No school board rule on convictions

Ryan Ross
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No school board rule on convictions

When employees in P.E.I.'s English education system get a criminal record they aren't required to report it to their employer, says English Language School Board superintendent, Cynthia Fleet.

Fleet said the board might not be aware of a conviction and the employer doesn't always know what happens in an employee's personal life.

"What you do in your private life is there unless it comes to our attention," she said.

The Guardian contacted both of P.E.I.'s school boards about their procedures after Stonepark Intermediate School vice-principal, Gregory Campbel, recently pleaded guilty to two counts of harassing a woman who ended a relationship with him.

The board refuses to say what Campbell's employment status is currently.

At least two other people who work in the education system were convicted of drunk driving in recent weeks.

Fleet said when there is a concern or complaint raised, the board determines whether to start an investigation.

"We do that usually with legal counsel as well and with consideration to employment law," she said.

Employees in the school system are required to submit to a criminal background check as part of the hiring process.

Fleet said a criminal record doesn't necessarily mean someone won't get or keep a job in the education system and it's a judgment call based on the individual circumstances.

"There's not one size fits everybody in this," she said.

If the board is made aware of any criminal offences, it takes them seriously, Fleet said.

"No matter how minor it is."

The French Language School Board follows similar procedures when its staff becomes aware of issues involving employees.

Superintendent Anne Bernard-Bourgeois, said when issues come up the board addresses them.

"And we do, I can assure you of that," she said.

When it comes to employees reporting criminal convictions, Bernard-Bourgeois said there is no policy in place requiring it.

It is something she said she addressed when she first became superintendent more than two years ago because some employees have worked for the board for many years since submitting their initial criminal record checks.

She asked employees to voluntarily submit updated criminal background checks, Bernard-Bourgeois said.

"We did have some people submit, which was really good."

Bernard-Bourgeois said the board is starting formal work this month on updating its policies and it is an issue that could be dealt with at that time.

Organizations: English Language School Board, Stonepark Intermediate School, Campbell's French Language School Board

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Louann
    February 12, 2016 - 09:41

    It's wonderful to know there are so many God like folks out there ! Never made a mistake , are perfect citizens in all ways, clear conscious of any misdoings , oooo to be so righteous. Judge not or you will be judged !!

  • Substitute Sally
    February 09, 2016 - 16:32

    Substitute teachers require a criminal record check every two years. Why is this not the policy for all ELSB employees?

  • david
    February 09, 2016 - 01:58

    This has to be the most asinine policy I have ever heard. So a teacher employed now could be charged with crime involving children or spousal abuse or kiddie porn and unless they chose to tell someone then they could keep right on working and teaching. This is insane why are there not standard criminal background checks required at least every 5 years or maybe every 2 years. If a school teacher from PEI went away on a vacation and was arrested and charged say in Ontario and they chose to tell no one they could just keep right on teaching our kids with no consequences in PEI. So how many school teachers are NOW employed in PEI who maybe convicted or charged pedophiles or sex perverts or spousal abusers and they are still employed and teaching our kids. Does anyone know obviously the Dept. of Education does not know or is even concerned about this.

  • Island Boy
    February 08, 2016 - 18:50

    Stupid is as stupid teaches. What other education system would do as District did and penalize a teacher who wrote one set of parents after the school year was completed and asked them toy withdraw the written derogatory statements concerning personal and professional qualifications the parents made to District concerning the teacher?... yet the same District "hides" from taking action against a convicted felon who works part time following people and acts like the "hit man" of The Three Stodges in every day life... great example!

  • April
    February 08, 2016 - 16:47

    Obviously this man was not that bad of a teacher because the people were not clamoring around to fire him prior to his charges being made public. If his personal life and stress he must have been feeling knowing he would soon be in the public eye didn't affect his ability to teach, leave him alone. He was found guilty and was sentenced by the judge. Shame on these parents for trying to sentence this man again. He didn't commit a crime against a child or assault anyone. I'm sure many of the parents are not angels and have not always acted perfect when it comes to break up of relationships. I'm in no way condoning the man's actions but pointing out he's not the only who let emotions of a bad relationship cloud his judgement. Instead of acting all high and mighty, the parents could use what happened to their teacher as an example of how not to deal with a break up. Kids in high school break up every other week. Let them learn what could happen but don't condemn him or throw stones if you yourself are a sinner. Also could be used as lesson in humility and forgiveness. Also we shouldn't always not hire those with criminal records because often those with these kind of life experiences but were able to overcome can make the wisest teachers.

