Assault charges filed against Toronto school principal, then dropped for mediation

Incident at school between principal and teacher a ‘labour issue’: lawyer
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 08/20/2010

An elementary school principal in Scarborough, Ont., was charged with assault after an incident in June but saw the charges dropped in his first court hearing.

Prince Duah, 41, is principal of Golf Road Public School in the eastern district of Toronto. On June 10, an incident happened between him and a teacher at the school that resulted in Duah being charged with assault. He turned himself in to police the next day and was placed on home assignment by the Toronto District School Board for the remainder of the school year.

The police have not revealed any details about the incident.

However, at his first court hearing on Aug. 19, the teacher and Duah agreed to mediation and the Crown agreed to withdraw the charge. Duah’s lawyer, Mike Caroline, told the Toronto Star there was an urgency to the mediation because, under school board policy, Duah was suspended without pay until the charges were resolved. The incident was also not an assault and the charges were too harsh, Caroline said.

“In my world as a criminal lawyer, it wasn’t an assault. It’s at most a labour issue as opposed to a criminal matter, and that’s what was determined at judicial pretrial,” Caroline told the Star.

The school board also plans to conduct an investigation of its own after the charges are resolved in court. In the meantime, Duah remains on paid suspension.

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