Despite recent cases of violence by teachers exposed in the media, the office of Minister of Education Bernard Drainville says the creation of a professional order of teachers is “not in [its] boxes “.
Yet this is a commitment made by the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) on many occasions when the party was in opposition.
In 2012, CAQ leader François Legault announced the creation of such an order if his party were to come to power.
Six years later, it was the party’s spokesman for education, Jean-François Roberge, who believed in an interview with La Presse that “the creation of an order [would represent] an important milestone in ensuring the quality education given to our children.
However, he acknowledged that he could not “force it in” if the teachers objected. This idea was finally buried by the CAQ government from the start of its mandate, Minister Roberge claiming that his proposal raised too much resistance from the unions.
Recent events in a primary school in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac have brought the debate back to life.
Grands-Vents elementary school has been making headlines since Quebecor released recordings of a first-grade teacher yelling at her students.
Both parents and the political class in Quebec were indignant that she was able to rage for so long at school without disciplinary measures being taken, especially since parents reportedly denounced this situation several months ago.
The Mille-Îles school service center (CSSMI) has launched an administrative investigation, as has the municipal police, which is looking into allegations of physical violence.
The Federation of Teachers’ Unions (FSE) believes that “the profession is already largely regulated and the addition of a professional order would not bring anything more apart from bureaucracy”.
Without taking an official position on the creation of such an order, the president of the Federation of Parents’ Committees of Quebec (FCPQ), Kévin Roy, says that it would be “one more recourse for parents, at the same title as other professional orders”.
The Quebec Federation of Educational Establishment Directors (FQDE) has never commented on the creation of such an order, but its president Nicolas Prévost says today that it might be necessary to think about it.
“We will have to ask the question again. If for us, it can be one more lever to avoid this kind of situation, we will be there, ”says Nicolas Prévost, referring to the case of the teacher at the Grands-Vents school.
The director of this school was also replaced on Wednesday.
In a press release, the Center de services scolaire des Mille-Îles (CSSMI) wrote that “the bond of trust is broken between the parents and the school”. The day before, several parents of the primary school had issued virulent criticism of the director.
The CSSMI told La Presse that it would not grant an interview on this subject.
Without “hiding” behind the “complexity of collective agreements” for teachers, Nicolas Prévost observes that it is difficult to build a case against a teacher.
“We need to get up early and be very rigorous,” says Prévost, who adds that it takes “a lot of material to build a case” against a teacher.
Ontario teachers have been governed by a professional college for 25 years. All decisions are public. In Quebec, between 2018 and 2022, the Ministry of Education received only 13 complaints against teachers.