January 14, 2023 – Pierre Barns
Here is another letter that I am writing, just trying to make sense of all of this.
Over the past years, my focus has been on exposing cases of teacher misconduct related to sexual abuse and the inappropriate use of sexually explicit material in schools. Because it is essential that we are aware of the prevalence of these issues, as it helps to raise awareness and inform efforts to prevent them. By bringing attention to these problems, we can demonstrate the need for strong policies and practices to protect children from sexual abuse and inappropriate material, including measures such as background checks and training for teachers, as well as systems for reporting and addressing instances of misconduct, create strong policies to review books and curricular materials.
In Canada, the prevention and management of sexual abuse in schools is the responsibility of the individual school boards. Each school board is required to have policies and procedures in place to address incidents of sexual abuse and to ensure the safety and well-being of students. The Ministry of Education in each province or territory also has guidelines and resources available to help school boards prevent and address sexual abuse.
There have been several high-profile cases of sexual abuse by school personnel in Canada in recent years, which have highlighted the need for stronger policies and procedures to prevent and address this issue. For example, in 2018, a former teacher at an all-boys school in Toronto was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for sexually assaulting several students over a period of 30 years. This case prompted the Ontario government to introduce legislation that would require school staff to report incidents of sexual abuse and to provide additional training on the prevention of sexual abuse.
Here are some additional examples of high-profile cases of teacher misconduct related to sexual abuse that have occurred in Canada:
In 2020, a former high school teacher in Ontario was sentenced to 4 years in prison for sexually assaulting several students over a period of several years.
In 2019, a former elementary school teacher in British Columbia was sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexually assaulting a student.
In 2018, a former high school teacher in Quebec was sentenced to 5 years in prison for sexually assaulting several students.
In 2017, a former middle school teacher in Alberta was sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexually assaulting a student.
In 2016, a former high school teacher in Saskatchewan was sentenced to 8 years in prison for sexually assaulting several students.
Again, it is important to note that these cases represent only a small fraction of the instances of teacher misconduct related to sexual abuse that have occurred in Canada. Such incidents are unfortunately all too common and can have severe consequences for the victims and their families. It is essential that we do everything we can to prevent and address sexual abuse in schools and ensure that children are safe and protected.
It is imperative that board members understand what constitutes sexual abuse and their duty to report it. Sexual abuse includes both contact and non-contact forms of abuse. Contact sexual abuse refers to any form of sexual contact. Sexual contact refers to any form of physical contact or contact with an child body or sexual organs that is intended for sexual gratification or arousal. It can include activities such as kissing, touching, fondling, oral sex, or sexual intercourse, making a child touch someone’s sexual parts or asking them to touch themselves inappropriately. Non-contact sexual abuse refers to any form of sexual non-contact behaviors that do not involve physical contact between individuals. Sexual non-contact behaviors can include viewing sexually explicit material, making sexually suggestive comments or gestures, encouraging a child to hear sexual acts or look at sexual image, exposing oneself to a child, not taking appropriate action to prevent a child from being exposed to sexual activity. Non-contact sexual behaviors are harmful and can constitute sexual abuse, particularly when they are perpetrated by a person in a position of power or trust over the victim, such as a school teacher or coach. It is important to recognize and address all forms of sexual abuse, including non-contact behaviors.
Teachers have a legal obligation to report any suspected instances of sexual abuse to the appropriate authorities, and failure to do so can result in serious consequences. In addition to their legal duties, teachers also have a moral obligation to protect the well-being and safety of their students. Parents must oversee board members and ensure that children are protected from sexual abuse and inappropriate material by those in positions of authority; so we can create a safer and more supportive environment for children to learn and grow.
It is a fact that showing sexually explicit material to children in school is highly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. There is no doubt that sexually explicit material is not appropriate for children of any age. Children’s brains are still developing, and they are not mature enough to understand or process it. Exposure to such material can be confusing and disturbing for them and can lead to emotional and psychological trauma. Furthermore, exposing children to sexually explicit material can also have long-term effects on their behavior and attitudes towards sex and relationships. Children may become more sexually active at an earlier age, engage in risky sexual behaviors, or develop unhealthy attitudes towards sex and consent.
According to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, “research has shown that pornography can alter brain development and functioning, particularly in younger viewers.” When children view sexually explicit material, their brains are exposed to high levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can lead to changes in the brain’s structure and function, particularly in areas related to decision-making, impulse control, and social behavior. These changes can have negative consequences for children’s development and well-being. For example, a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that exposure to sexually explicit material was associated with earlier onset of sexual activity, more sexual partners, and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections in adolescents.
In addition to the negative impact on children’s development and well-being, showing sexually explicit material to children in school also carries the risk of grooming. Grooming is the process by which an adult establishes an emotional connection with a child with the intention of sexually exploiting them and may involve the adult showing the child sexually explicit material as a way of gaining their trust, manipulating them, and validating inappropriate behavior and abuse toward them.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse found that children who were exposed to sexually explicit material at a young age were more likely to be sexually abused and to have a distorted view of consent and appropriate sexual behavior. Another study found that children who viewed sexually explicit material at a young age were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and to have a higher number of sexual partners later in life. These findings highlight the importance of protecting children from exposure to sexually explicit material in order to prevent the negative consequences that can result from such exposure.
