Red Deer teacher found guilty of misconduct at hearing

A Red Deer teacher has been dismissed from class.

A Red Deer teacher has been dismissed from class.

Louis-Georges Pelletier was found guilty of two counts of professional misconduct after a two-day disciplinary hearing that concluded on Tuesday.

Pelletier has taught at Red Deer Public Schools since the early-1990s. Most recently he taught French immersion, language arts and social studies at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.

Pelletier pleaded guilty to classroom incidents where he humiliated and belittled his students over the last two school years.

Brian Andrais, Alberta Teachers’ Association co-ordinator of member services, said Pelletier is now ineligible to teach at any public, Catholic or Francophone school in the province for six months. A letter of severe reprimand is part of the penalty.

Pelletier resigned this week.

He may also be banned from teaching at any private or charter school in the province as the committee has also recommended that Alberta Education suspend Pelletier’s teaching certification for six months.

“I can say clearly this is not common,” said Andrais. “We get anywhere from zero suspensions or cancellations to maybe five in any given year. This is certainly on the severe end of the spectrum of penalties. It is not extremely common in Alberta.”

Between 2006 and 2015, there were 728 investigations, of which 138 went to a professional conduct hearings.

Over the last 10 years, there have been only 23 suspensions and 25 expulsions from the association.

Pelletier can apply for his membership after six months. It is very uncommon a teacher would be reinstated, said Andrais.

Investigations typically take between six and eight months. It was launched last March after complaints.

A formal third-party request for investigation is required for the ATA to initiate the investigation of a teacher. It cannot initiate an investigation on its own. Andrais said the ATA investigates any allegations that are brought to its attention. The criteria for the investigations are based on the profession, the public interest and the students.

There are more than 40,000 teachers in the province.

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