June 13th, 2024

One teaching profession needs one strong process


By Lethbridge Herald on April 7, 2022.

Adriana LaGrange
Minister of Education

eforming Teacher Profession Discipline Act. Since I first took office, I have been focused on reforming the process of discipline for the teaching profession. 

In December, I released a statement outlining my commitment to bring legislation forward this spring to improve this process in part due to the Alberta Teacher’s Associations (ATA) statement that they felt did not have an obligation to report its findings to police regarding a case for a former Calgary Board of Education teacher.

I directed my department to review the process, which included engagement with education stakeholders including the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) and College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS), Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) as well organizations such as RESPECT Group, the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Services and the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. I also heard directly from teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and current and former students.

Overwhelmingly, I heard that it was time to change and time to modernize this 85-year- old process in Alberta.

Most families, teachers and teacher leaders in the province will never experience the discipline process. 

This is because far and away the majority of teachers and teacher leaders are outstanding, dedicated professionals who will always prioritize and protect students.

While some critics may try to mislead Albertans into thinking that my motivation is to dismantle the teaching profession or create a “political distraction”. 

The fact is, increasing transparency by creating a public-facing database of teacher and teacher leader certificates will not dismantle the profession. It will align it with other professions.

Mandating school authorities to require criminal record and vulnerable sector checks for teachers and teacher leaders is not a political distraction; and fast-tracking the cancellation of teaching certificates of those convicted of a serious indictable offence, such as child sexual abuse under the Criminal Code is absolutely in the best interest of students.

Now with Bill 15, Alberta’s teaching profession will be united under a single discipline process that will oversee every teacher, principal and superintendent across the entire system regardless of where they are employed. 

What’s more, Alberta is not alone. In fact every other jurisdiction in Canada has separated teachers’ union roles from discipline of its own members, and every other regulated profession in Alberta has done the same.

With the creation of the arms-length Alberta Teaching Profession Commission, parents and students can have the confidence that the body charged with investigating and overseeing the discipline process for teachers is objective, transparent and timely.

Bill 15 also introduces new requirements for key individuals in the education system (including the registrar, newly created commissioner, superintendents, school board chairs, operators of independent and charter schools or early childhood services programs, ATA and CASS) to report to the police where there has been serious harm or a threat to student safety, and reinforces what is already required in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

Our children deserve the absolute best. I look forward to seeing the creation of the Alberta Teaching Profession Commission, something which his long overdue.

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Southern Albertan

More verbal dribble by the now, uncredible UCP, et al.

buckwheat

So you need a criminal record check, a vulnerable sector check to be a bus driver but not a teacher. What is your problem. Don’t care about the “children. This is a good thing and seeing as everyone else is doing just this the ATA is an outlier that needs to reinvent itself after 85 years.

Fairness

Wipe the dribble off your chin – this is about the welfare of our children, not about your political UCP attacks.

Fairness

I do not consider these types of ADVERTS as Comments.

Southern Albertan

This:
“ATA calls UCP bill to strip it of disciplinary role ‘vindictive attack’ and ‘sad effort’ to distract from premier’s failures”
Quote from the blog and an indication that the Kenney UCP may get more than it wishes for:
“The militant new teacher’s union likely to emerge in Alberta from this situation is sure to aggressively represent its members in discipline cases, as unions are required by law in all Canadian provinces to do.”
http://www.albertapolitics.ca

Southern Albertan

The response to this blog by Simon Renouf, former executive director of United Nurses of Alberta, is interesting, and pertinent, with regard to the ‘savvy Lougheed government’ in the day, unlike the present bumbling UCP…..worth reading.

Fairness

Minister LaGrange: The comments reminded me that some years ago, having lived near an Elementary school, I wished to become a Block Parent. The application required that the Police would determine if I were a responsible person who cared about the well being of children. So, being screened reinforces the need for this Commission to be created.

biff

hard to believe how easily suckered are the likes of buckwheat and fairness. do you actually believe teachers have not heretofore been required by the ata to undergo criminal record and vulnerable sector checks?! this is another classic govt bs session. please. folks, do try and see through the lies, propaganda and deceit that is the regular spewing of diarrhea coming from govt.

buckwheat

Leave it to you to be a door knob. You are one sad old man. Having criminal background and vulnerable sector checks is not a one off. Should be required every 3-5 years so you can “protect those children”. Having an outside agency would be no different than ASIRT for the cops. This is a good move and brings the ATA into line with virtually every other teachers union in the country. The ATA is an outlier and reform is needed. Ok give us the stupid senior and Ralph Klein spiel.

biff

um, perhaps you have me confused with a different contributor? as for your other “point,” the minister speaks of criminal/vulnerable record checks as though they do not exist for the ata. they long have. your extension to that – that they should happen every 3-5 years – is not at all noted in the release here. are you the ucp spokesperson for the ed min? meanwhile, why every 3-5 years…think of how much malfeasance could take place in that period? how about every second of every day – ata members could instead have chips and cameras inserted, so that their every move could always ever be monitored…and then, as much can be done to everyone else.