Province, school board to share Speight settlement costs
Nova Scotia's Department of Education and the South Shore Regional School Board are splitting the bill to keep a man convicted of indecent acts out of the classroom.
The deal with Peter Speight was finalized Wednesday night. He agreed to give up his job and teaching licence in exchange for an undisclosed sum.
Sources tell CBC News the award exceeds $200,000, including $150,000 in back pay he was entitled to after an arbitrator ruled that he shouldn't have been fired.
Neither board superintendent Nancy Pynch-Worthylake nor Education Minister Ramona Jennex will talk about the details of the settlement.
Pynch-Worthylake said the school board and the province will share the cost, but the exact split hasn’t been worked out yet.
"We will work with them in terms of managing the financial impact," she told CBC News on Thursday.
Jennex said the province would work with the school board to ensure it's not overly burdened by the cost of the deal.
Pynch-Worthylake said it's too early to know what impact the deal will have on the board's budget.
"It was something that had to be done for the sake of the children and the programming at New Germany, and we've done it and we'll work out the details," she said.
Many parents threatened to pull their children out of New Germany elementary school if Speight was returned to the classroom.
Speight was fired from his job teaching in 2009 after pleading guilty to committing indecent acts against women. He was given a conditional discharge, which means he has no criminal record if he follows those conditions.
An arbitrator overturned the school board's decision to fire him and imposed a one-year suspension instead.
The Department of Education yanked Speight's teaching licence shortly after he was fired by the board. But another arbitrator later ruled that it should be reinstated.