Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Trustees to get update on lap-dancing teachers

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Winnipeg School Division trustees will finally get news behind closed doors Monday about the investigation into two teachers suspended for performing a lewd lap dance at Churchill High two months ago.

It's the first time division staff will officially brief trustees.

Officials emphasized Thursday that trustees will get an update -- it's not a final report on possible disciplinary action -- and trustees will have nothing before them on the fate of the two teachers on which they can vote.

Teachers Chrystie Fitchner and Adeil Ahmed were suspended in February, two days after they performed a racy number that included simulated oral sex, at a school spirit event in the Churchill gym.

That lap dance went viral on the Internet after students posted several versions of it on YouTube.

They were paid for the first two weeks of their suspension, but have been suspended without pay since the first week of March.

The division late Thursday announced that: "A special in-camera board meeting is scheduled to update the board of trustees in regard to the two teachers who performed a lap dance during a school spirit week.

"As personnel matters are considered confidential, the meeting will be held in-camera.

"Reporters are welcome to await the conclusion of the meeting, but it is impossible to tell how long the meeting will go on."

This is the first time that WSD has officially referred to 'lap dancing' in any of its communication of the incident.

Trustee Mike Babinsky has said that senior staff have never told trustees the names of the two teachers, or any other details of the Feb. 17 incident in the school gym. Division staff have gone as far as to not provide trustees with newspaper clippings of the story, because those stories contained personnel matters which are considered confidential.

WSD confirmed a week ago that two unnamed Churchill teachers had originally been suspended with pay, but the man was suspended without pay March 2 and the woman March 3. That statement was the first time that WSD had publicly confirmed that the division had suspended two teachers, and the first time that the division had named Churchill.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 16, 2010 A16

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