Statement from the Ontario Principals' Council



    TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - On May 28, Madame Justice Feldman of the Ontario
Court of Appeal ruled that three school leaders from Toronto are not guilty of
failing to report a student in need of protection. After 18 months and three
court hearings, we are pleased that these three experienced educators have
finally been vindicated and can close this long and difficult chapter in their
lives.
    The Court of Appeal clearly expressed support for educators by noting
their professionalism and their commitment to report in the best interest of
students.
    The case focused on the limitation period in which educators are obliged
to make reports to third parties in certain circumstances and whether the
charges were laid in time. While counsel for the educators were legally
obliged to argue the limitation issue first, the fact remains that there is no
legislative duty for a principal or vice-principal to report
student-on-student incidents to the Children's Aid Society.
    Criminal Counsel for the three educators, Michael Caroline, made the
following statement. "I have come to know these school leaders over the past
several months and can do no better than repeat the description of their
integrity and commitment as made by The Honourable Madame Justice Croll and
echoed by the Court of Appeal, that the suggestion that they would not report
when they suspected that a child was in need of protection out of some sort of
self-interest does not ring true and does a disservice to the profession. My
clients have, and I'm certain will continue to, promote the best interests,
protection and well-being of children in general and their students in
particular."
    All school boards in the province have protocols and policies in place
dictating when, to whom and under what circumstances educators must make
reports to third parties. Principals and vice-principals take these
responsibilities very seriously.
    The decision can be found at
http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/decisions/2009/may/2009ONCA0449.htm.





For further information:

For further information: Peggy Sweeney, Senior Communications
Consultant, Ontario Principals' Council, (416) 573-2261 (cell), (416) 322-6600
(office)

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Ontario Principals' Council

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