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. The College is prohibited by legislation from disclosing the names of the teachers involved in these complaints.


Case #1

Complaint: Inappropriate electronic communication with a former student

Outcome of investigation: Admonishment in person

Parents of a student initiated a complaint with the College, concerned about numerous electronic communications their child had received from a member. The complainants stated that the member’s communications included inappropriate comments and that they had communicated their concerns to the school but were not informed of any measures taken against the member.

In response to the complaint, the member admitted to engaging in electronic communication with a former student, now of high school age, but that the communication was conducted with no inappropriate intentions and that some comments were made in jest and others had been taken out of context. The member stated that she initiated the electronic contact with the student and communicated with him because she was concerned about his well-being, as he had personal and family difficulties during the previous school year.

The panel was concerned by the unprofessional nature and content of the communications from the member to a young teenaged student and that, by her own admission, the member initiated that personal contact. While noting that the member acknowledged that some of her comments were not appropriate given her teaching role, the panel remained seriously concerned given that information obtained during the College’s investigation indicated that the member commented on the student’s personal relationships and offered to acquire clothing for the student which, to the panel, represented significant boundary violations.

Case #2

Complaint: Directing students to bring back another student and not responding when the student was harmed

Outcome of investigation: Written caution

The Registrar was advised by an employer that a student’s parent reported to the school that, after her child had left a large room in the school without permission, a member directed other students to return the student to the room, and that the students responded by physically assaulting the student. Some witnesses also stated that the member did not immediately intervene when he became aware of the assault. The Board indicated that the police conducted an investigation, but that due to inconsistent witness accounts, no charges were laid and the member was issued a caution by police services.

The member denied the allegations, explaining that he did not say anything that was intended as direction to cause the student harm or that could have been reasonably interpreted in that way. The member indicated that when students asked if they should go get the student, he responded that they could bring him back. The member also stated that after only several seconds, he rejoined the group.

The panel felt that the member’s actions and comments, as described by the member in his response, were inappropriate for this situation. The panel noted that although the member denies instructing the students to go after the student, information provided by some student witnesses suggests that they may have understood the member to mean that they should intervene physically with the student and, as a result, several of the students felt it was appropriate to use physical force with the student, and he was harmed. The panel was of the view that the member should not have delegated to students his responsibility to deal with the matter. The panel also felt that, given the volatility of the situation, the member should not have waited and should have immediately followed the students in order to manage the situation.

Case #3

Complaint: Facilitating an unsafe classroom environment, not communicating with the complainant and showing favouritism to some parents

Outcome of investigation: Not referred and no further action

The College received a complaint from a parent expressing her concerns that her child’s JK/SK teacher created an unsafe classroom environment when she instructed students how to open the classroom door to an outside hallway. The complainant also stated that the member did not communicate to her that her child was experiencing difficulty with the curriculum and that, at the end of the school day, she favoured other parents by dismissing their children first, although the complainant was already present at the gate.

The member responded to the complaint by first indicating that she did not explicitly instruct the students on opening classroom doors and that, in addition, it was necessary and normal for students to open the classroom and other doors in the school, sometimes for safety reasons such as a fire drill. The member also described measures in place to ensure student safety.

The member also stated that she communicated with the complainant on a regular basis and responded to each of the frequent phone calls or letters she received from the complainant. Regarding the favouritism concern, the member stated that all students were allowed to leave when their parents arrived and that if the complainant’s child was not released while the complainant was waiting, it was because the complainant arrived before dismissal time.

Regarding the allegation of creating an unsafe classroom, the panel noted that the member stated she did not instruct the student on how to open doors and provided further information regarding steps taken to ensure student safety. The panel also noted that both the member and the complainant provided information indicating that there was regular communication between them. With respect to the allegation of favouritism, the panel noted that the member provided plausible information as to why she may not have immediately dismissed the complainant’s child when the complainant was waiting. Consequently the panel was of the view that there was insufficient information to support the concerns and determined to take no further action regarding this complaint.