The Ontario government says it is allowing regulatory colleges to publicly disclose educators who have been involved in sexual abuse or other serious criminal proceedings.
“To further protect students and children, Ontario is becoming the first Canadian jurisdiction to publicly disclose and make parents and guardians aware of educators that have been involved in sexual abuse and other serious criminal proceedings,” officials said in a news release Tuesday.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement on Tuesday that gives the Ontario College of Teachers and the College of Early Childhood Educators authority to share that information publicly.
“Publicly posting this information allows parents to know which educators have been involved in criminal proceedings that are relevant to their practice when this information is known to the college,” Lecce said.
He said parents have a right to know if an educator is charged or convicted.
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Lecce also announced that all certified educators will have to complete a mandatory sexual abuse prevention program by mid-September.
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“Our government takes a zero-tolerance approach for anyone who would abuse or threaten children,” Lecce said.
“I ensured that any educator involved in this heinous criminality faces a life ban from working in any school or licensed child care program again, along with a permanent record on a public registry,” he continued.
“We are going further by making information about criminal proceedings related to teachers and early childhood educators public with one aim: to protect the safety of Ontario’s children.”
Several other measures have already been implemented such as lifetime bans on any educator who has engaged in physical sexual relations with a student, or is involved with child pornography.
The ban is also retroactive for previous incidents, officials noted.
They also said the Ontario College of Teachers and the College of Early Childhood Educators must provide funding for therapy/counselling to students and children who are victims of sexual abuse.
Information on disciplinary decisions must be made available on the colleges’ registrars and websites on a permanent basis.
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