Investigation of Parent Complaint
A member calls after receiving a phone call from the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) informing her that a parent has filed a complaint about her treatment of a student. The teacher is upset that the College will be investigating and wants to know what she should do.
The member is advised to contact OECTA’s Counselling and Member Services department immediately. She should not discuss the situation with the parent who filed the complaint, and should send a copy of the College’s written notice of the investigation to OECTA as soon as she receives it. The OECTA counsellor will review the documents and either assist the member directly or ask legal counsel to help. To ensure prompt response to OCT investigations, members are encouraged to forward their documents to Provincial Office through their local unit office.
The Ontario College of Teachers usually notifies members by telephone of a complaint before mailing the written notice. Members should not engage in discussion with College representatives or respond to any written notification until they have received all relevant documents and advice from OECTA.
Members should take all complaints seriously because the College has the power to revoke and suspend a teacher’s certificate, as outlined in Section 7 of the Professional Misconduct Regulation of the Ontario College of Teachers’ Act, December 1997. Under the Regulation, the College is obligated to investigate all written complaints. A member’s failure to respond to inquiries and requests for documentation from the College is illegal and in itself could lead to discipline.
If you receive notice that the College is investigating you, contact OECTA’s Counselling and Member Services department immediately. Resist the temptation to discuss this matter with anyone, including colleagues, the complainant and your principal.