A teacher in Ontario has been suspended from work for six months after being found guilty of abusing children and insulting their work to the extent that they suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and refused to go to school.
Gail Louise Hall was suspended for teaching for six months by the Ontario College of Teachers after it was reported that she had abused children at an elementary school in Guelph between 2008 and 2012, reported CTV News.
“The Member’s abuse directly led to students living in fear of going to school, bedwetting, needing therapy, and being diagnosed with PTSD. It cannot be overemphasized that this conduct is antithetical to the role of a teacher in early school experiences for young students,” the college wrote, according to CTV News.
Teacher suspended: Students lived in ‘fear of going to school, diagnosed with PTSD’ https://t.co/eOQf2qbuLf
— CTV News (@CTVNews) June 13, 2019
Hall retired from the college in 2015. However, the regulatory body said she cannot return to teaching until she finishes the six-month suspension period and undertakes lessons in classroom and anger management.
To discuss Hall’s case, the regulatory body held two days of hearings in Toronto in February. They notified the teacher multiple times but she didn’t attend.
Since she didn’t attend the hearing, the committee entered a plea on her behalf. She was also asked to compensate the college for the two days of hearing by paying $12,000.
During the hearing, the committee listened to nine witnesses that included Hall’s students, their parents, her colleagues, and the principal of the school.
Some of the instances of abuse that Hall was found guilty of include pushing a child out of the door for being too slow, many instances of shaking students and pushing them, tearing a child’s artwork in front of the whole class, and yelling at students for not following instructions.
According to CTV News, Hall told one student, “Baby, do I need to change your diaper?”
Hall’s behavior made her students feel “frightened, scared, or embarrassed” and some of them also reportedly suffered from PTSD because of the abuse.
A mother testified that her son was frightened to go to school because of Hall’s behavior. She said the teacher told her son, “If you can’t do this work, then I am going to lower you to a different level.”
The mother said her child has had to see a psychologist after being abused by Hall.
“This type of behavior is completely unacceptable,” the college wrote in its decision, according to CTV News. “It betrays the trust that students and their parents place in teachers.”
Abuse can take various forms and cases of teachers abusing students have been on a rise.
Healthyplace.com defines psychological abuse of a child as “a pattern of intentional verbal or behavioral actions or lack of actions that convey to a child the message that he or she is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value to meet someone else’s needs.”
It classifies the psychological abuse of a child as rejection, scorn, terrorism, isolation, corruption or exploitation, absence of emotional response, exposure to domestic violence, showing a lack of regard, and saying unkind things.
It is likely that millions of students have suffered sexual abuse by the teachers, according to Slate.
A study published by the National Home Education Research Institute claimed that “an estimated 10 percent (or more) of public and private schoolchildren experience sexual maltreatment at the hands of school personnel, and in addition, some schoolchildren are abused by their parents.”
The report says that even if there are multiple laws, regulations, and policies in place, only a small fraction of the actual child abuse cases in educational institutions are reported to law enforcement.