Teacher Who Gave Zeros Threatened With Termination

The Edmonton teacher who was suspended for giving students zeros in defiance of school policy is one step closer to losing his job.

Lynden Dorval was told in a letter he received last week from Ron Bradley, principal of Ross Sheppard High School, that he is facing termination.

After criticizing Dorval for not returning unmarked exams, assignments and lab reports after he was suspended — and not leaving lesson plans for his replacement — Bradley informed the physics and science teacher that his job is on the line.

"I find it utterly reprehensible that you would sit on these exams and assignments for weeks without alerting the school," Bradley wrote in the letter, which is dated June 18th.

"Your behavior is unbefitting a professional. It is also ironic in light of your very public pronouncements about your concern for the welfare of your students.

"Your habitual refusal to obey lawful orders, your repeated insubordination, and your obvious neglect of duty force me to consider recommending termination of your teaching contract with Edmonton Public Schools."

'Just a threat'

Dorval, who received national attention for refusing to abide by the school's no-zero policy, said on Monday that he found Bradley's letter "puzzling."

"He doesn't ask me to do anything," Dorval said. "He doesn't ask me to respond to it in any way or explain everything. It's just a threat."

The tests were written the week before Dorval was suspended on May 18th. He says he was distracted by his suspension hearing and intended to mark the work on the weekend.

"Then I was basically kicked out of school. I was given my suspension letter on Friday, told to give my keys back, accompanied to my room, my classroom to pack up and leave," he said.

"Of course, when I got home I just threw everything into the corner, piled it up, and didn't think of it again."

Dorval eventually returned all the material to the school after he was asked to send it back.

Bradley said in his letter that the delay in returning some of the tests meant that students in one class had to rewrite a section of their exam. Dorval disputes the timing of when that material was returned.

Dorval plans to speak about the no-zero policy at a special meeting of the Edmonton Public School Board on Tuesday.

The motion calling for a grading review was supposed to be discussed in September, but it was moved up when the board called a meeting to deal with some other issues.