Ontario, Canada
Ontario, CanadaiStock

A teacher in Timmons, Ontario has had his teaching license revoked after a panel ruled he was guilty of promoting Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracy theories in his classroom, Timmons Today reported.

At an Ontario College of Teachers virtual disciplinary hearing on November 15, Joseph DiMarco was found guilty of professional misconduct. DiMarco, who had been teaching since 2006, pleaded no contest to allegations, which included verbally, psychologically or emotionally abusing students. His teaching license was revoked and he will also get a written reprimand.

The incidents took place during the 2016/17 and 2018/19 school years. DiMarco was fired in May 2019 after a parent complaint led to an investigation by the school board.

During the 2018/19 school year, DiMarco allegedly urged students to question the Holocaust, including "whether the figure of six million Jewish deaths was an exaggeration or fabrication," the college said in its ruling.

The learning material he gave to students was "disreputable and unapproved" and included clips of the Phil Donohue Show and the Montel Williams Show where guests questioned facts pertaining to the Holocaust.

DiMacro also “openly disparaged” a 2019 school trip to World War II sites, which included visiting a concentration camp, "as 'propaganda' by the 'powers that be,’” adding that the concentration camp was the first site on the agenda "when they first arrived and would be fatigued from travelling, in order to prevent students from questioning the Holocaust narrative and to play on their sympathies."

"When students tried to challenge or question the member's assertions about the figure of six million deaths not being accurate, the member was dismissive, reminding the students how much research he had done and warning them not to believe everything they read. Students were disturbed by the information being provided to them and at least one student reported to her mother that the member was teaching them Holocaust denial," the report said.

The three member panel said that instead of teaching required ethics to students, the teacher promoted antisemitic views and conspiracy theories that violated his duty as a teacher.

"The member's conduct showed a complete lack of professional judgment and a flagrant breach of the standards of the teaching profession,” the report said. “The classroom cannot be used (as) a platform for teachers to spread their personal prejudices and hateful viewpoints."