Ex-teacher tutor has questionable past
Published Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:23PM PDT
When a child is having trouble keeping up at school, many parents bring in a tutor to help. But how do you really know who is helping your child?
The parents CTV's Leah Hendry spoke with were all surprised to discover tutoring services are not monitored in British Columbia. Anyone can offer to teach your kids, even teachers fired or disciplined for acting inappropriately with students.
Four years ago, Jagmohan Singh Dutt worked at Queen Elizabeth Secondary in Surrey. In 2004, he was suspended over allegations of misconduct. He says he later resigned for personal reasons.
Last month, Dutt admitted to professional misconduct before the B.C. College of Teachers.
The college found:
"Mr. Dutt behaved inappropriately with one of his grade 12 students by giving her a piggyback ride; massaging her feet and lower legs while she was sitting on his lap; applying Vicks vaporub to her neck and throat while she was sitting between his legs and again while she was lying on her bed in the hotel room; and slept with this student on the same bed under a blanket."
And there's more:
He also paid "extensive and unsolicited attention" to a grade 12 student, visiting her at work, buying her perfume and lunch and allowing her to sit on his lap while alone in the student council room.
Dutt's teaching certificate expired in 2005, but a year earlier he helped start Smart Choices Institute of Learning, a tutoring centre in Surrey.
In one ad, Dutt says he "realized that the public school system was not meeting all the needs of the students."
There was no mention of his history at Queen Elizabeth Secondary, or that he was a discredited teacher.
We tried to contact Dutt several times by phone, and eventually caught up to him at the Smart Choices office.
When asked about his discredited teacher status, Dutt told CTV he would not say anything until he spoke to his lawyer.
On the Smart Choices website, there is no mention of Dutt or anyone else who teaches there by name.
So if you want to make sure your tutor is certified with the B.C. College of Teachers, just go to their website.
If you type in Dutt's name, it shows his certificate is invalid, which could be for a number of reasons -- including not paying his fees. There is no link to his discipline hearing here.
To find that, you have to look under professional conduct, go through all the hearings, and that's where you will find Dutt.
The College admits this kind of information is not easy to find.
"We're working on it," says Marie Crowther, Registrar of the B.C. College of Teachers.
The College says it notified all potential employers and authorities in B.C. about Dutt, but admits there is no one to notify about his background because Dutt is his own employer.
The Minister of Education knows there is a problem, but says there can be a solution.
"Navigating the system now is complicated," says Minister Shirley Bond. "And that's part of our promise -- to make it accessible and make sure parents feel comfortable."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Leah Hendry.