Ethics dispute lands teacher in court

Turning the tables on the Yukon Teachers’ Association, a teacher is arguing the association’s ethics hearing simply isn’t ethical.

Turning the tables on the Yukon Teachers’ Association, a teacher is arguing the association’s ethics hearing simply isn’t ethical.

She’s filed a claim in Yukon Supreme Court to stop the proceeding.

Linda McDonald has been haggling with the association for four years over the ethics issue, according to court documents filed last month.

McDonald, a member of the Liard First Nation, taught at Watson Lake’s elementary and high school since 1999.

In 2002, the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation hired her to review Mayo’s school system, write a report about the problems faced by First Nations students and their families and recommend how the First Nation could solve the problems.

After eight months and more than 70 interviews with teachers, present and former students, elders and First Nation leaders, McDonald drafted a report dubbed Two Trails — One Vision.

The education system is not working for many First Nations children, it said.

The report examined the historical context of the problems and recommended the First Nation become more engaged with education.

In June 2003, the First Nation shared the report with the Yukon government and presented it at a general assembly.

But Mayo teachers at J.V. Clark School didn’t like the report.

In October 2003, they formally complained about the report.

“In our opinion the report is biased, untrue and slanderous,” wrote the teachers in a letter to McDonald.

The report used sweeping generalizations and drew damning conclusions about the school, said teachers.

It “has caused the public and the media to view our school negatively, and has produced stress in the school staff and the entire community of Mayo residents.”

And the teachers challenged McDonald’s ethics.

McDonald should have talked with the Mayo teachers before releasing her report as dictated by association policy, said teachers.

And the Yukon Teachers’ Association supported the Mayo teachers’ position.

The staff at the Mayo school filed an ethics complaint against McDonald.

She was scheduled to appear before the teachers’ association ethics panel on October 16, 2004.

But McDonald now argues the complaint won’t be dealt with fairly because the teachers’ association has already criticized her report, according to court documents.

So the hearing was postponed.

After four years, McDonald and the teachers’ association could not reach a settlement.

A full day has been set aside in Yukon Supreme Court to hear the case on June 29.


Party leaves teen in hospital with serious injuries

A 17-year-old boy suffered a “vicious blow to the face by a sharp object” and was taken to Whitehorse General Hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries early Tuesday morning.

Police found the teen and a 16-year-old girl, who also suffered minor injuries, after being called to the scene of a party at which people were fighting and causing a disturbance in a residential neighbourhood at 3 a.m.

A 17-year-old male, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is facing one charge of aggravated assault, one charge of mischief and one charge of breaching conditions.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the assaults.

The 16-year-old girl was treated and released from hospital.

The News could not determine the status of the injured 17-year-old boy because hospital spokesperson Val Pike could not be reached before press time. (LC)

Cops catch thieves red-handed

Police arrested two adult males at the scene of a break-and-enter early Saturday morning.

The pair broke the window of a charter bus and stole items from inside.

Two Whitehorse men, 24-year-old Marc Porter and Christopher Dawson, 22, were both charged with one count of theft, one count of mischief and one count of failing to comply with the conditions of an undertaking.

Both men are in custody and are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. (LC)

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