UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today

Wpg Free Press: Concerns about teacher should be directed to authorities, not Facebook: law professor

October 31, 2017 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports: 

A Brandon teacher who has spoken out against a male teacher who domestically assaulted her four years ago should work within the system if she believes he’s not fit to teach, University of Manitoba law professor Karen Busby said Monday.

“It’s not a slam-dunk that he’s not fit to be a teacher,” Busby said. “What I want is effectively-changed behaviour, that’s the justice I want.”

Busby, an expert in issues of violence against women, was reacting to a story in Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press, and does not know the two teachers.

The elementary school teacher did not know her former boyfriend was a teacher in Brandon until she saw his car in the parking lot of a junior high school earlier this month.

She posted details of what he had done to her on Facebook, but told the Free Press that the Manitoba Teachers’ Society union ordered her to delete the post, and allegedly threatened to begin disciplinary proceedings that could lead to her losing her teaching certificate if she continued to speak out….

Busby said that victims of violence should be allowed to speak out, and should not have “a gag order” imposed on them.

On the other hand, she said, the court imposed significant penalties and conditions following the conviction. The fact his former girlfriend wasn’t aware he is teaching in Brandon until she spotted his car shows he obeyed the ruling to stay away from her, she said.

“What is it that she wants to have happen?” asked Busby.

Has the man committed similar offences since, or has he changed his behaviour, Busby asked. “Did counselling make a difference, does he realize what he did wrong?” she asked.

“Presumably, criminal-record checks are done on teachers before they’re hired,” she said.


© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341