Being Investigated by the BC College of Teachers?

Teaching is a fulfilling profession that has many rewards and challenges. However, teachers can also be the subject of allegations and complaints before the BC College of Teachers. This pamphlet will give you some initial advice of what to do if you are contacted by the college.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a teacher investigated by the college?

The college has a statutory mandate under the Teaching Profession Act to regulate the professional conduct and competency of college members. Concerns about the conduct of a teacher may come to the attention of the college through a variety of sources, the most common being: reports of disciplinary action taken by a school district, person complaints, and reports of criminal charges. The college will advise you in writing if it receives any reports regarding your conduct.

What should you do if you receive a letter from the college?

  1. If you receive a letter from the college which contains allegations of professional conduct and/or competency concerns, contact your local president immediately. Your local president will assist you in applying for BCTF legal aid. All matters will be treated confidentially.
  2. Take care to keep copies of all correspondence you receive from the college, as well as all other documents you have related to the allegations. Provide these documents to the BCTF with your request for legal aid.
  3. If you are contacted by the college, and you are already receiving legal assistance, ask the college to contact your representative. If you are not yet represented by BCTF staff or a lawyer, advise college staff that you would like to obtain legal advice before responding. If necessary, ask that deadlines be extended to give you an opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

Do NOT do any of the following without legal advice:

  1. Advise the college of your position in response to allegations
  2. Resign, retire, or let your teaching certificate laps.
  3. Answer informal resolution questions.
  4. Attend an interview with a college investigator.
  5. Respond to an investigation report.
  6. Make an agreement with the college.
  7. Participate in a hearing.

Remember:

Facing allegations before a professional body is inherently stressful even where those allegations are inaccurate or minor. The slowness of college proceedings means your stress level may build over time. Most school boards have an Employee Assistance Program available free to teachers. They offer a range of confidential services including counselling and stress management. Support from a counsellor is recommended for anyone facing professional discipline proceedings. You should not avoid seeking support out of fear that it will be seen as an admission of wrongdoing. You are not alone. Your colleagues, your local, and the BCTF will assist you in responding to the college.


Wednesday, August 25th, 2010. Filed in Category: F.A.Q.

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