacher was also alleged to have told the student that the student would dream about the teacher.

A panel of the Investigation Committee considered the complaint and directed that it not be referred to a hearing. The panel commented that, even if proven to be true, the allegations do not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity on the part of the member.