KINGSTON, Ont. -- The possible return of a French-language school teacher who stirred controversy last year for co-authoring an erotic teen novel is prompting concern from some local parents.
Jacques Tremblay, who taught technology at Ecole Secondaire Publique Mille-Iles before being placed on leave, was one of three people to publish a book, called The Sexteens and the Fake Goddess – a racy account of the sexual experiences of Grade 9 students at a fictional Toronto high school.
Among the encounters described in the book are a threesome between two teachers and a student, and the sexual assault of a female student.
It was published in 2008.
In a letter issued to parents of students of Mille-Iles high school – and the elementary school sharing the building on Van Order Drive, Madeleine-de-Roybon – the Conseil des ecoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (French public school board) addressed concerns from parents about the possibility of Tremblay returning to teaching duties in September.
A spokesperson for the school board said concern from parents was likely sparked by a letter sent to homes last year, which said Tremblay would be replaced for the period of one year.
“It's the end of the school year, so parents are worried and that's my assumption,” Marilyne Guevremont said. “The students are away until the end of August, now parents, and understandably so, will start to question.”
Guevremont said the school continues to investigate Tremblay in relation to the novel, which was co-authored with his wife, Marie-Ange Gagnon, and son, Frederic Tremblay.
“We understand the parents' concerns,” Guevremont said. “The first thing that the school board and school is doing is to ensure parents ... that the security and safety and well-being of the students of the two schools is the first priority.”
She said Tremblay remains on “authorized leave,” but could not specify whether that meant he continues to receive a salary from the board.
“We understand the parents are concerned about the situation,” she said. “But the school board management is taking the case very seriously.”
Guevremont said the board has not determined when the investigation will be completed, adding parents at the high school will be informed of a decision.
“We will keep the community, the parents, informed,” she said. “Because there's an investigation right now we cannot discuss further details.”
The description on the novel's Facebook page – which has garnered 3,722 “likes” – claims the book is intended to teach students lessons they wouldn't otherwise learn in school.
“For instance, you’ll find out the importance to love yourself, to manage your life, to think by yourself and make your own choices and decisions,” it reads. “In the same way, you will understand through the teenage characters, how important it is to develop the mind of an entrepreneur or a good leader, to financially manage well your money and to be aware that what is written in the newspapers or said in the news is not necessarily the truth.”
Tremblay also served as the chair of discipline at the Ontario College of Teachers, a position that required him to preside over a disciplinary committee and cases that involved teachers alleged to have breached their duties.
That included a violation of the trust of students and the public through instances of sexual, verbal and physical assault or incompetence.
Tremblay stepped down from the position in October.
- With files from Elliot Ferguson