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Ontario College of Teachers to Review Report on Sexual Abuse

April 07 2000

TORONTO - The Ontario College of Teachers will pay close attention to the recommendations of the report by former judge Sydney L. Robins on sexual abuse in Ontario Schools. The report, Protecting Our Students: A Review to Identify and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in Ontario Schools, was released today by Ontario Attorney General Jim Flaherty.

"The College has put in place an open and efficient process to deal with sexual abuse and implemented a rigorous professional misconduct regulation since it opened in 1997," said College Chair Donna Marie Kennedy. "We have also put in place a criminal record check policy for all new members of the College. School boards are obligated under the Ontario College of Teachers Act to inform the College of any criminal conviction of a teacher for a sexual offense involving a minor. The College notes the recommendation that the reporting responsibilities of school boards be more explicitly defined.

"The creation of the College has opened up the disciplinary process and allowed the public to be informed and protected. Our disciplinary hearings are public and we publish disciplinary decisions in Professionally Speaking, the College's magazine, and on our web site. The decisions are also noted on the College's public registry, allowing employers to verify the status of teachers with the College.

"The College received the report today and will carefully review the 39 recommendations that deal with the College's code of ethics, investigation and discipline procedures and the relationship between the College and other stakeholders. The College is prepared to work with all the parties to ensure that schools are safe places for children, adolescents and young adults."

Since 1997, the College has revoked the teaching certificates of 26 teachers mostly for sexual misconduct and suspended three others. Teachers who have their certificates revoked are barred from teaching in publicly funded schools in Ontario and the College shares that information with education authorities across Canada, the U.S. and overseas.

The College received about 15 complaints of sexual nature in 1999.

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Denys Gigure
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