Seto, M. C., & Hanson, R. K. (2008). The role of pornography in the etiology of sexual aggression. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13(6), 471-478.
Zurbriggen, E. L. (2004). Developmental consequences of exposure to sexually explicit material: A review. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 13(1), 25-49.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse is a peer-reviewed academic journal that covers research on child sexual abuse and related issues.
Some may argue that cases of misconduct should not be made public, but there are several compelling reasons why it is important to do so. First, making these cases public can help to raise awareness about the issue of sexual abuse and the importance of preventing it. By making information about these cases widely available, it can help to educate the public about the signs of sexual abuse and encourage more people to report any suspected instances of abuse.
Second, making these cases public can help to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and deter others from committing similar offenses. When cases are made public, it sends a message that sexual abuse will not be tolerated and that those who engage in such behavior will be punished.
Third, making these cases public can also help to support survivors of sexual abuse by showing that they are not alone and that their experiences are being taken seriously. By highlighting the issue of sexual abuse, it can help to create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors to come forward and seek help.
Overall, it is critical to make cases of teacher misconduct related to sexual abuse public across the entire country in order to raise awareness, hold perpetrators accountable, and support survivors.
That being said, they are still dedicated teachers who work hard to create a safe environment for their students. We mustn’t let the actions of perverted individuals tarnish the entire profession’s reputation. However, while it is important to support those teachers and recognize their valuable role in educating our children, we must also be vigilant in protecting children from any abuse; hold those who engage in misconduct accountable for their actions, and work to prevent these types of incidents from occurring in the future.
A concerned Dad
HERE IS BRIEF OVERVIEW OF EACH OF THE SECTIONS OF THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE THAT COVER CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE:
Section 151: Sexual interference: This section prohibits touching a child under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 152: Invitation to sexual touching: This section prohibits inviting a child under the age of 16 to touch someone else for a sexual purpose or to touch themselves for the purpose of sexual gratification. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 153: Sexual exploitation: This section prohibits sexual exploitation of a person with whom the offender is in a position of trust or authority, such as a teacher or coach. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 155: Incest: This section prohibits sexual relations between individuals who are closely related, such as siblings or parents and children. It carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
Section 159: Anal intercourse: This section prohibits anal intercourse with a person under the age of 18. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. (remove by liberal a few years ago)
Section 160: Bestiality: This section prohibits sexual activity with an animal. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 163: Child pornography: This section prohibits the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 170: Procuring: This section prohibits procuring a person to become a prostitute or to engage in any sexual activity for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 171: Householder permitting sexual activity: This section prohibits a householder from permitting sexual activity to take place in their home if they know or should know that the activity is occurring. It carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
Section 172: Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity: This section prohibits a parent or guardian from procuring a person under the age of 18 to engage in any sexual activity. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Section 173: Living on the avails of prostitution of person under 18: This section prohibits living on the avails of the prostitution of a person under the age of 18. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
THERE ARE ALSO SEVERAL POLICIES IN PLACE IN CANADA THAT ADDRESS THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN. HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES:
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (Ontario): This act sets out the legal framework for child protection services in Ontario, including provisions related to the protection of children from sexual abuse. It requires child protection workers to investigate reports of child abuse and to take steps to protect children from further harm.
The Keeping Children and Youth Safe Policy (Ontario): This policy, which was developed by the Ministry of Education, outlines the responsibilities of school boards and schools in Ontario to prevent and address incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse. It requires schools to have policies and procedures in place to address and report incidents of abuse, and to provide training for teachers and staff on how to recognize and respond to abuse.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection: This is a national non-profit organization that works to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. It operates a number of programs and initiatives, including Cybertip.ca, which is a national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children.
The Child, Family and Community Service Act (British Columbia): This act sets out the legal framework for child protection services in British Columbia, including provisions related to the protection of children from sexual abuse. It requires child protection workers to investigate reports of child abuse and to take steps to protect children from further harm.
The Children First Act (Ontario): This act, which was introduced in 2015, aims to improve the protection of children in Ontario by strengthening the reporting and investigation of child abuse, including sexual abuse. It requires certain professionals, such as teachers and doctors, to report suspected cases of child abuse to the authorities.
The Canada Evidence Act: This act sets out the rules for admissibility of evidence in court proceedings in Canada. It includes provisions related to the protection of child witnesses, including provisions that allow child witnesses in sexual assault cases to give their testimony via closed-circuit television or from behind a screen.
The Canadian Human Rights Act: Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. It applies to federally regulated industries, such as banking, telecommunications, and transportation, as well as to federally funded programs and activities.
These policies are in place to protect children from sexual abuse and to ensure that individuals who engage in such behavior are held accountable for their actions. It is important that these policies are enforced and that victims of sexual abuse receive the support and justice they deserve.
These are just a few examples of the policies that are in place to address the sexual abuse of children in Canada. It is important that these policies are enforced and that individuals who engage in sexual abuse are held accountable for their actions………………