AB Teacher guilty of five charges over relationship with student
Alta. teacher guilty of five charges over relationship with student
Larry Wong / Canwest News Service
Lori-Lee Simard makes a tearful statement to the media at her hearing held at the Alberta Teachers Association headquarters in Edmonton March 14, 2008.
EDMONTON — An Alberta teacher who was accused of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student who later killed himself has been found guilty on five of six charges by a union disciplinary committee.
Lori-Lee Simard, 39, was found guilty Monday of engaging in an inappropriate romantic relationship with Riley Aubin.
She was also found guilty of engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship, directing him to lie about his involvement with her and failing to act in a manner which maintained the honour and dignity of the teaching profession.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association disciplinary hearing found her not guilty of having a student stay overnight without parental permission.
She had already pleaded guilty to engaging in an inappropriate teacher-student relationship with Aubin.
Following the ruling, Riley’s mother, Vivian Aubin, told reporters she was relieved.
She said the hearing has been extremely hard on her family and that she only went forward with her concerns so that something similar couldn’t happen to another youngster.
The mother said people who live in small towns need to be aware that such things don’t just happen in big cities.
Riley Aubin shot himself in the head in April, 2006.
During closing arguments Monday, prosecuting officer Konni DeGoeij and defence counsel Brad Minuk both described the case as tragic.
Minuk said Simard’s career has been tainted and destroyed. But he argued much of the evidence against Simard was circumstantial, second-hand or based on speculation.
The prosecuting officer said Simard brought her profession into disrepute through her romantic and sexual involvement with Aubin, she said.
DeGoeij described the case as a human tragedy.
“There will be no victor here.”
Under the Teaching Profession Act, the union can cancel or suspend Simard’s membership. It can also recommend that the education minister cancel or suspend her teaching certificate.
Simard taught French and drama at Georges P. Vanier School in Donnelly, 425 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
Aubin was in Grade 12 during the 2005-06 school year.