Toronto Sun

July 20, 2002

Fight to return to classroom not over yet

By ROB GRANATSTEIN -- Toronto Sun

BARRIE -- Laura Sclater's fight to return to the classroom isn't over yet.

The Ontario College of Teachers will hold a disciplinary hearing Oct. 24 and 25 to determine if the teacher is guilty of professional misconduct.

"There doesn't need to be a criminal conviction for her behaviour to be ruled unacceptable," college spokesman Denys Giguere said.

He said the teen at the centre of Sclater's sexual misconduct trial would likely be called to testify in front of the panel.

Sclater was acquitted of all criminal charges yesterday.

Giguere said teachers facing the disciplinary committee don't usually win. "They're few and far between," he said.

TEEN'S ALLEGATIONS

Giguere said new information -- the teen's allegations of kissing, hugging, hand-holding and more -- emerged since Sclater was suspended in 1998.

Sclater served her suspension and returned to the classroom in September 2000. Criminal charges were laid the next month and she was suspended again. She was teaching a Grade 3 class at the time.

During the trial, Sclater admitted she had made mistakes in her dealings with students, but denied the allegations of kissing or having sexual intent.

Sclater also faces a $2.6-million civil suit.

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.