Arbitrator upholds without pay suspension of teacher who remained silent when faced with allegations of inappropriate conduct with students

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association v Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board2019 CanLII 95001 (ON LA)

An arbitrator upheld the three-month suspension without pay of a teacher who refused to answer questions during an investigation pertaining to his inappropriate conduct with two students. The teacher chose to exercise his right to remain silent in response to his employer’s inquiries in light of the fact that he was potentially facing criminal charges.

 

LABOUR RELATIONS

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario v Bluewater District School Board, 2019 CanLII 90975 (ON LA)

An arbitrator upheld the School Board’s position that its kindergarten class sizes must comply with the average kindergarten class size and the kindergarten class size limits set out under the Education Act on the determinate date only. ETFO had argued that the kindergarten class size limits could not be exceeded on or after the determination date (that the limits applied to each day during the year).

 

Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and Ottawa Catholic School Board (Nora Martin grievance) (unreported award of Judith Allen, September 2019)

An arbitrator upheld the termination of an occasional teacher who made racist and denigrating comments toward certain individuals, concluding that this culpable misconduct was not an isolated incident, and was made within a continuum of previous inappropriate behaviour which, taken together, amounted to just cause for termination.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

Dodds v Halton District Catholic School Board, 2019 HRTO 1250 (CanLII)

Further to a summary hearing, the HRTO rejected the Application in its entirety against the Respondent, a Catholic School Board, on the basis that it had no reasonable prospect of success. The Applicant alleged that he was unsuccessful in obtaining a position with the respondent because he is not a practising Catholic. The HRTO determined that the Applicant failed to establish a link between his creed and the School Board’s job posting or the recruitment process for the position.

 

TJ v Ottawa Catholic School Board, 2019 HRTO 1312 (CanLII)

In this interim decision, the HRTO granted the Respondent’s request to narrow the scope of the Application to the period of one year prior to the submission of the Application. In this case, the Applicant claimed that the School Board breached the Code by refusing to accommodate his disability-related rights, namely by refusing to implement his Individual Education Plan. The OHRT determined that the allegations in the Application which related to event that occurred more than one year prior to the submission of the Application were untimely and did not amount to a series of events.

 

MM v Kingsley Primary School, 2019 HRTO 1342 (CanLII)

In this interim decision, the HRTO directed the Applicant’s parent to communicate forthwith her decision on whether she will grant permission to the School Board to access, use, disclose and submit into evidence certain items from her child’s Ontario Student Record. The HRTO determined that there were competing interests at stake, namely the privacy interests of the Applicant (pupil records are privileged) and the School Board’s right to a full answer and defence to allegations, which in this case required the School Board to have access to these records. The HRTO added that in the event the parent refused to grant her permission to the Respondent, the HRTO would hear submissions from the parties on whether the Application should be dismissed for abuse of process.

 

DB v Toronto District School Board, 2019 HRTO 1351 (CanLII)

The HRTO denied the Applicant’s interim request for accommodation which requested, namely, that the School Board permit his current Applied behavior analysis (ABA) providers to support him in the classroom.  In this case, the Applicant, a first-grade student with Autism Spectrum Disorder, alleged that the Respondent School Board did not take adequate steps to have his required accommodations in place for his first day of school. The HRTO opined that providing the interim accommodation requested amounted to giving the Applicant the substantive remedy that he is seeking, in the absence of any finding that the Human Rights Code has been infringed. In the HRTO’s view, the applicant’s entitlement to ABA in the classroom had to be determined on the basis of a full evidentiary record.