Hot for Teacher

Today I’m afraid to be a teacher.  We had a staff meeting this evening after school today.  OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association) submitted a video for all of the schoolteachers on staff.  It was rough.  The above video gives you an idea of why.

The OECTA video we watched interviewed two teachers who were falsely accused of physical and sexual assault. One was a female teacher accused of … get ready … picking up an intermediate student (grades 7 – 8) and “whipping him across the classroom“. He alleged she picked him up and threw him.  She was suspended from her job until the ridiculous allegation was cleared some weeks later; the board had no choice in the matter. Not that the board cared in particular.

Another teacher in the movie who was cleared after a false sexual allegation was made against him, informed us that the board distanced itself from him during the investigation, offering him no support.  The police were happy to inform him that he wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone under the age of 18 in any circumstance, and he couldn’t attend his 5-year-old child’s daycare to pick him up. He was a pariah because of something he did not do.

The Toronto Catholic Children’s Aid Society was against this teacher from the word “go“. They backed him into a corner, refused to detail the allegation, or to explain why it had been levied against him.  Ditto the board. And OECTA.  They took weeks to get him in the loop. In the end, the teacher never found out many crucial details about the allegation. He  wanted to quit teaching but he refused to walk away: that action would only feed into the false reputation hoisted against him. Canada’s justice system delegates that an accused person is innocent unless proven guilty; this is true in theory. In practice it is entirely the opposite. Another lie.

The students in the OECTA video suffered no recrimination for their lies, no recrimination. Their lives continued as always, without interruption. If they learned anything from their wrongdoings (and after all, school is for learning), it is that they have the constitutional power to ruin lives without conscience or culpability.  Former Teacher Says Life Ruined by Student Sex Claims

Perhaps therein lies the rub: as long as students and families are permitted to levy false allegations against educators without repercussion then this disturbing trend will continue unabated.  Perhaps teachers who are currently fighting false allegations should consider a civil lawsuit when their charges are cleared.  Perhaps this will give unstable students and their dysfunctional families pause to consider whether they really want to go down that road.  Perhaps one person is all that is needed to take a stand and instigate change. Perhaps. Perhaps not.  Read principal sues ex-students over MySpace profiles

Tomorrow I may be afraid to be a teacher.  It’s a little too hot for this teacher as of late.

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Comments

  • Diane Scaiff  On April 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Teachers Outside the Box and commented:
    A great post with good examples of what happens. Unfortunately things are rarely quite so black & white which makes it even more difficult.

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