Via The Globe and Mail: Hearing rules teacher committed professional misconduct over vaccine comments. Excerpt:
An Ontario science teacher was found guilty of professional misconduct for telling students that vaccinations could lead to death, disrupting a clinic in a high school and suggesting public health nurses were withholding information on vaccines from teenagers.
Timothy Sullivan, a teacher in Waterford, Ont., argued that he was concerned that students were not being properly informed of the negative side effects of vaccines and yet were required to give consent.
But Ravi Vethamany, chair of a three-member independent disciplinary committee of the Ontario College of Teachers, said on Wednesday that Mr. Sullivan committed all the alleged acts of professional misconduct.
In a two-day hearing, the lawyer for the College said Mr. Sullivan’s personal opinion on vaccines affected his ability to professionally conduct himself in the school.
“It’s not Mr. Sullivan’s place to be an activist at the school on the topic of vaccines,” lawyer Christine Wadsworth told the hearing on Wednesday. “He did not act as a role model that day. He did not model appropriate behaviour for his students, and he did not treat visitors, who were legally authorized to be at the school, with respect.”
The incident in question occurred in March, 2015, when public health nurses were at Mr. Sullivan’s school to run an immunization clinic in the cafeteria.
Ontario requires students to provide proof of immunization to attend school. Parents can get exemptions for their children on medical grounds, such as an allergy or a weakened immune system, or if they fill out a form stating they object to immunization.
Angela Swick, a public-health nurse in the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, told the hearing on Tuesday that Mr. Sullivan came by the clinic on three separate occasions. Ms. Swick said the teacher’s demeanour left her uncomfortable and nervous, and she contacted her supervisor and the school principal. One set of doors to the cafeteria was subsequently locked.
At one point, Ms. Swick said, Mr. Sullivan asked students in line if they knew what was in the vaccines and “shouted at them not to get it.” She said the situation at the school was “unsafe” for both students and the public-health nurses, and the nursing staff felt “intimidated and scared.”