Brantford, Hamilton teachers disciplined for professional misconduct

Two teachers with the Grand Erie District School Board have been disciplined for misconduct, according to the Ontario College of Teachers.

One teacher used words like "stupid" and"idiots" in class

Two teachers at the Grand Erie District School Board in Brantford, Ont., have been disciplined for professional misconduct. (iStock)

A Brantford teacher who used dirty language and made inappropriate comments in earshot of students has been disciplined by the Ontario College of Teachers. 

Jennifer Green-Johnson pleaded no contest to charges of abusing a student verbally, physically, psychologically or emotionally in incidents going back several years.

She is one of two teachers with the Grand Erie District School Board to be disciplined for misconduct by the college in its latest release of decisions.

At the same time, the College revealed that a Hamilton Catholic board teacher has had his teaching licence revoked after being convicted of sexual assault and sexual interference. The professional discipline decisions are published on the college's website.

Green-Johnson was formally reprimanded, required to serve a one-month suspension retroactively and required to enroll in a boundaries class. Her hearing was in January but the details of her discipline were published in the September issue of the college's professional magazine.

Incidents in 2011

One of the incidents happened in 2011 when the teacher watched two male students wrestling and commented, "So you like it from behind."

She used language like "stupid," "idiots," "bitching" and "ass" while teaching.

Another time, she was trying to break rough-housing students apart when she "made accidental conduct" with the groin of one of the students, who was very upset.

The college noted that Green-Johnson has not had another incident in four years.

Green-Johnson had already served three disciplinary actions for the allegations, and her suspension was deemed satisfied retroactively to avoid disrupting her classroom.

Possible asbestos exposure

The second teacher, Peter Gumulak, pleaded no contest in June to charges of professional misconduct for the purposes of the college's hearing, but has filed a labour grievance on the three-day suspension he received at the time. Charges of dishonourable or disgraceful conduct were withdrawn.

He was formally reprimanded and ordered to take a safety course.

He oversaw three students repairing a section of wall in order to teach them how to drywall – but the school has asbestos and the teacher had been warned about possible exposure. He didn't tell the custodian about his plans or consult the asbestos binder for the school before he did it.

The students wore masks and eye coverings but the teacher did not. The Ministry of Labour came to the school to investigate and the students had to stay in class until the examiner gave an all-clear signal. No charges were laid by the ministry.

"The concern related to not knowing how much asbestos had been disturbed, and not wanting [people] to potentially contaminate the rest of the school by walking through it," according to the discipline decision on the college's website.

Abuse of a position of trust 'in the gravest manner'

The college also revoked the credential of Joe Graziano, a teacher from Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, after the former Cathedral Secondary School teacher was found guilty in 2013 of sexual interference and sexual assault in relation to a student. 

The committee called the teacher's conduct "egregious". "The member abused his position of trust and authority in the gravest manner," the discipline report concluded.

That wasn't the only incident. Although Graziano's credential was revoked last December, the college re-revoked the credential in August for another series of inappropriate, criminal incidents with a different student. 

The former Cathedral Secondary School teacher was convicted last fall of two counts of sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual exploitation and sentenced to three years in prison.

"Over the course of three years, Mr. Graziano engaged in sexual activities with the student in his classroom, at his home, and in a recreational trailer that he owned," the college noted. "Mr. Graziano was found by a criminal court to have performed oral sex on the student and masturbated himself at the same time."