June 30, 2020 – School Board’s Decision to Demote Principal is Quashed on Judicial Review

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School Board’s Decision to Demote Principal is Quashed on Judicial Review

Oberg v Saskatchewan (Board of Education of the South East Cornerstone School Division No. 209)2020 SKQB 96

A School Principal applied for judicial review of the decision of the School Board by which he was removed from his position as a School Principal because of conflict of interest and conduct unbecoming of a School Principal. The Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan quashed the decision to demote the principal, holding that the School Board breached its duty of procedural fairness toward the employee.
The School Board demoted a school principal following receipt of an  Investigation Report which concluded, among other things, that that the Principal had placed himself in a conflict of interest and used his position of authority as principal in an inappropriate manner. On judicial review, the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan found that the Board breached its duty of procedural fairness to the Principal in failing to provide the principal with sufficient particulars of the allegations, a fair opportunity to respond or sufficient reasons for the decision. As a result, the School Board’s decisions were void ab initio and the principal was reinstated to principal duties.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

MF v Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board2020 HRTO 377

The Applicant, the father of two students, alleged that the School Board had discriminated against him on the basis of various prohibited grounds of discrimination by issuing a Trespass Notice against him. In dismissing the Application, the Tribunal held that the Applicant had no reasonable prospect of success to establish that a prohibited ground was a factor in the School Board’s decision to issue the Trespass Notice.

 

JS and JSS v Toronto Catholic District School Board2020 HRTO 411

The Applicant, the mother of a student, alleged that the School Board discriminated against her and her son on the basis of various prohibited grounds of discrimination because the School Board allegedly failed to ensure her son’s safety during incidents that occurred during recess. The Tribunal held that the Application had no reasonable prospect of success because there was no link between the incidents at the school and the prohibited grounds.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario v York Region District School Board2020 ONSC 3685

The Union brought an Application for Judicial Review of an arbitrator’s decision holding that a School Principal had reasonable cause to access the personal email account of the Grievors on the Grievors’ work computer. The Divisional Court dismissed the Union’s Application for Judicial Review and held that the arbitrator’s decision was reasonable.

 

LABOUR RELATIONS

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario v Lakehead District School Board2020 CanLII 35186

The Ontario Labour Relations Board determined that the School Board committed an unfair labour practice contrary to the Labour Relations Act when it required all teachers to attend to their Schools on a professional activity day without regard for the established practice whereby most, if not all, of those teachers had been afforded the opportunity to elect to work from home or at the school site.

 

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION CONSULTATION

The Ministry published the Approach to reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year.