Ontario College of Teachers blasts ex-Nunavut teacher for “appallingly unprofessional conduct”
Moses Suzuki’s actions called “repugnant,” “disgraceful” and “dishonourable”
A lengthy written judgment from the Ontario College of Teachers, recently posted online, condemns the behaviour of former Nunavut teacher Moses Suzuki, whose right to teach in Ontario was revoked last June.
Suzuki created an uproar in Coral Harbour in March 2017, when he posted a doctored picture on Facebook depicting an ex-girlfriend as an ISIS terrorist.
The college also ordered Suzuki to pay $10,000 in costs for the June hearing in Toronto, which he did not attend and where he did not have legal representation.
In its judgment, dated July 30, the college’s disciplinary committee said Suzuki’s “appallingly unprofessional conduct warrants an order for revocation.”
Suzuki engaged in “wholly unprofessional and aggressive conduct towards students, a student’s parent and the local community,” they said.
The committee called his conduct “repugnant,” “rude,” “inappropriate,” “unprofessional,” “disgraceful,” “dishonourable” and said it “violated appropriate teacher-student boundaries.”
That questionable behaviour started in Manitoba during the 2013-14 school year, which predated his employment in Nunavut.
That involves offensive and demeaning comments he made on on Facebook to a female student and her mother.
After listening to the witnesses, the committee said they found it credible that Suzuki had made “obscene, offensive, and demeaning” comments via Facebook to the student.
The verbal abuse was a “clear breach” of standards and Suzuki demonstrated a “gross disregard for the student’s emotional well-being,” the committee said.
Suzuki is also alleged to have permitted students to spend time at his home late at night consuming alcohol.
Then, while in Nunavut, in March 2017, he posted a picture on Facebook that suggested his former girlfriend associated with a well-known terrorist group.
Doris Bruce, the head of the District Education Authority in Coral Harbour, was one of several witnesses who testified at the hearing in June.
Bruce said that she was afraid to send her son to school after that because Suzuki was her son’s teacher, and she said she did not know “what he was capable of.”
The college’s lawyers suggested there was a basis for a reprimand and a suspension with conditions, including a psychological assessment and course work on anger management “with a focus on sensitivity training.”
But the disciplinary committee decided on the “immediate revocation” of Suzuki’s certification because it does “not tolerate this type of conduct” and he had given no sign of remorse.
Suzuki received his Ontario teaching certificate on Aug. 29, 2011.
In revoking his certificate, the committee said staff, students and the school community need to be protected from Suzuki’s “hostile and abusive behavior.”
The 46-page judgment will remain online “for any future prospective employer doing their due diligence” about Suzuki, lawyers for the college said.