OCT OEEO

PS_March_2018

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115 G O V E R N I N G O U R S E LV E S March 2018 | Professionally Speaking HEARINGS A Discipline Committee panel revoked the teaching certificate of Hendrik Christopher Reinders, a teacher formerly employed by the Near North District School Board, for engaging in numerous acts of harassment and abuse of staff and students over the course of several years. Reinders, who was certified to teach in June 1993, did not attend the hearings on March 22 and 23, 2017, and was not represented by legal counsel. Reinders' conduct was extremely serious. He harassed and threatened colleagues, and was insulting and abusive toward students. Examples of his behav- iour include swearing in class, insulting a student's appearance, threatening to physically harm students, and speaking about killing a colleague. The panel noted that he did not show remorse for his actions; to the contrary, his lack of participation in the College's disciplinary proceedings and his cor- respondence with College counsel show a failure to acknowledge that he may have committed serious misconduct and harmed others. The Discipline Committee panel found Reinders guilty of professional misconduct and directed the Registrar to revoke his Certificate of Qualification and Registration. The panel stated that the College exists to govern the profession in the public interest. Reinders' refusal to abide by the College's processes makes him ungovernable, which was an aggravating factor leading toward revocation. In its written decision, the panel also stated that "staff and students need to be protected from the Member's hostile and abusive behaviour." Member: Paul Szabo Registration No: 251160 Decision: Reprimand, conditions A Discipline Committee panel repri- manded Paul Szabo, a former teacher employed by the Upper Grand District School Board, for inappropriate com- ments and conduct in class. Szabo, who was certified to teach in June 1985, was self-represented but did not attend the hearing on July 19, 2017. Szabo repeatedly made harsh and abusive comments to his students. He demonstrated a profound lack of judg- ment, restraint and respect. The Discipline Committee panel found him guilty of professional misconduct. The panel ordered that he appear before it to receive a reprimand. In addition, he was directed to com- plete, at his own expense, a course on anger management. In its written decision, the panel stated, "Teaching is often challenging, but teachers must adhere to the stan- dards of the profession in their classroom management and discipline. Members are expected to keep their composure at all times, to provide students with safe and supportive learning environments, or to seek assistance as needed." Member: Donald Ashley Thompson, OCT Registration No: 440021 Decision: Reprimand, conditions A Discipline Committee panel repri- manded Donald Ashley Thompson, a teacher with the Toronto District School Board, for a repeated pattern of inappro- priate conduct. Thompson, who was certified to teach in September 2001, attended the public hearing on June 12, 2017, with his legal counsel. The panel heard that Thompson resorted to the use of, or the threat of using, physical force against students de- spite receiving warnings and disciplinary sanctions from the board. During the latest incident, he raised his fist and made a punching motion toward or near a student. He was charged with assault, but the charge was subsequently withdrawn in exchange for the member entering into a peace bond. The panel found Thompson guilty of professional misconduct and ordered him to appear before it immediately after the hearing to receive a reprimand. It also directed the member to success- fully complete, at his own expense, Copies of the full decisions are available at oct-oeeo.ca/decisions. a pre-approved course on anger manage- ment and effective student discipline. He needs to do so prior to starting any position for which a Certificate of Qualification and Registration is required. In its decision, the panel stated, "As adults and professionals, teachers are expected to keep their composure and to address difficult situations in a reasonable and professional manner." Member: Not identified Decision: Revocation, reprimand A Discipline Committee panel revoked the Certificate of Qualification and Registration of a College member. The revocation is related to several criminal convictions resulting from his interactions with a student, including sexually abusing the student, possessing child pornography, and failing to com- ply with a condition not to go within 200 metres of the student's place of resi- dence and school. He was sentenced to 33 months' incar- ceration followed by three years' probation. The name of the member is not identified because the court ordered a publication ban, including the mem- ber's name, to protect the identity of the student. The panel heard that the member had an inappropriate relationship with the student. It started with them exchanging declarations of love and led to them engaging in sexual relations. The Discipline Committee panel found him guilty of professional mis- conduct and directed the Registrar to revoke his teaching certificate. He was also directed to appear before the com- mittee immediately after the hearing to receive a reprimand. In its written decision, the panel stated that his conduct "was inexcusable and had a devastating impact on many, including the student and the student's family, the Member's family, the school community, and the profession at large." PS

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