TORONTO, July 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Toronto District School Board (TDSB) officials have refused a request to make public the reason for reinstating Wade Vroom, a grades 7/8 teacher at Delta Alternative Sr. School who posted graphic sex pamphlets in his classroom and was subsequently removed from his class.
A Freedom of Information request was made by QMI Agency for records surrounding Vroom's reinstatement, according to a Sun News Network report.
The request turned up a few documents relating to the situation, but nothing that explained why the board decided to reinstate a teacher who, after Sun News broke the story in May, became the subject of investigation by the police.
“After a search of all related documents, the board has provided all relevant information with the exception of any documents that are exempt from disclosure as per the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,” TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said in a statement Monday.
“This includes documents related to specific personnel matters, which we cannot release for privacy reasons,” said Bird.
“Further access to other responsive records is denied,” wrote Maria Mavroyannis, TDSB's freedom of information co-ordinator, citing a section from the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, in response to QMI Agency's request.
Vroom was originally removed from the school and put on “home assignment” after it was revealed that he had set up a display of sex brochures originally designed for gay bathhouses on his classroom walls.
One brochure featured an image of the naked buttocks of a tattooed man being clutched by another man who is kneeling in front of him. The brochure is titled: “Use Your Head When Giving It: Blow Job Tips.” Another, titled “If You Like to F—,” conveyed sexual health tips for men who have sex with men.
A third brochure included ads for female condoms and the morning after pill.
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A spokesman for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) said the pamphlets were intended primarily for distribution to homosexual bars and bathhouses across the city, not for children.
Although the classroom display was reportedly put up last October, the TDSB maintains that neither the principal of the school, Marc Mullan, nor any other school official knew about the posters, and that Vroom did not obtain permission to display them in the classroom, the Sun News Network reported.
Ryan Bird said the school board ordered the posters removed when they were notified about the material in early May.
“My understanding is that it was meant to speak about a delicate issue in a more direct way with some of the students, but clearly it crossed a line,” said Bird at the time.
“Having said that, it was clearly inappropriate and has been taken down,” he added.
However, by the end of May, Vroom was back in the alternative school classroom, which operates out of the third floor of Montrose Public School.
“[A]s it’s a personnel matter, we cannot provide specific details; however we can confirm that the matter has been resolved and the teacher in question has resumed his duties at the school,” stated the Toronto District School Board in a press release on May 28.
At the same time, Toronto police said they were investigating Vroom's actions to see if charges would be laid.
The Criminal Code on sexual exploitation offences against children states that anyone who “makes, prints, publishes, distributes, circulates or has in his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or other thing whatever” commits the offence of “corrupting morals.”
Following the disclosure that police were launching an investigation, LifeSiteNews called the Ontario College of Teachers to find out if the agency that licenses, governs and regulates Ontario's teachers, and investigates and resolves complaints about misconduct or incompetence, was also investigating the case. The OCT did not confirm whether Vroom was under investigation by them.
Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women Canada, told LifeSiteNews that the TDSB was “totally out to lunch” when it stated that the “matter has been resolved.”
“Parents have to be advised as to why this man, who committed this totally atrocious action of putting despicable posters up in the classroom has been put back into the classroom,” she said.
“The material posted … is abominable and repellant by any standards. This situation only points out how important it is for the parents to carefully monitor what goes on in their children's classrooms in order to keep their children from such exploitation.”
“Mr. Vroom should never be allowed to teach children again. He is a danger to them,” Landolt said.
Toronto District School Board
Donna Quan, Director of Education
5050 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M2N 5N8
Email: director'[email protected]
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
E-mail: [email protected]
Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
Email: [email protected]
Ontario College of Teachers
101 Bloor Street West,
Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
Toll Free: 1-888-534-2222
Email: [email protected]