Ontario to make info public on serious criminal proceedings involving teachers
DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
DURHAM/KAWARTHA: The Ontario government is taking a step to making criminal proceedings involving teachers more transparent.
On Tuesday, February 8th, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the provincial government is “becoming the first Canadian jurisdiction to publicly disclose and make parents and guardians aware of educators [who] have been involved in sexual abuse and other serious criminal proceedings.”
In a press release, the government explained they’re “giving clear authority to the OCT (Ontario College of Teachers) and CECE (College of Early Childhood Educators) to make information public, about criminal proceedings involving their members, on the public registers.”
During a recent press conference, Minister Lecce stressed the importance of transparency for parents in these cases.
“We want parents to be aware of the information related to the safety and security of their children.”
Minster Lecce added, the government has “zero tolerance for anyone who [would] harm a child” and is “firmly committed to preventing, [and] to stopping sexual abuse before it even begins.”
The press release noted, the government has taken other safety steps in the past, including “lifetime bans on any educator who has engaged in physical, sexual relations with a student,” and a requirement for the two Ontario educator colleges to provide “funding for therapy and counselling to students and children who are victims of sexual abuse.”