So, when I wrote about a little silly decision from the Ontario College of Teacher Disciplinary Tribunal recently, I didn't think too much of it. I didn't imagine that they were really a corrupt body that was self serving and hit with the "Power Corrupts" bug. Well, I was wrong.
Take the case of Jim Black for example.
Here's what the record of James Arthur Black says on the Ontario College of Teachers website:
On October 23, 2008, member found guilty of professional misconduct. On July 27, 2009, Certificate of qualification and registration suspended for twenty four months. Reprimand. Member to pay fine of $1000. Publication in Professionally Speaking.Isn't that good? They are policing their own and got a bad one, so they nicked him.
Well, not so fast there, gentle readers.
Jim Black is one of the good guys. Impossible you say. Read on.
Here is a little about Jim Black from the Canadian For Accountability web site:
A retired Ontario teacher with 30 years of experience, he appears to have an excellent reputation amongst his peers: in 2002 he was nominated for the Prime Minister's Award in teaching and he served on the Ontario College of Teachers Council from 2002-2003. We evaluated his situation and determined that he fit the criteria of a whistleblower in difficulty.Here is a bit from the LifeSite News article about Jim from June 17, 2009:
James Black, who was a teacher in Ontario for 30 years, was elected to sit on the OCT Council from 2002-2003. While on the Council, he served for a time on the Discipline Committee, which is in part responsible for deciding whether to reinstate the licenses of sex offenders. In 2006, Black told CTV News that he thought parents would be surprised to find out that sometimes licenses are reinstated. “Even people that have been convicted ... have the opportunity to become teachers again by making a presentation behind closed doors,” Black said.
While on the Committee in 2003, Black participated in a hearing for Rodney Palmer, a teacher who, in 1990, was convicted of sexual exploitation and imprisoned for 15 months. Palmer had made sexual advances on a 16-year-old student at Brockville Collegiate public school, and, after moving to St. Mary’s Catholic School, brought a 17-year-old student home several times to have sex. After his conviction, Palmer’s license was suspended indefinitely.
At the hearing, Palmer sought a reinstatement of his teaching license, which the OCT granted him. According to CTV News, the only evidence they heard was from Palmer himself, and Black was the only member to vote against his reinstatement.
That, of course was not the end for Mr. Black. Later on things began to happen as the LifeSite item stated:
In 2004, Black was asked by the Ministry of Education to submit a critique of the OCT, a new body that completely oversees the teachers of Ontario, one of only two such governing bodies in Canada. Troubled by his time with the OCT, Black submitted a highly-critical four-page report addressing his concerns, particularly regarding them allowing sex offenders back into the classroom.Here is a CTV Whistleblower report from 2006.
After submitting his report, Black says that he was subject to escalating reprisals, and in 2006, he opted to retire, which he says was largely due to the stress of having to deal with the actions being taken against him. In the same year, while running as a candidate for board trustee, Black made his report more public, resulting in media attention.
Palmer filed a complaint with the OCT in 2007, and, after a year-long investigation, Black was found guilty of breaching confidentiality in October 2008. Black is now awaiting a decision regarding his punishment, having just completed hearings.
In this wacky world we live in, a teacher who abuses students can get reinstated and if another blows the whistle on him because some morons at the OCT cannot see the danger he poses to the students in his care, the whistleblower is suspended, and fined, for breaching the privacy of a convicted criminal. Is this a crazy country we live in or what?
Jim Black is a hero. The OCT is no better than our HRCs. They all are cut from the same cloth, and it sucks.