In its efforts to see more people involved in the practice of democracy, CCLET has developed a unique approach to engaging educators in teaching critical thinking about rights and freedoms for social justice. Using principles that inform the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, CCLET provides teachers and students with a basic structure of questions that are applicable to nearly any issues involving considerations of fairness.


Teachers: Let’s Talk Free Expression

iStock_000021840548_MediumThe Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust and the Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University are collaborating on a project that will focus on freedom of expression for teachers in the K-12 public school systems. While those who teach in a university system are guaranteed academic freedom, there is no such guarantee for teachers of younger students. What are your views on this distinction? How should teachers’ expression be regulated, if at all? Have you had an experience where you, as a teacher, have been told not to speak, draw, perform, write, sing, dance, or protest?

We are interested in hearing from teachers and former teachers who may have experienced or had colleagues who experienced discipline or censure for their expression either in the classroom/school or outside of school and school hours. Incidents that involve lawful expression such as political speech, artistic expression, or expression critical of administration are of particular interest to us.

We would also like to hear from those who have experienced discipline under The Ontario Education Act section 264 (1) (c), regarding duties of a teacher.

If you would like to correspond by email, please contact CCLA’s Director of Education, Danielle McLaughlin at or by telephone at 416-646-1405. All information will be kept confidential unless we receive consent to share information publicly.

CCLET in the Media

Press Releases

If you want to keep informed about controversies in schools and learning, or stay up-to-date on social justice and education issues, then you may want to have a look at these blog postings, op eds, speeches and articles by CCLET staff members.   CCLET writes! Our Director of Education, Danielle McLaughlin, has published many articles […]

CCLET in the Community


Do you belong to a seniors’ group, an ESL class, a youth group, a social action committee, or other community group? Do you know what your rights are? Are you a newcomer to Canada who has been told that if you want to complain about things in this country you should return to your country of origin? […]

Workshops for Teachers and Teacher Candidates


How do democratic principles apply to the teaching profession? Through CCLET’s interactive workshops, teachers and teacher candidates are encouraged to examine conflicts and controversies for which there can be no perfect solutions – and to actively seek out views that diff†er from their own. How do we address divergent views on issues such as abortion, […]


CCLET Announces Winners of 15th Annual Chernos Essay Competition

June 23, 2016

Each year, CCLET holds a high school essay competition in honor of the late Bernard Chernos, a civil libertarian, lawyer, and lover of lively debate.  Students from across Canada are asked to respond to one of four questions dealing with a conflict of Charter rights and freedoms for a chance to win $500 and a […]

Apply to be a Peer Privacy Protector!

April 11, 2016

CCLA and CCLET are seeking creative and dynamic high school students who have an interest in learning more about technology and its implications on their privacy rights, and are willing to serve as privacy ambassadors in their schools and communities.  In addition to enhancing their knowledge and gaining valuable experience for their resumes, student participants […]

CCLET’s High School Lesson Plans

May 17, 2015

Below you will find lesson plans that can help encourage the development of democratic habits and prepare the next generation of Canadians for civic engagement. Please feel free to try out these resources in your classrooms and tell us how it went; or if you have a lesson plan or resource of your own that you […]

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