A former teacher and volleyball coach in Wakaw, Sask. is facing a formal hearing over several professional misconduct complaints.
Lyle Gartner is accused of slapping and grabbing five students’ buttocks in different situations over a four-year span.
A notice of hearing publicly filed with the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board describes the accounts of five students, labelled A through E, between September 2011 and November 2015.
Student “A” is addressed in three of the eight listed complaints. The first incident alleges Gartner “touched student A’s buttocks while posing for a team photograph” sometime during the 2014-15 school year.
The second alleges he touched her buttocks with his hand while walking past her in a group of students gathered for gym class around Sept. 15, 2015.
The next day, Sept. 16, it’s alleged Gartner met with student “A” alone in his classroom – a move “in disregard” to instructions from school officials not to meet with her alone to discuss the prior complaints.
“During this meeting you told Student A that she could be playing on the more competitive volleyball team,” the complaint reads.
“But to do so, she would need to write a letter stating her previous allegations of you touching her inappropriately went too far and/or the touching was accidental, and that similar allegations would not happen in the future.”
The fourth complaint states between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, 2012, Gartner asked student “B” to bring a bag of volleyballs to his hotel room while the team was at a tournament. While she was leaving the room, it’s alleged Gartner “slapped Student B on her buttocks” with his hand.
Another complaint filed by student “C” claims Gartner grabbed her buttocks in 2014 after pulling her aside and putting his arm around her waist.
Student “D” is represented in two complaints, the first alleging at some point between September 2012 and December 2015 Gartner approached her from behind at a volleyball practice and slapped her buttocks.
The second involving student “D” alleges Gartner applied support tape to her leg, butt and waist while assisting her in stretching. The notice said this occurred “sometimes in public areas and sometimes in private rooms, making the student feel uncomfortable.”
The final complaint from student “E” claims Gartner approached her at a community dance at some point in either 2012 or 2013, slapping her buttocks.
If found guilty by the SPTRB, Gartner could be fined up to $5,000 and have his teaching certificate cancelled.
Staff at Wakaw School declined to comment Friday, but a representative from the Horizon School Division provided the following statement:
“Mr. Gartner is no longer employed by Horizon School Division. It is not appropriate or legally permissible for Horizon School Division to comment on a personnel matter.”
Gartner’s hearing is scheduled for April 11 in Regina.
Wakaw is located around 90 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.