Some of us love food and then some of us love food. Gavin Bradford of Halton Ontario has lost his teaching license after a four-year investigation into his inappropriate behavior towards at least 21 elementary school students.
Bradford, an apparent food fetishist, would conduct sexually-charged conversations with the children in person and through MSN messenger. The conversations were heavily focused on food.
According to thespec.com, Bradford "asked numerous female students to smear themselves with pie, ketchup, eggs and other foods in front of a webcam."
He asked students to "perform" acts with food during webcam chats, including asking a student to pour sour milk down her pants and ketchup over her head.
In addition to these acts, he also complimented a student's breasts (not clear if this refers to chicken or human breasts).
Bradford also asked a student to shove a pie down her pants and told another student that he would "take delight in slowly pushing a gooey pie in her face."
The Ontario College of Teachers only revoked Bradford's teaching license in November - even though Bradford's behavior was investigated as early as April 2007. "Restricting a member from his or her livelihood requires egregious evidence to justify an interim suspension," said Gabrielle Barkany, spokesperson for the Ontario College.
According to Barkany, the case took four years to put together because the college had to gather "crucial evidentiary information."
Regardless of whether or not it took four years to gather "crucial evidentiary information" (Seriously? Are they still also using dot matrix printers in Canada?), the board committed an "egregious" mistake in allowing the investigation to continue four long years. If there are allegations of impropriety between a teacher and a student, the teacher needs to be immediately removed from the profession -- this is one of those rare situations when "shoot first, ask questions later" actually applies.
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Bradford resigned while under investigation and had registered to teach in Scotland. After the Ontario College reached its decision, it notified Scotland's General Teaching Council of its findings. The council has now launched its own investigation.
Some Americans have canuck envy -- apparently buying into the myth that Canada is somehow superior to the United States. And although Canadians do have a pretty good gig, this case makes me think that the grass may not necessarily be as green as some of us think it is over there.
Case in point -- although the Ontario College has concluded its investigation and found Bradford guilty of inappropriate behavior, and although Bradford himself has since admitted he behaved badly, local police have yet to charge him with a crime. Thespec.com reports that Sergeant Dave Cross confirmed the police have not pressed any charges against Bradford.