December 13, 2012
School board settles with sex offender teacher
By QMI Agency
After the province's Supreme Court told a Nova Scotia school board it can't fire a teacher convicted of indecent acts, the board has accepted a settlement that sees the teacher leave the profession.
Peter Speight pleaded guilty in 2007 to public indecency for, on three separate occasions, calling a woman over to his car and masturbating in front of her, according to court documents.
After the South Shore Regional School Board fired him, he filed an appeal under the Education Act and won a reduced penalty -- a one-year suspension without pay.
The appeal panel took into account that Speight's actions occurred away from the workplace -- and from the schoolchildren - and believed his claim that the three incidents were isolated. But, it said, while discipline was warranted, firing Speight was an "unreasonable and disproportionate" response and ordered he be reinstated after a one-year unpaid suspension because his offence was "not of the sort of gravity or moral turpitude that negates the possibility of the rehabilitated, repentant and apologetic appellant being a positive role model."
In a decision released Nov. 30, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Gerald R. P. Moir agreed and rejected the school board's appeal.
But on Wednesday evening the school board voted unanimously in favour of a cash settlement to Speight in return for his immediate resignation from New Germany Elementary and turning in of his teaching certificate, according to local media reports. The amount of the settlement is said to be more than the $150,000 in back pay Speight was owed.