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Lynden Dorval officially let go by Edmonton Public schools
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 2:26PM MDT
In a letter provided to CTV News, the Edmonton Public School Board Superintendent has officially fired Ross Sheppard High School teacher Lynden Dorval.
The letter, dated Friday, September 14, gave suspended teacher Lynden Dorval a months’ notice – his contract will officially be terminated on October 15.
In the document, Superintendent Edgar Schmidt outlined the events from Dorval’s suspension to the termination of his contract.
“I was prepared for it, but it’s still hard,” Dorval told CTV News Friday.
Dorval was suspended on May 18 by the superintendent, who said in the termination letter that he hoped “that the shock of being suspended after a long career would lead you to seriously contemplate the wisdom of your behaviour over the prior several months.”
Schmidt went on to describe Dorval’s actions as “repeatedly insubordinate, unprofessional and in disregard of lawful orders made by the principal.”
The suspension came after Dorval refused to use adhere to the school’s behavioural code, meant to be used in place of giving students marks of zero.
According to the letter, Schmidt received a report from Ross Sheppard Principal Ron Bradley and the EPSB Assistant Superintendent Mark Liguori that recommended the board terminate Dorval’s contract.
Earlier this week, the school board convened a private hearing - in the letter the Superintendent said Dorval “displayed a cavalier attitude towards [Schmidt], and contempt for [Ross Sheppard] Principal Bradley” at the hearing.
In addition, the letter states Dorval said in the hearing that he had considered retiring in May after he was suspended – “but decided instead to do nothing as you liked the idea of getting a couple of months more pay because of the time it would take to convene the hearing” along with the School Act requirement that he receive a month’s paid notice of termination.
“You created the impression that you were enjoying getting paid for doing nothing,” Schmidt said in the letter, referring to Dorval’s statements.
“I’m certainly not enjoying this, it’s not how I thought my career would end, I certainly don’t want it to end still,” Dorval said.
Finally, Schmidt stated Dorval “offered no evidence to disprove” the allegations against him – and Schmidt concluded the accusations were true, saying “I have sadly concluded that after a long career with Edmonton Public Schools, you intentionally chose to be fired.”
Dorval told CTV News the language and tone of the letter was shocking.
“I don’t think there’s any need for that,” Dorval said. “He’s telling me I’m terminated, why does he have to take shots at me like that?
“I don’t think that’s fair at all.”
The teacher said he went public with his story to pave the way for other teachers to be able to speak out, without fear of retribution.
“The main thing is that it showed that somebody could speak up and in effect it would be listened to, and there won’t be serious repercussions, but it looks like that’s not going to happen.”
CTV News contacted the school district or comment, a request that was declined.
Dorval has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Education Minister, if he’s successful, another hearing will take place – with the school board and Dorval sharing the costs. If Dorval is not satisfied with that outcome, he has the option of appealing to the courts.
With files from Amanda Anderson