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Education Law

Selwyn provides services to students and parents, from public, private and separate school systems, in his education law practice in the following areas: litigation and lawsuits; Academic Appeals; Access to Information and Privacy Law; Administrative law; Constitutional; Conflict of Interest; Human rights; Harassment Investigations; Judicial Reviews; College of Teachers complaints, investigations and hearings; Labour and employment; Professional Liability including complaints and representation at the College of Teachers for Ontario; Risk Assessments; Student Discipline and Appeals; Technology law, including intellectual property; Tenure Appeals.

Selwyn use creative ways and anti-discrimination tools to advise to youths, students, parents, guardians and student driven support groups on issues relating to education law including human rights, special education, safe schools, student discipline, administrative law, negligence and liability and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Selwyn has significant experience interpreting legal problems of children within the academic environment for K-12 and college and university. Selwyn was a member of the Academic Board at the University of Toronto for five years. He also sat as an appointed member of one of its tribunals. Selwyn has proven competence in the timely delivery of accurate legal advice, litigation and advocacy. Selwyn resourcefulness as a hands-on problem solver with excellent conflict resolution skills has benefited students whose suspensions and/or limited expulsions could have had a detremental impact on their academic year.

Selwyn has pursued the legal protection of the rights of students through strategic litigation by providing representation to students in matters before the Child and Family Services Review Board, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Superior Court of Justice and various university and school boards. Highlights include:

