Former Guelph elementary teacher Gail Louise Hall was served a six-month suspension from the Ontario College of Teachers after the body ruled she carried out inappropriate conduct with a dozen students, allegations that stretch back to an unnamed school between 2008 and 2012.
The ruling, which was carried out earlier this year, came after complaints were submitted against the teacher that included inappropriate physical contact with four students and comments to seven others, with one student facing both the physical and verbal infractions.
“The committee heard evidence that [Hall’s] use of force caused significant trauma and fear for the students,” the decision filing from the committee said, adding that she “repeatedly made inappropriate, demeaning comments to students, including insulting their work”.
Hall’s abuse extended to a point, the committee found, that it directly led to students living in fear of going to school, wetting the bed, needing therapy and even being diagnosed with PTSD. Hall would not allow a student to get ice from the officer after she had fallen and hit her head, among a dozen other incidents.
“It cannot be overemphasized that this conduct is antithetical to the role of a teacher in early school experiences for young students,” the ruling found. Considering the severity of the abuse and the toll on the students, the committee found the suspension an appropriate penalty.
“It is of paramount importance in this case that the committee send a clear message to both [Hall] and the profession that the kind of conduct in which [Hall] engaged is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by this committee and the teaching profession,” it added.
Hall ended up not showing for here hearings that were carried out in Toronto but had a plea of not guilty given on her behalf, according to the committee.
Hall’s Ontario College of Teachers profile listed her as retired in April 2015 but set the suspension as effective for April 5, 2019. In 1994 and 1997, she was listed as being in “good standing”. Her punishment also included taking an anger management course and paying the College $12,000 if she decides to return to teaching.