Professional misconduct: a teacher found guilty but keeps his job

Individuals facing disciplinary or professional misconduct charges are usually devastated at the allegations against them and have to endure distressing investigations and possible suspension meanwhile. There are also serious implications for the individual’s career – even if the allegations are unproven. If you are facing professional disciplinary or misconduct action, the professional misconduct and disciplinary tribunals attorneys at Rogerson Law have years of experience in advising and representing professionals and other employees in such circumstances.

Professional misconduct can take numerous different forms ranging from financial impropriety in the workplace, breaching policies at work and sexually inappropriate behaviour towards more vulnerable people. Whatever the circumstances, contact our team of experienced lawyers for urgent advice.

In appropriate behaviour
A recent case illustrates what can happen to a professional who breaches the rules. A gay teacher in Toronto pleaded guilty to professional misconduct at a disciplinary hearing at the Ontario College of Teachers. His behaviour included giving a former student DVDs containing sexual content, and engaging in inappropriate Facebook conversations with that student. This followed the teacher’s belief that the male student had approached him about “coming out” because he was an openly gay teacher and he wanted advice. He said that the Facebook conversations with the student containing sexual content were in reference to sexual orientation and safety in sexual relationships.

Whilst the college that employed the teacher has no guidelines as to how its teachers should manage a student’s disclosure of sexual orientation, its advisory on sexual misconduct includes a warning to teachers to avoid sharing personal information, becoming involved in students’ affairs and seeing students in isolated situations.

The teacher has been formally disciplined (including a verbal reprimand by the panel), a 20-day suspension imposed (served back in 2011 when he was first investigated) and he must complete a course on professional boundaries. Perhaps surprising to many is that he was not removed from his post – though his school formally stated at the disciplinary hearing that the school board continues to trust him and found no need to remove him from his position.

How can we help?

If you or a loved one is facing disciplinary action or a professional misconduct investigation, contact us urgently for legal advice and assistance. Our lawyers provide sympathetic, resolute legal advice based on years of experience. We know how serious the implications are for you, your family and your career if you are found guilty of professional misconduct and we will give you the best support and representation you deserve.

Rogerson Law Group provides professional misconduct services in the entire GTA including Toronto, Scarborough, Mississauga, Vaughan, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Etobicoke, and Barrie and surrounding areas with offices located in downtown Toronto, Barrie, and associated offices in Ottawa.

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