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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100974
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am appealing a grade (actually it's really complicated,

Customer Question

Hi Pearl, I am appealing a grade (actually it's really complicated, it's not just a grade) but have felt "bullied" by the teacher. He threatened my employment. I have a lot of it documented and have given a lot to the school in the appeal process. I'm prepared to go to formal appeal which is seen by a committee of all schools and I've noticed that they seem a little more willing to work with me now to see if I will withdraw my formal appeal. I am almost to the point of litigation so I wanted to talk to someone to see if there is any precedent.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: It's in Ontario, Canada
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: I've seen the pattern this teacher uses to basically intimidate anyone who challenges his marking. He has a lot of power within the school and knows the processes. The program is small too so he can blame/shame pretty easily. It's in the medical field.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Is this at a community college?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Durham College.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason I am considering litigation is that he threatened my current employment when I questioned the testing process and results. There was parts I didn't agree with and claimed he was not transparent in his process which was against College policy. At the informal stage of the appeal he is requiring that I do a battery of testing to readmit into the program (including a lot of testing I've already successfully completed) and repay full tuition again ($5600). He had threatened in a phone call when he gave me his results that if I felt the testing was unfair I could appeal it but the testing would be a lot harder next time (felt threatening). He sent me the results the next day and then when I saw them, I was shocked at the results, so I set up a meeting with him to discuss. In that meeting he threatened to go to my Medical Director from my place of employment with his results. I'm claiming his testing was not done with transparency of outcome, expectations, or timelines. There were no controls to protect against bias as no other student has done this adhoc testing. It was left open ended. I'm claiming it was against College Policy, was adhoc, giving bias to evaluators, told me it was about student success and remedial, done under duress, no time to prepare and not clear about outcome being to fail me from the course. There's no College Policy on remedial training either so there is no proven process in place. It was the lack of transparency, threats and blame/shame dialogue he used prior to testing (the duress part) which he claimed was about "student success", "remediation", "positive learning experience". The threat of my employment after I questioned the testing is the part that I thought went too far. I've been looking up some legal precedent cases today, but wanted to get some initial advice now. Please let me know if you have any questions. I'm meeting the executive (Vice President of Academics of the College) today, 30 min. They called the meeting after I sent them an email outlining why I felt targeted and bullied. The appeal still has not gone to the formal appeal level. I've just requested to go to that level very recently.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

What happened at the meeting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My meeting is today in 2 hours. Just wanted some background legal info, precedence to be informed. My approach at the meeting is to listen to what they say and respond later (not in the meeting).
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

The law is that your school owes you a duty of care.

As well the law is that they must treat all of the students the same and fairly.

The must adhere to their policies.

As well the law is that before you are disciplined in some way they must give you what is called procedural fairness. That means you have a right to know what the allegations are, have a full investigation by unbiased investigators, have a chance to tell your story full and have a decision made by someone that is unbiased.

If they do not do this then a court can order that they do not carry out the disciplinary measure.

Does that help as a starting point.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
not much happened at meeting. Just told my story to VP of Academics. They just forwarded me onto Complaints process with different timelines and one that addresses concerns as Academics just deals with grade appeals. Long drawn out. I still have to decide on formal appeal step next. They tried to negotiate a solution, but it wasn't helpful. It was a long testing phase for re-entry into the program and offered some negotiation on tuition but that was with another department.If I appeal, can I ask for list of all student appeals against the program, college discipline process, etc.?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You can ask but you won't get that.

What you need, and I know it's the last thing you want to hear, is a lawyer to start taking them on right away.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

1-***-***-**** or(###) ###-####(within the GTA)