A former Sturgis elementary school teacher, who is currently serving a suspended sentence with 18 months probation for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Yorkton girl, will likely lose his teaching certificate.
At a penalty hearing in Saskatoon April 11, an ethics committee of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) announced they had found Trevor Latham guilty of professional misconduct and recommended that the executive revoke his certificate.
The father of the victim said he had to find out about the STF proceedings through a Saskatoon newspaper reporter, which was upsetting. Nevertheless he said, the family was “very happy” about the verdict of the ethics committee.
“He won’t be teaching anywhere again,” the father said.
Although more than likely, that is not a 100 per cent certainty because the STF executive, while bound by the guilty verdict, could come back with a lesser penalty, such as a suspension.
Shelly Tootoosis, STF associate executive director, said she cannot say what the decision of the executive was pending notification to Latham, who then has 30 days to appeal. The recommendation then has to go to the minister of education, who is the only person who has the authority to revoke or suspend a teaching certificate. Latham could also appeal that within 30 days, so it could be several months before any decision is final.
The accused pleaded guilty September 10, 2013, to one count of sexual assault related to a January 10, 2013 incident during which an intoxicated Latham, who was staying with the victim’s family, entered the girl’s bedroom, lay down with her kissing and touching her. She asked him to leave, but he returned three or four times during the night.
At the sentencing hearing, September 24, Latham’s lawyer said his client had no recollection of the events, but had apologized both verbally and in writing to the victim and her family.
Judge Darin Chow said he accepted that the incident was an “aberration,” but called it “particularly repugnant” because it happened in the girl’s own bed where she had “a right to feel safe.”
On October 3, 2013, the Good Spirit School Division fired Latham. It was the school division that filed the complaint with STF.