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Calgary principal fined for using rope to lock students in room

EDMONTON — The principal of a Calgary elementary school has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct for locking students in a classroom by installing brackets on the door frame outside of the room and using a rope to tie the door shut.

Gerald Pedron, principal of Sundance school, had argued his actions were for the benefit of the students but a disciplinary board with the Alberta Teachers’ Association disagreed and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine.

Pedron was also accused of throwing a student from a counter to a bed in a nurse’s room and pushing a girl to the ground breaking up a fight.

The board found Pedron’s actions were justified in the incident involving the nurse’s room bed and agreed with Pedron’s lawyer that the girl’s fall was an accident.

The parents of one of the children involved in the incidents said they were stunned by the board’s decision.

They said their child was scarred by what happened and is only now starting to deal with it, adding they thought the consequences should have been more severe.

Lawyer Sean Fitzgerald said Pedron was distraught as well and that’s why Pedron didn’t attend the hearing Monday in Edmonton.

Pedron was relieved to have been found not guilty of the more serious charges.

“Any time there’s a physical interaction between a teacher and a student that’s of a potentially violent nature, that has an emotional element to it,“ Fitzgerald said.

“The point that I was making before the panel, and they in essence agreed with me, is that physical interaction is going to happen under crisis situations and it’s a matter of how far the teacher goes.”

 
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