Teacher accused of sexual assault | His patent revoked, opposition asks “to move forward”

The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of the patent of the teacher of the primary school Adélard-Desrosiers who is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. However, three elected opposition women are calling for “going further” by taking concrete political action to prevent and combat sexual violence in schools.

Posted at 10:47 am

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vezina
The press

Dominic Blanchette, who had already been suspended from his duties by the Pointe-de-l’Île School Service Center (CSSPI), is alleged to have sexually assaulted the young victim between December 24 and May 27. The press earlier Tuesday.

The 27-year-old is also charged with possession of child pornography, sharing sexually explicit material and soliciting sexual contact.

Minister Roberge spoke via his Twitter account on Tuesday about “serious and totally unacceptable” reported facts. “The CSS has suspended the individual. I have requested revocation of this teacher’s certificate. We have confirmed that psychological support is being provided to students and teachers,” he also said. However, his cabinet declined to go further on Tuesday, stressing that it had to wait for more information before deciding on more detail.

Quebec called for action

Among the liberals, MP Marwah Rizqy is calling for two swift actions by the Ministry of Education. “First there must now be a ministerial investigation,” says the education critic.

She also wonders “how this teacher managed to weave his web” and “whether there are people who knew and decided to hide” within the school or management. “Violation in schools is a real problem affecting minors. We must act quickly,” she urges the minister again to request “to quickly sign a decree” to start the appointment of the National Student Ombudsman, under Bill 9, whose detailed study has just been completed.

“That the minister signs the decree and that we launch the calls for proposals. It could check anyone who sees smoke for a fire by going above school service centers like an ombudsman,” emphasizes M.me Rizqy.

Solidarity MP Christine Labrie also agrees. “An important gain we have made with Bill 9 is making sexual violence training mandatory for staff. But it will only come into effect in decree if the minister so decides. My request is to do this as soon as possible. We cannot afford to wait a few months,” she emphasizes.

For years we have been calling for policies to prevent sexual violence in every school, just like in our CEGEPs and universities. Policy is needed that has been developed with the first people involved, the students.

Christine Labrie, MNA for Québec Solidaire

In the PQ ranks, the MP for Joliette, Véronique Hivon, on Tuesday regretted “another horror story about aggression in the school environment”. “It is difficult to understand how such acts can be committed today, despite all the prevention that must be done. It should be an obsession,” she claimed in a written statement.

Blanchette was arrested Sunday night and appeared at the Montreal courthouse Monday afternoon, where the terms of his release were set. The suspect may not be in a public park, daycare, school grounds, playground, or community center. He will no longer be able to work. He is also prohibited from using the Internet for recreational purposes. The Center de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île (CSSPI) said it was “taking the situation very seriously”. In addition to the immediate suspension of the teacher, several psychologists were deployed on the school grounds.

With Alice Girard-Bossé

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