Governing Ourselves

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.

If found guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence, a member’s certificates may be revoked, suspended or limited. In cases of professional misconduct only, the committee may also reprimand, admonish or counsel the member, impose a fine, publish its order in Professionally Speaking, or order the member to pay costs.

Panels of the Discipline Committee have ordered summaries of these recent disciplinary cases to be published in Professionally Speaking. Copies of full decisions are available through Hearings regarding incapacity are closed.


Member: Not identified
Decision: Conditions

A Discipline Committee panel found a Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB teacher guilty of professional misconduct for inappropriate physical contact with another teacher.

The teacher joined the profession in May 1999. He attended the April 13, 2011 hearing with legal counsel.

The panel heard evidence that the teacher gave a female colleague a push and jumped on her from behind in jest during work hours in January 2009; and that the board gave him a letter of discipline and suspended him for a day without pay. That February, Barrie police charged the member with assault. He was reassigned to non-school duties during the investigation, and charges were eventually dropped.

After receiving the evidence, a memorandum of agreement, a plea of no contest and the submissions of counsel, the panel found the member guilty of professional misconduct. It ordered him to complete a course in appropriate and professional relationships with colleagues at his own expense. A notation regarding the conditions appears on the member's certificate online at ➔ Find a Teacher.

Member: Not identified
Decision: Reprimand

A Discipline Committee panel reprimanded a Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB elementary teacher for getting too close to two junior-level female students, giving them gifts and becoming overprotective of one, including making personal and inappropriate comments to her about her and her relationships.

The teacher, who joined the profession in June 2002, attended the April 27, 2011 hearing with legal counsel.

The panel heard evidence that the teacher developed close relationships with two female students in Grades 7 and 8, especially toward the end of their Grade 8 years. This included his being invited to their homes for family dinners.

With their parents' permission, he gave the girls birthday and Christmas gifts that included a teddy bear, a pencil and pen set, scarves and chocolates.

He told one girl, "Whether I do or don't have someone in my life, you will always be special," and asked, "When you're old enough and ready, can I take you to a club?"

Although the girl's mother had previously asked the teacher to keep an eye out for her daughter, the teacher appeared overprotective and, on one occasion, told the mother, "Your daughter is killing me, she's too over friendly with the boys."

On learning that a Grade 12 boy had asked the girl, then in Grade 9, to the prom, the teacher said words to the effect of, "If I ever see that boy, I will f-----g kill him." The remarks were said in the kitchen of the girl's home with both her parents present.

Consequently, police charged the teacher with uttering a death threat, and the board suspended him with pay pending the outcome of the criminal proceeding. He was acquitted following a criminal trial.

Afterwards, the member returned to work as a supply teacher and later was placed at a different school. As part of a grievance settlement, the teacher underwent counselling through the board's employee assistance program and completed a boundaries course.

After considering the evidence, onus and standard of proof, a plea of no contest and the submissions of counsel, the panel found the member guilty of professional misconduct. It ordered him to face the panel for a reprimand following the hearing.

A notation regarding the reprimand and conditions appears on the member’s certificate online at - Find a Teacher.