Thursday, April 12, 2018

Public school board's response to harassment concerns disappoints complainants

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London’s public school board is doing nothing to root out sexual harassment and a culture of fear hampering complainants and whistleblowers, two teachers who filed complaints and a women’s advocate charged Wednesday after a closed meeting of the board.

“What would be courageous and empathetic is for them to admit that their harassment policies, procedures and investigations are not perfect and have left many people feeling hurt and unheard,” teacher Najwa Zebian said.

“When you want to solve a problem, you need to ask: ‘Where did we go wrong? Is it possible that our harassment policies and procedures are in need of an audit? Did we not fairly deal with certain cases in the past? Are some people hurt as a result of this? And what can we do to change that?’ ”

It’s clear trustees with the Thames Valley District school board and senior administration believe everything is fine, said another teacher who said she filed a complaint, adding she fears reprisals and does not want to be identified.

“Nobody wants to take any responsibility and jeopardize their job. No one is stepping forward to say we need to reflect on how things are going and how we can improve,” she said. “That’s the way to do this. I expected that, I thought (school board chair) Matt Reid was going to lead them.”  (more...)


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