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: Refusal to arrange meeting with school council and
The College received a complaint from a member of a school council that a supervisory officer (SO) with the school board had refused to investigate the school council's complaint about the school principal or to schedule a meeting to discuss the complaint. In addition, the complainant alleged that the SO, a College member, was biased in favour of the principal.
Two weeks after delivering a written complaint to the SO, the complainant telephoned the SO's assistant, who advised that the member would not be available for two weeks. When a meeting date was subsequently offered, the complainant said that the other members of the school council were refused permission to attend and the complainant refused to attend alone.
The complainant filed the College complaint on behalf of the school council.
A panel of the Investigation Committee instructed staff not to investigate the complaint, concluding that it did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. The committee commented that the SO did consult with the principal and that the complainant was then invited to a meeting, but refused to attend.
Complaint: Asking a student to leave the class and failing to
respond to questions
A parent complained that their child's Grade 12 teacher acted inappropriately and unprofessionally when asking the student to leave the class without reason and, a month later, after returning an essay to the student, refusing to answer the student's questions on the teacher's comments.
The parent complained that the child had been “harassed, bullied and discriminated against” by the teacher, who had refused to talk to the student in class and had insulted the student in front of other teachers.
The complainant said that the teacher made the student do eight drafts of the essay and, after correcting each draft, said that the eighth draft was a failing grade.
An Investigation Committee panel considered the complaint and directed that it not be investigated because the allegations did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. The panel commented that the complainant had previously and appropriately directed the complaint to the school board.
Complaint: Ontario Student Record (OSR) record-keeping irregularities
The parent of a Grade 4 student complained that the school principal had failed to properly maintain the student's OSR. Particularly, it was alleged that the principal failed to note the student's nomination to the gifted program and failed to provide an intelligence test to the board's assessing psychologist.
The parent said they nominated their child for the gifted program and had their child assessed privately. Following a disagreement, the parent removed the child from the school and, after arrival at a new school, the parent learned that information provided to the principal was missing from the student's OSR. The parent said that the principal denied receiving the psychological test material.
A panel of the Investigation Committee considered the complaint and directed that it not be referred to a hearing because the allegations did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. The panel commented that OSR matters are within the purview of the school board.
Complaint: Failure to respond to parental concerns
The College received a parent's complaint that a supervisory officer had failed to respond to letters and e-mail from the parent regarding their concerns about alleged failure to address appropriately their child's learning disabilities.
The parent alleged that in two meetings with the SO and several letters and e-mail, “intense frustration” with the school system was highlighted, but met with a lack of response to the issues and a lack of understanding regarding the child's learning disabilities.
In one letter the SO stated, “We [the school board] are unable to meet your needs as parents,” which the parent claimed to be part of a “parental blaming strategy.”
An Investigation Committee panel considered the complaint and instructed staff not to investigate it because it did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. The panel advised the complainant that such matters were appropriately dealt with at the school board level.