March 6, 2014 7:25 pm

Teacher relieved of duties after student forced to eat banana from garbage

TORONTO – The Simcoe teacher accused of forcing an 8-year-old girl to eat a banana that had been thrown in the garbage has been relieved of her duties.

The French school board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, said in a statement Thursday that the teacher’s actions reflected poor judgement.

The teacher has apologized but the school board called her behaviour unacceptable and suggested it didn’t meet the board’s ethical standard.

The board is also offering “sincere apologies” to the girl and her family.

The issue began Thursday when Jordan Stewart’s 8-year-old daughter Peighton said she was forced into eating a “rotten” looking banana that had “black spots.”

“I felt I would be in trouble if I didn’t eat it,” Peighton said in an interview with Global News.

Stewart said she went to the school Thursday to meet with the Principal to complain but instead happened upon the teacher.

Stewart said the teacher told her, she “was just trying to teach her good food values.”

Watch: Ontario girl claims teacher forced her to eat banana after it had been thrown in trash


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“She proceeded to tell me ‘it’s not the first time I fed her something that was thrown into the garbage,’” she told Global News in an interview Wednesday.

But this isn’t the first time the teacher has been accused of unprofessional conduct. The teacher, identified as Renee Luise Oerttershagen, was accused of professional misconduct in 2013. In fact, a hearing had been scheduled but had not been completed, which is why she was still teaching as of Thursday.

The document detailing the investigation alleges “she failed to maintain the standards of the profession” and “she displayed a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment and/or a disregard for the welfare of students.”

- with files from The Canadian Press

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