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College Of Teachers Revokes Teaching Licenses As A Result Of Speech – Education



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Two recent cases heard by the Ontario College of Teachers
addressed the behaviour of teachers who were espousing racist and
disparaging remarks both in and outside the classroom.

Ontario College of Teachers v Dimarco, 2021 ONOCT
142

Along with allegations that he verbally, emotionally, and
psychologically abused students, the Member in this case spent
class time teaching Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracy
theories.

The Member prepared a slideshow for students titled
“Zionism slideshow” to support instruction to students
with uncreditable and unapproved sources to argue that the
Holocaust was untrue and that the Israeli government was a
malicious force that exaggerated the Holocaust to manipulate the
world. The slideshow did not reflect Board-approved curriculum and
contained YouTube clips that were subsequently censored by the
platform for hate speech.

When the school planned a trip to certain memorial sites related
to the Second World War, including a concentration camp, the Member
openly disparaged the trip as propaganda. He told his students that
“…they were intentionally being taken to a Holocaust
memorial site when they first arrived and would be fatigued from
travelling, in order to prevent students from questioning the
Holocaust narrative and to play on their sympathies.” [par.
14]

The Member also espoused 9/11 conspiracy theories to his
students – particularly that the US government caused the
collapse of the World Trade towers.

Accompanying the Member’s remarks inside the classroom, he
provided students with a link to his rock band’s public
website. Some song titles were “911 IS A LIE” and
“The Counter-Narrative”; the songs contained lyrics
describing, among other things, violent methods for murdering the
members of the 9/11 Commission. In his music videos, the Member was
seen brandishing several semi-automatic weapons and seemingly
drinking alcohol.

The Discipline Committee found that the Member’s conduct and
statements were abuses of his position of trust and authority over
his students. The Committee strongly condemned the Member’s
conduct and found that his conduct discredited the teaching
profession at large requiring that his license be revoked.

Ontario College of Teachers v Kaprusiak, 2022 ONOCT
72

In this case, the Member posted racist and derogatory views on
social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Scribd. While
the Member did not teach at a school board, he was employed as a
private tutor.

The Member posted pictures of people in public, without their
consent, and wrote racist and offensive comments. Some comments
suggested that members of certain religious and/or ethnic groups
were predators, pedophiles, rapists, etc.; as well stating that
Black, Caribbean, Jewish, Chinese, and/or gay people were engaging
in forms of criminal activity.

The Member did not cooperate and failed to appear at his
discipline proceedings and continued instead to post material
online, similar to that which was the subject of the discipline
process.

Demonstrating his lack of governability and remorse for his
conduct, the Discipline Committee revoked the Member’s teaching
license and ordered the Member to pay $15,000 for the time,
expense, and resources spent by the College over his failure to
participate.

These cases remind us of the important role of teachers who hold
positions of trust and influence over their students, as was
recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in Ross v New
Brunswick School District No. 15
, [1996] 1 S.C.R. 825, and
strong regulation of behaviour that might derogate from trust in
public education.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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