NEWS
01/30/2012 08:07 EST | Updated 03/31/2012 05:12 EDT

Teacher Loses Licence After Sex With Students

An Ottawa high school teacher has had her teaching licence revoked after admitting she had "inappropriate relations" with three male students.

Joanne Léger-Legault pleaded no contest to the allegations of professional misconduct presented to the Ontario College of Teachers discipline committee, which heard the case last year.

She admitted to having an "intimate sexual relationship" with two of her students and kissing a third student on the lips. The college also documented a fourth incident with another male student in which inappropriate emails were exchanged.

The Ontario College of Teachers officially stripped the licence of the former teacher of A.Y. Jackson Secondary School and Merivale High School in late September. The news was not widely known until now.

Teacher alleged to be involved with 4 boys over 5 school years

The incidents investigated involved four teenage boys and happened during school years from 2001-02 to 2005-06.

"By engaging in inappropriate relationships with, and sexual abuse of students whom she taught, the member committed acts of professional misconduct as alleged," the report read.

"The member failed to maintain the standards of the profession, committed acts that would be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional and engaged in conduct unbecoming a member.”

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board employed Léger-Legault from 2001 until June 2011, when she finished her teaching career at Merivale.

She was first investigated in 2008 following similar allegations, but it was new information from Ottawa police that led to the revoked licence.

Léger-Legault, who did not attend college hearings in May and September 2011, was an award-winning teacher honoured in 2010 for promoting French-language literary arts.

Complaint first reported in 2006

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board said in a statement it first received a complaint about a female teacher in 2006 and contacted police. Police determined there wasn't enough evidence to pursue criminal charges.

The board did its own investigation and shared its information with the Ontario College of Teachers.

When new information came to light in 2011, the college issued a decision recommending the teacher's licence be revoked, said OCDSB director of education Jennifer Adams in a statement.

"I deeply regret that this happened," said Adams.

"As the director, I am responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of the students in our district. I want to reassure our community that we have processes in place to ensure ongoing collaboration with our partners, the Ottawa Police Service and the Ontario College of Teachers. Together, we act immediately upon any complaints of misconduct and take appropriate action, with our students' best interests in mind."