Discipline Process: Investigation
The Commissioner can start an investigation if more information is required to make a decision. This process is objective and non-adversarial. It allows for the collection of information. With more information, the Commissioner can make a fair and well-informed decision. An investigator will gather documents, conduct interviews and write an investigation report.
At the start of the investigation:
- The person who made the complaint, the teacher and any school district or independent school authority that employs the teacher are notified
- A copy of the complaint is given to the teacher
- An investigator may contact the person who made the complaint, the teacher and anyone else who may have relevant information
During the investigation, the Commissioner may consider:
- any previous decisions not to take further actions
- previous investigations
- previous consent resolution agreements, including any findings and/or disciplinary actions taken under the Teaching Profession Act about the teacher under investigation
Anyone involved in the investigation may have to give evidence or provide documentation or other items that could be relevant to the case. If necessary, the Commissioner can apply for a court order for someone to comply with this requirement.
The Commissioner (or delegate) has the authority to:
- Enter the building of a public or independent school, any buildings used in connection with the school, or any offices of a board of education or independent school authority
- Inspect any record of a board of education or of an independent school authority
- Interview any employee of a board of education or independent school authority
- Interview the authorized person who is the subject of the investigation
- Interview the person who sent the report or complaint
- Interview any other person the Commissioner thinks may have relevant information
The findings of the investigation are summarized in a written report.
Following an investigation, the Commissioner can decide to:
- Take no further action, and provide reasons to the person who made the complaint or report, the teacher, and the school district or independent school authority employer
- Make or accept a proposal for a consent resolution
- Issue a citation for a hearing
- Order a further investigation
If there is a serious risk to the health or safety of students, the Commissioner may order that a teacher's certificate be suspended until a hearing or consent resolution determines the final outcome.