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Government addressing Protecting Students Act, again

By Ashley Clark [1]

BELLEVILLE – A bill allowing school boards to report inappropriate behaviour by teachers to their licensing body is back in the spotlight.

The Protecting Students Act aims to keep students safe from teacher misconduct and make board regulations more transparent by improving communication between the Ontario College of Teachers [2] and the public.

This bill is the result of an investigative report [3] published by retired judge Patrick J. LeSage [4] in 2012. It outlined 49 recommendations to improve the procedures of the Ontario College of Teachers.

According to a press release, the act is meant to ensure the following:

“Educators are professionals who care about the safety, well-being and achievement of their students and children. But in those rare circumstances when discipline is required, it is important for Ontario families to be confident in the action that is taken. This proposed legislation will strengthen the authority of the colleges to take decisive action, while ensuring the process is open and transparent for everyone involved,” said Minister of Education Mitzi Hunter in a press release.

The bill originally was introduced by the government in September 2013, but got dropped when the election ramped up.

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