|Ottawa teachers Alyssa Novick, left, and Ian Middleton are Ontario College of Teachers office on Monday. (JACK BOLAND/Toronto Sun)
A teacher accused of covering up a student sex assault during a 2007 field trip broke down while testifying to the Ontario College of Teachers Tuesday.
Alyssa Novick dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she recalled how the allegations have impacted her family life and persona at school.
“It’s been a constant cloud. The press have made it worse,” she said.
“As a result of this, I will never be remembered as Alyssa Novick, history teacher as my legacy. And I will be vilified and changed … and it can’t be recaptured.”
Novick and her colleague Ian Middleton – both teachers at Ottawa’s Ashbury College – are before the OCT relating to their roles during a field trip on Nov. 16, 2007, to Boston.
During the trip, a 16-year-old was pinned down, allegedly assaulted and videotaped by four other boys in his hotel room.
College prosecutors have alleged that after learning of the incident, Novick failed to inform the victim’s parents about it and discouraged the boy from going to police.
She’s also accused of lying to the boy’s parents — telling them that he didn’t want to report the assault — and that she refused a request from his parents to report the assault to police.
Middleton is also accused of failing to notify the boy’s parents about the attack and refusing their request to notify police.
Both teachers remain in good teaching status.
The panel of three council members also heard Tuesday morning Novick was interviewed in February 2008 by Boston Police, but was not charged.
“It was a terrible crime. And I felt terrible. And I am very sorry it happened on my trip, on my watch,” Novick testified.
“All of a sudden, everything changed. I was under attack, being doubted, it was vicious … I was being called a criminal and being interviewed by the Boston Police.”
The teachers face a $220,000 civil suit launched by the victim’s parents, claiming the school didn’t help their child and out of self-interest, did not contact Boston Police immediately.
The hearing continues Tuesday afternoon.
– with files by Tony Spears, QMI Agency