Chris Spence safe as TDSB Director of Education for now
Chris Spence is staying on as Director of Education with the Toronto District School Board--for now.
His future will be decided at a special meeting of the board in the coming days. A date for that meeting could be announced as soon as Thursday.
Spence is on thin ice after it was revealed he'd passed off others' words as his own in an op-ed piece published last week.
While board chair Chris Bolton says they "take this situation very seriously", he insisted it couldn't be discussed at another special meeting of the TDSB Wednesday night. Bolton explained the rules around special meetings don't allow room for anything to be added to the agenda. Wednesday's was called to dive into the effects of the province forcing contracts on teachers & other groups last week.
Before the meeting, Chris Spence spoke to the media for the first time since issuing a written mea culpa Wednesday morning.
Spence was obviously shaken as he spoke with images of Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Junior & Nelson Mandela looking on.
"I want to begin by apologizing again for the embarrassment I've caused the board" Spence started.
The Director of Education's face was stern as he delivered a 90 second statement & took a few questions. His hands trembled a little, he took a few long, painful pauses, wiping his face once in apparent stress.
Spence revealed he's "ashamed and embarrassed" by what he's done. He says he knows he'll be widely condemned for his actions & says "I deserve it".
Spence has vowed to enlist in an ethics course at Ryerson's School of Journalism & is moving to have his op-ed taken down from the web, his apology posted in its place.
While some are calling for Spence's head, at least 1 of his students is springing to his defence.
Student trustee Kourosh Houshmand says while plagiarism isn't acceptable, the good Spence has done at the TDSB can't be ignored.
Houshmand urges people to take the forgive & forget approach & realize everyone messes up. He says he's learned a great deal from how Spence has handled his mistake, & to him, that's what matters.