Suspended Alberta teacher Lynden Dorval. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/QMI AGENCY)
EDMONTON -- Embattled high school physics teacher Lynden Dorval wasn’t surprised to hear the Alberta Teachers’ Association is investigating him for unprofessional conduct.
“I was expecting it when this all began but had forgotten about it,” Dorval said from his St. Albert home Friday. “When I saw the letter, I wasn’t shocked.”
Dorval says he welcomes the chance to defend the controversial position that landed him in hot water in the first place.
The suspended Ross Sheppard High School physics teacher repeatedly refused to conform to the school’s “no zero” policy and continued to give students the naught for naught -- a zero grade for zero effort.
“I have no regrets, in fact, I can’t imagine a better way to end a career,” said Dorval, whose story has elicited a tidal wave of support from local parents and teachers.
“It’s led to discussions all over the country about how schools evaluate children, and that is a great thing.”
The topic has been widely debated here, and has prompted the Edmonton Public School Board to officially review the policy -- which seems to be accompanied by the idea that grades should reflect ability, rather than behaviour.
A review committee made up of three trustees will begin an examination of the school district’s student assessment policy this fall.
According to Dorval, it was Edgar Schmidt, superintendent of schools with the Edmonton Public School Board, who called for the investigation into his conduct.
The longtime teacher could now face penalties ranging from a reprimand to the suspension of his ATA membership or a fine of up to $10,000.
“It’s just the beginning of the investigation, it could go to a hearing and if I was found guilty, then they would decide punishment,” said Dorval, adding his previous efforts to gain support from the organization into appealing his suspension were largely fruitless.
“I had no idea the ATA would be so unhelpful in all of this.”
Hardest to swallow for Dorval is the possibility that, after 35 years of devoting his life to education, his teaching certificate could be revoked.
“In the most extreme case, they (ATA) could demand the minister revoke my teaching status,” he said. “I think it’s more likely I’ll receive a letter of reprimand, though.”
Dorval is currently suspended from the high school and expects to be fired.
The ATA letter, dated May 21, arrived Tuesday but the unemployed teacher -- who’s jetting off to Australia to visit his children this summer -- says he has until September to respond.
Efforts to reach ATA officials went unanswered Friday.