Teacher at North York Catholic school charged for not wearing a mask

·2 min read
Teacher at North York Catholic school charged for not wearing a mask
Teacher at North York Catholic school charged for not wearing a mask

A teacher at an elementary school in North York was charged this month for not wearing mandated personal protective equipment, Ontario's Ministry of Labour said Wednesday.

The itinerant music teacher works at St. Charles Catholic School on Claver Avenue, near Lawrence Avenue West and Dufferin Street.

A spokesperson for the ministry said that inspectors carried out a site visit at the school on Oct. 23 after receiving a complaint.

"The worker was charged with failing to use or wear protective devices or clothing that the worker's employer requires to be used or worn," said Richard Sookraj in an email.

Sookraj added that the charge was issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and that the employer, in this case the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), is not facing a separate charge.

WATCH | CBC Toronto's Lorenda Reddekopp reports on charges against an itinerant music teacher for allegedly not wearing a mask:

The teacher is scheduled to appear before a justice of the peace on Feb. 2, 2021, and faces a maximum fine of up to $1,000, Sookraj said.

Details of the incident first appeared in the Toronto Star on Tuesday. The newspaper reported that the teacher tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

In an email statement, a spokesperson for the TCDSB declined to provide any further specifics but said the board is conducting its own investigation and that the employee is currently on leave pending its outcome.

All students, staff and visitors to TCDSB schools and facilities are required to wear a mask while indoors, the statement continued.

"Staff have been trained on best practices and protocols to ensure the safety of everyone in a school setting," it added.

St. Charles was shut down for a full week, starting on Oct. 5, after a staff member who also worked in four other schools in the board had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

According to its COVID-19 dashboard, the board currently has 54 active cases, including 44 students and 10 staff members. Nine more confirmed cases in the board — seven students and two staff — have been marked resolved by Toronto Public Health.