A decision on the suspension of a Morinville teacher who was acquitted last week on sexual assault charges is expected soon.
Michael Dubas, a former teacher at Georges H. Primeau School, was found not guilty Friday on six charges that were based on complaints two students made against him in October 2009.
After a week long trial, Judge Brian Fraser said he felt a “tremendous injustice” had been done against Dubas and said he hoped the acquittal would clear up the matter.
“One hopes that this decision will result in the resumption of a successful teaching career.”
Outside the court immediately after the decision, Dubas said he was unsure if he would be returning to teaching, a career that had consumed 30 years of his life.
When the charges were first announced last October, Dubas was put on a paid suspension.
Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board superintendent David Keohane said as the person who put the suspension in place, he has a responsibility to review it and make a final decision.
“I have a responsibility to conclude a review of the matter myself and I will be doing that with Mr. Dubas and his counsel.”
Keohane said they were still working on arranging that meeting, but he wanted to make sure Dubas heard his decision first.
Keohane said he is looking at the case from a professional practices point of view. He said the school board has not done anything with the case since the criminal charges were laid to avoid interfering.
Keohane said the board is going to review the entire incident to see if there are areas where they could have improved their response.
The review will include all of the actions the school board and officials at the school took, but Keohane insists that if similar allegations were to come forward, board staff would have the same responsibility.
“What will never change is when we have complaints brought to our attention on the face of what those complaints are, we will render that information on to the appropriate authorities.”
Board chair Dave Caron said he believes the board has handled the entire situation effectively and did the best they could.
He said in these cases the board has to be fair to everyone involved.
“We have to strike a balance between a safe and caring school and respecting the rights of our staff.”
He said allegations like this are an area where the school board has to rely on the RCMP because the police are the experts on these issues.
Keohane said any disciplinary action with the students who made the allegations would not be for public consumption. He stressed when they consider disciplinary action, they focus on what is going on today.
“The only extent to which historic information that goes back a year and a half can be applied into the future is the extent to which it is impacting the community here and now.”