Ontario is protecting children and students by making the disciplinary process for school teachers more clear and transparent. Earlier this week, the Protecting Students Act, 2016, (Bill 37) passed third reading following a debate in the Ontario legislature.
The act and subsequent regulations will improve the investigation and disciplinary processes of the Ontario College of Teachers, reduce the potential for conflict of interest and help protect children, students and teachers by:
- Ensuring a teacher’s certificate is revoked automatically if he or she has been found guilty of specified acts of sexual abuse or acts relating to child pornography
- Requiring school boards and other employers to inform the Ontario College of Teachers when they have restricted a teacher’s duties or dismissed them for professional misconduct
- Allowing the Ontario College of Teachers to share information with the school board if the subject of a complaint poses an immediate risk to a student or child
- Requiring the college to publish all decisions made by its disciplinary committee
- Imposing new timelines to resolve cases more quickly and efficiently
“The majority of our educators do an excellent job supporting our children and providing them with the tools they need to succeed. However, for those who require discipline, there needs to be a fair and transparent process,” Indira Naidoo-Harris, associate minister of education said. Protecting the safety of children and students is part of Ontario’s plan to build an education system where all students and educators can thrive and reach their full potential.