Ontario Teacher Guilty of Pushing Anti-Vaccine Views Suspended for Talking to Media

By Casey, Liam | The Canadian Press, May 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

Ontario Teacher Guilty of Pushing Anti-Vaccine Views Suspended for Talking to Media


Casey, Liam, The Canadian Press


Ontario teacher suspended for speaking to media

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An Ontario high school science teacher who was found guilty of professional misconduct after pushing anti-vaccination views says he was suspended without pay for three days for speaking to the media about the case.

Timothy Sullivan said he received a letter from the Grand Erie District School Board that said he had breached the ethical standards of the Ontario College of Teachers.

"You have drawn your employer, the board, into the media attention," said the letter, dated April 20 and signed by superintendent of human resources Scott Sincerbox.

"The result of that is that the board's image in the public domain has been negatively impacted."

Sullivan said he served his suspension last week.

In February, the southwestern Ontario teacher attended a public hearing at the Ontario College of Teachers in Toronto.

The college accused Sullivan of professional misconduct for his actions on March 9, 2015, when he shouted at a public health nurse administering vaccines at his high school and accused the nurse of withholding information from students receiving vaccinations.

The proceeding also heard Sullivan asked a student if they knew that one particular vaccine could cause death.

An independent disciplinary committee of the college found the teacher guilty of five offences, including abusing students psychologically or emotionally. He is awaiting sentencing from the college, which is seeking a suspension for one month, completion of an anger management course and a public reprimand.

Sullivan denies the allegations from that case, despite his finding of guilt, and is confused about the suspension for speaking with the media.

"I didn't think it was actually hidden. The charges against me were on the Ontario College of Teachers website, the hearing dates were published in advance and the hearing itself was public," Sullivan said in an interview with The Canadian Press. …

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