Toronto District School Board (TDSB) teacher Wade Vroom, who was cleared to return to work this week after displaying a sexually explicit brochure in his Grade 7 and 8 classrooms, is being investigated by Toronto Police, according to the Toronto Sun.
A teacher at Delta Alternative School, Vroom was suspended with pay and ordered to work from home pending an investigation after the school received a complaint that he put up an explicit posters created by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). One poster, titled “Use Your Head When Giving It: Blow Job Tips,” was displayed on the classroom bulletin board in October. The poster was removed after the Sun contacted the TDSB on the same day Vroom was sent home.
Vroom was reinstated this week after the board completed a review.
TDSB chairman Chris Bolton told the National Post the board "obviously felt that it was appropriate for him to return to the classroom, otherwise he wouldn’t be there.”
On Thursday, however, Sun News reported that Toronto Police are investigating the case.
“We are currently investigating this occurrence and we [are] gathering as much information as we can,” Det.-Const. Sean Cassidy told the Sun Wednesday.
Ryan Bird, a spokesperson for the TDSB, said the board is co-operating with the investigation, but was unsure if Vroom was being interviewed by the police.
About a week after Vroom was suspended, a Facebook page was created that called for him to be reinstated.
A petition was also launched and had 73 signatures as of Thursday.
“Wade was a great teacher and person, he was an amazing contributor in the Delta community. The staff, students and parents need Wade Back in the Delta. Wade is very missed and the school is not functioning without him! We must have Wade Vroom back before the school year ends," the petition reads.
After news broke of Vroom’s suspension, more than a hundred parents, students and alumnus gathered at the school in support of the teacher, according the Post.
Eric Mackey, whose children attend Delta, said he was aware of the posters before media reports emerged because there was parent input on what “hot topics” -- “high-risk behaviour” such as sex and drug use -- they would like to see covered in class.
“If you want to talk to a 12-year-old, or a 13-year-old … then talk to them about real stuff,” Mackey told the Post. “Use the word fuck. Use the word ‘blowjob.’ That’s what they’re talking about.”
Another parent, David Eddie, told the Sun that though the teacher exercised “spectacularly poor judgment,” he was happy to have Vroom back.
“I wasn’t crazy about the poster, but I don’t feel like my son was harmed in any serious way. No harm, no foul,” Eddie said.
Other parents said they did not object to the posters and argued that similar content is already readily accessible online, according to the Toronto Star.
Vroom’s personal website has been pulled from the web, but a cached version says he is an “occasional teacher with the TDSB and an independent filmmaker.” It also says Vroom was a “workshop leader” at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival where he guided teens through the production of their first short documentary.
ACT, has said its brochures are intended only for adults and are aimed exclusively at Toronto’s gay community.
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