Trustee censured by the UCDSB

Ward 9 trustee Curtis Jordan.

BROCKVILLE – An Upper Canada District School Board trustee was censured for violating the trustee code of conduct.

Trustee Curtis Jordan, who represents Ward 9 (Stormont and Glengarry Counties) at the UCDSB, received a six-month censure by the board at the June 21 trustee meeting in Brockville.

Until December 31, 2023, Jordan will be unable to attend trustee board meetings or committee meetings.

An official warning was given, and he must take an education course through the Ontario Education Services Corporation trustee development program.

The complaint against Jordan was made by trustee chair John McAllister. A report to trustees was presented in open session at the June 21 meeting before voting on the censure. Audio during that portion of the meeting was ordered to be turned off.

The Leader requested a copy of the report, which was presented in open session. UCDSB spokesperson April Scott Clarke said that the report was not available publicly.

“While the Code of Conduct proceedings were part of the public session, the report is considered private due to the content it contains,” she said. “This is as per section s.207(2)(b) of the Education Act, which states that “the disclosure of intimate, personal or financial information in respect of a member of the board or committee, an employee or prospective employee of the board or a pupil or his or her parent or guardian” may be considered in private session.”

A three trustee committee was formed to investigate the allegation by McAllister, who stepped down from chairing that portion of the meeting when the censure vote was taken.

The board’s motion to censure Jordan said that he breached three principles of the trustee code of conduct:

  • 1.4 – Trustees will commit themselves to dignified, ethical, professional and lawful conduct.
  • 4.2 – A Trustee of the Board shall not advance allegations of misconduct and/or a breach of this Code of Conduct that are trivial, frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith or vindictive in nature against another Trustee of the Board.
  • 4.4 – Trustees shall at all times act with decorum and shall be respectful of other Trustees of the Board, staff, students and the public.

In a statement to The Leader, Jordan said the censure was a surprise.

“I was surprised that as a trustee who passionately stands up for my constituents that I’d be subject to such sanctions,” he said. “However, sanctions or no sanctions—- I’ll continue to be a tireless advocate for the people of Stormont-Glengarry.”

It is unclear if Jordan is able to appeal the six month censure. On June 8, Bill 98 – the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act received Royal Assent. Reforms to trustee code of conduct are part of the legislation, including an appeals process. Prior legislation governing the code of conduct of trustees did not allow for an appeal process.

“My constituents are my priority, and I’m still deciding whether I will appeal this sanctioning of my voice at the board table,” Jordan said.

Jordan was elected to the board in October 2022, replacing John Danaher, who chose not to seek re-election.

Jordan was recognized at Queen’s Park with a standing ovation on April 3, 2023 as the first openly Autistic elected official in Ontario.

Later during the June 21 UCDSB meeting, Danaher was selected by trustees, excluding Jordan who was ordered to immediately disconnect from the meeting once censured, to replace Ward 7 trustee Larry Berry – who had resigned his seat in May due to health issues.

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