File photo

B.C. teacher not issued certificate lodges human rights complaint after sexual assault charge stayed

To date the TRB has not decided if it will issue him a teaching certificate

An unidentified man who disclosed to the Teacher Regulation Branch that he had been charged with sexual assault but the charges were stayed has filed a human rights complaint against the branch for not issuing him a teaching certificate.

The man made his application to the TRB in December 2016 and his disclosure prompted it to investigate if he was suitable to become a teacher.

The investigation began in February 2017 and concluded last fall, but to date the TRB still has not decided if it will issue him a teaching certificate.

The TRB is part of the Ministry of Education and regulates B.C.’s teaching profession under the provisions of the Teachers Act.

The applicant says the delay amounts to discrimination “on the basis of a criminal conviction unrelated to his proposed profession,” contrary to the Human Rights Code.

“In this case, the applicant strongly disputes the allegations of sexual assault,” Tribunal Member Devyn Cousineau noted in her reasons for decision issued Thursday (March 28). “The alleged incident happened in 2009, over seven years before the applicant applied for a teaching certificate. Charges were laid in 2010 and stayed on the day that the trial was scheduled to begin in March 2011.

“The reason that the charges were stayed appears to relate to the applicant’s fiancee refusing to testify – in his view, because the allegations were false.”

READ ALSO: Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

READ ALSO: Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’s relative

The TRB denies any discrimination.

“It argues that the applicant has not experienced any adverse impact in respect of his membership in the profession,” Cousineau said of the TRB, “and that, in any event, a criminal charge for sexual assault is related to the job of being a teacher.”

The TRB asked Cousineau to dismiss the complaint, but she decided it “surpasses the realm of conjecture” and as such decided the complaint should be heard as it “warrants the time and expense of a hearing.

“I stress that this decision is not a prediction about whether the complaint is likely to succeed,” she said.

She also ordered that the tribunal restrict publication of the applicant’s name “until the hearing of this complaint,” a date for which has not yet been set.

“This complaint involves unproven allegations about sexual assault against a person who is applying to become a teacher,” Cousineau noted in her reasons. “If the applicant is eventually granted a teaching licence, in my view it would be harmful to his professional reputation and the interests of his students to have his name associated with these allegations. As such, I have exercised my discretion in this decision to anonymize the name of the complainants,

“This is an interim measure, which will remain in place until the hearing of the complaint,” Cousineau said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Exhausted Rossland skateboard volunteers pass torch to city council

Organization asks council to take over project

Rossland council split on arena fix

Rossland council approves band-aid for arena, while its future is debated

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read