The provincial government said on Tuesday that parents and guardians in Ontario will now be able to find out whether their child’s teacher is the subject of a sexual abuse inquiry.
At a news conference in Maple, Education Minister Stephen Lecce remarked, “These changes are some of the ways we’re making and taking action to make the education profession more accountable to families.”
According to Lecce, Ontario is the first Canadian province to implement the measure.
Starting today, the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) will have the authority to release information to the public about criminal proceedings involving their members.
“We believe parents have a right to know if an educator is charged or convicted of a serious crime because we take zero tolerance on this,” Lecce added.
The move builds on the provincial government’s previously announced commitments to protecting children in the classroom, including a mandatory sexual abuse prevention program that was introduced on Jan. 1 which all teachers in Ontario must complete.
Any Ontario educator convicted of having physical sexual intercourse with a pupil or of being associated in any manner with child pornography faces a lifetime ban from the profession. Teachers and early childhood educators whose memberships were renewed or not canceled in the first place are likewise covered by this action.
The OCT and the CECE are mandated to fund therapy and counseling for students and children who have been sexually abused. Both organisations must also make public any disciplinary actions taken against an educator by the colleges’ discipline committees in connection with an occurrence.
Source_ The Canadian Press