No school board rule on convictions

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 8, 2016

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.