Employee has right to remain silent but must face consequences for actions

Ontario school board suspends teacher after refusal
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 11/04/2019
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An Ontario school board suspended a teacher without pay when the teacher’s refusal to provide information on allegations of inappropriate behaviour from two students hindered its investigation.

In May 2016, the parents of a 12-year-old female student told the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board that their daughter and her friend — who was in the same class — had accused a teacher of inappropriate behaviour, including painting the nails of one student with highlighters and glitter blue, regularly placing his hands on their shoulders, telling one student he had a picture of her on his bedroom wall, lifting one girl’s shirt and bra strap to place a paper towel underneath, placing his hand on one student’s upper thigh, and commenting that one girl smelled nice.

The school board questioned the teacher about the allegations and, after consulting his union representative, he gave “yes” or “no” responses to each alleged incident — yes to the nail-painting and comment about a student smelling nice, no to all the others. The board removed him from the classroom but assigned him work to do from home while it investigated further.