    • JJ
      February 09, 2016 - 19:45

      Wow...you know about 0.0001% of the facts of this case! FYI...he wasn't "found" guilty! He PLEADED guilty!

  • joe
    February 08, 2016 - 16:43

    Grew up in Morell . We had one bus driver who drank heavily every day. Nothing was ever done.

    • For the record
      February 08, 2016 - 23:58

      Actually, when a substitute bus driver found an empty pint bottle under his seat he was fired and the substitute got his job. So there was something done

  • Ralph
    February 08, 2016 - 16:21

    If indeed there exists no policy, then why do they even have School Board. If a teacher is convicted of sexual assault, is it business as usual? This the most absurd situation and response i"ve heard this year, whomever this Fleet person is, she should be sent packing...unreal!

  • de udder guy
    February 08, 2016 - 15:16

    A policy utterly devoid of common sense and ethical responsibility. One teacher may be harshly sanctioned for hugging a distressed student while another can potentially commit the most egregious of crimes and if they don't report it themselves "no harm, no foul". Shame, shame, shame.

  • Parent of former student of "Mr." Campbell
    February 08, 2016 - 14:22

    "Mr." Campbell should have been investigated for the way he treats students long before this. As a parent of a former student, Campbell's actions were brought to the attention of the administration on several occasions. Was anything done? NO! Always the student's fault no matter how many other students would contradict him.

  • don
    February 08, 2016 - 11:36

    criminal record is just that. you would not hire them so why keep them. fire then they do not deserve the jobs. and with kids being around i for one as a parent i do not want a person near my child. but i guess it depends on who you know in the liberal party.

  • Concerned Parent
    February 08, 2016 - 09:54

    These are professionals we are talking about. Do they not answer to a professional association? Most professionals are obligated every year when they register with their professional association to answer the question " have you been found guilty of a criminal offense since you last registered? if so then the association is responsible to investigate, usually by a disciplinary committee and make stipulations on the professional's employment to protect the public....do our children not deserve to be protected? Do teachers not pay professional dues and register every year? You need to update the criminal record check two years when you volunteering with children on PEI??? Who are we protecting here...doesn't sound like the children.

  • Just Sayin
    February 08, 2016 - 08:24

    When it comes to employees reporting criminal convictions, Bernard-Bourgeois said there is no policy in place requiring it.....I believe this is where they are weak, no policy. I agree not everyone should be fired because of a criminal record. It depends on the severity of the conviction and the position of the offender.Crimes of a sexual nature,especially against children, means immediate dismissal with no appeal.

  • Good Idea
    February 08, 2016 - 07:51

    This is a good idea , after all the teachers we send our children to are suppose to also be role models of what we want our children to be . Upstanding citizens with good morals . I think these rules have gone lax in the last few years . Police officers have also slipped big time . I can remember when a RCMP officer would lose their job if they got caught drinking & driving or breaking the law . I believe there was a lot more respect from the younger people for these positions when the rules were followed .

  • Are you kidding me.
    February 08, 2016 - 06:15

    Are the bus drivers tested for drugs?

    • asdf
      February 09, 2016 - 19:28

      First of all, just a few points I would like to throw out there. Situations like this show what needs to be fixed within the system, not only education, but all areas of employment. The ELSB has to be very careful how they deal with this or they will end in court if they don't follow due process. The general public watches too many episodes of Law & Order, etc... where a crime, court case, and sentencing are wrapped up in an hour. What job would you be able to stay in for committing this crime or any crime? Many people remain in their jobs after being convicted of crimes. As far as parents coming out after the fact bad mouthing Mr. Campbell, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You should have acted at the time of the problems and don't say you tried, but didn't get anywhere, well maybe you should have tried harder or talked to the right people. Don't blame others, blame yourself. As far as blaming Cynthia Fleet, forget it. Policies were established long ago and yes they need to be fixed, but this takes time to do it right. As far as teachers being role models, you are absolutely right, but the most important role model is the parent themselves and many parents are failing at this.