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

RDKS issues planned Boil Water Notice for Thornhill area

Due to roundabout construction, residents and businesses are advised to boil water before consuming

Skeena Voices | A legend off the ice

Joe Pelletier’s love for hockey led him to become a sports writer

Historic downtown tree turned into a work of art

Local artist carves a logger into wooden stump

Police still looking for more info on missing mushroom picker in Nass Valley

65-year-old Greg Agnew was reported missing on Sept. 30

Houston housing needs surveyed

Results to aid District of Houston planning

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

U.S. officials deny it was mistake, release video of vehicle crossing into Washington from Langley

LETTERS: Wolf kills, wilderness protection and caribou recovery

Readers respond to Tom Fletcher’s column on B.C. program

Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

The pickup truck was seen leaving the roadway before bursting into flames

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Island pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Most Read