    March 11, 2016 J.G. v. Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering University of Toronto Academic Appeals Committee Quashed Decision on the Bais of Reasonable Apprehension of Bias
  • April 2014, representing Dr. Christopher M. Spence, former Director of Toronto District School Board at the Univeristy of Toronto University Tribunal in respect to allegations that he plaigarrized material in his PhD thesis
  • April 2014, successfully resolved a suspension appeal and an all-schools exclusion appeal pursuant to section 265(1)(m) of the Education Act at Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board involving allegations of bullying
  • March 2014, successfully resolved suspension appeal at Halton District School Board involving allegations of bullying and sexual assault
  • November 2013, successfully resolved a suspension appeal at the TDSB involving allegations of same-sex sexual harassment (male-on-male)
  • November 07, 2013, successfully won Academic Appeal at University of Toronto, Academic Appeal Committee: S.M. v. Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
  • Successfully resolved an appeal of a student who was suspended for20 days for allegedly participating in the "ninering" of a student in the hallways of his high school;
  • June 2010 Successful resisted TDSB lawyers motion for dismissal in J.B. v. Toronto District School Board, 2010 HRTO 1228 (CanLII) — 2010-06-01, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario;
  • February 2010: Our client was a student at a GTA area school. She filed a HRTO Applicant based on race discrimination. We were able to secure a very reasonable settlement for our client;
  • Selwyn provided representation to Oriel Varga one of the University of Toronto's fourteen students charged with forcible confinement and forcible detainer after a demonstration at Simco Hall. See, John Bonnar, Students and community demand charges against U of T 'Fight Fees 2, Rabble.ca , ‎August 5, 2009‎; Master's student earns top marks for dissent, Globe and Mail, 22 June 2008. The charges in R. v. Ramsaroop and Varga was stayed on September 10, 2009 by Justice Reinhardt. See also, Tamara Baluja "Charges stayed in University of Toronto sit-in", Toronto Star, September 11, 2009.
  • Students are still be suspended and expelled in record numbers, the Toronto Star looks at the correlation between this and incarceration rates: Rankin, Jim and Contenta, Sandro, School, Interrupted, part 1 of 3: Lingering in limbo, Toronto Star, June 06, 2009; Are schools too quick to suspend? Sandro Contenta Jim Rankin, June 08, 2009 and Students thrown into limbo
    Metro Canada, June 4, 2009;
  • Successfully defended a Youth in R. v. F. (C.); 2009 CarswellOnt 3034, a case where Mr. C. F., who was charged with committing an assault on a teacher at a local high school, on January 28th, year 2008, by confronting and intentionally bumping into him.... result acquitted...
  • Providing representation to students from Emery Collegiate Institute in litigation before the Human Rights Tribunal. See, J.B. v. Toronto District School Board, 2010 HRTO 1228 (CanLII) and J.B. v. Toronto District School Board, 2009 CarswellOnt 4187, 2009 HRTO 1030 (CanLII).
  • Provided representation in two human rights tribunal matters: HR-1378-07 JA v. Toronto District School Board et al. (disabiity and sexual orientation) and HR-1405/06-07 KF v. Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board. Publication ban is in place on the names: K.F. v. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board et al, 2008 HRTO 6 (CanLII)
  • Successfully represented N.B. before the Child and Family Services Review Board in an Expulsion apeal under the Education Act: A. (J.) v. B. (N.) 2007 CarswellOnt 4210; A. (J.) v. Durham Catholic District School Board 2007 CarswellOnt 4169.
  • Provided representation to students from Emery Collegiate Institute in Suspension Appeal Hearings under the Education Act and a judicial review applicaiton in Divisional Court. See, B. (K.) (Litigation Guardian of) v. Toronto District School Board; 2008 CarswellOnt 455 (SCJ). See also, K. B. and T. M. v. Toronto District School Board et al. [2006] O.J. No. 1380; K. B. and T. M. v. Toronto District School Board et al. [2006] O.J. No. 362 (sealing order); K. B. and T. M. v. Toronto District School Board et al. [2006] O.J. No. 746 (striking part of affidavit and sealing order); K.B. v. Toronto District School Board [2006] O.J. No. 1026 (intervention of JFCY); He's ready to fight for teenagers in trouble, Globe and Mail, January 14, 2006; Arrest Outrage Trustee, Toronto Star, December 12, 2005; Suspended Students Claim Bias, Toronto Star, December 13, 2005; TDSB seeks to bar public in case, March 23, 2006, Toronto Star.
  • Successfully represented Dan Freeman-Maloy (co-counsel with Peter Rosenthal) in the Ontario Court of Appeal. See, Freeman-Maloy v. Marsden (Ontario Court of Appeal, March 31, 2006), overturning Hoy J. decision in Freeman-Maloy v. Marsden [2005] O.J. No. 1730 (S.C.J.). Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada denied with costs. In this case the Court of Appeal ruled that a University President could be considered a public official for the purpose of a lawsuit alleging abuse of public office.
  • Safe Schools Act Cases including two cases from Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board that were successfully settled before the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the recent case of Featherstone v. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board that was successfully settled at the Superior Court of Justice: Global Television Report on the October 31, 2005 Press Conference to Scrap the Safe Schools Act, by Sean Mallen, October 31, 2005; Appealing for Justice, PULSE24.COM, October 31, 2005; Question Period, Legislative Assembly of Ontario,  Hansard, October 31, 2005; Zero-tolerance school rules hit, London Free Press, Canada, October 31, 2005; Dufferin-Peel staff go to anti-racism school by Tess Kalinowski, Toronto Star, October 08, 2005, A47; "School Board to beef up education on race issues" by Ian Robertson, Toronto Sun, October 07, 2005; Teen's suspension ends after legal challenge by Paul Choi, Globe and Mail, October 06, 2005, A15; Back to Class for Teen" by Ian Robertson, Toronto Sun, October 06, 2005; "Reinstated teen drops court case" by Tess Kalinowski, Toronto Star, October 06, 2005, B1.
  • Currently providing representation to numerous students from various school boards including Toronto District School Board; Toronto Catholic School Board, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board; Peel District School Board, Durham Catholic District School Board, York Catholic District School Board amongst other School Board in exclusions, suspension appeal hearing and hearing of limited expulsions under the Education Act and its Regulations. Also provide representation to students in human rights complaints and application for judicial reviews.
  • Successfully represented a 17-year old University of Toronto before Scarborough College Sub-Committee on Academic Appeals in a petition for late withdrawal from a course which contained videos and other materials of extreme violence, not suitable for minors. A retroactive late withdrawal from a course is an extraordinary remedy reserved for the most serious cases. The Committee considered all of the medical and other evidence submitted by the student. It was the opinion of the Committee that the medical evidence and other evidence met the test for granting the extraordinary remedy of late withdrawal.
  • Selwyn provided representation to a young person who was the intended target of a shooting at Bendale Business and Technical School in Toronto.
  • Provided representation to family challenging the TDSB's labelling of their son as learning disabled and claiming Intensive Support Amount of $27, 000.00 for the student: the "diagnosis for dollars" case.
  • Providing representation to several Black students who were assaulted by various teachers.
  • Provided representation to the parents of a child who suddenly died after being suspended from school.
  • Recently got client R. v. R.S. charges of failure to comply with recognizance because the police alleged that he was not in school each and every class withdrawn...
  • Billy v. York Catholic District School Board [2005] O.J. No. 4717, a Safe Schools Act suspension matter, that was settled at the Superior Court of Justice.
  • Successfully represented a 11 year old boy who was seeking a release from the Ontario Amateur Softball Association to play for another team on the basis of a racial slur from his coach: Boy allowed to switch teams after alleged slur CTV, August 05, 2005; Junior softball player allowed to switch teams after racial slur by coach Canadian Press, August 05, 2005: reported at: Examiner. Barrie, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.6.Fro; Kingston Whig - Standard. Kingston, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. 1.Front ; Moose Jaw Times Herald. Moose Jaw, Sask.: Aug 6, 2005. p. 8; Standard - Freeholder. Cornwall, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. 7; Sudbury Star. Sudbury, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.7; The Intelligencer. Belleville, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.4; The Record. Kitchener, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.4; The Spectator. Hamilton, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.13; The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ont.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.11; Times - Colonist. Victoria, B.C.: Aug 6, 2005. p. A.7; Court lets pitcher, 11, stay on his new team Globe and Mail, August 6, 2005, p. A2.
  • December 12, 2005, meeting scheduled with Trustees of the Toronto District School Board and CACO
  • November 29, 2005, appeared before the Safe Schools Act Review Consultations (The McGuinty government’s Safe Schools Action Team examination of school safety and the impact of the Safe Schools Act as part of a complete review of the Act.) 
  • November 23, 2005, lectured to students at the York Dentention Centre in Toronto on making the right choices

Selwyn has an interest in issues such as peer mentorship, youth empowerment, truancy, school violence (bullying), child abuse and neglect, gangs affiliation, youth suicides, familial violence, abuse and neglect, strict discipline facilites, Afrocentric Schools, anti-racist education.

Resources:

Selwyn A. Pieters - Barrister & Solicitor; 2006 All rights reserved.
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