School Dismisses Mayor Co-op Student

A Grade 12 Ursuline College Chatham student is claiming he is unable to graduate after the school terminated his co-op placement at the Chatham-Kent CAO and Mayor’s Office.

Darren Champagne says he was let go due to comments he made online about a council decision, leaving him 35 hours short of completing his course requirements.

“I was saying I think council should reverse this decision that was being made. The other comment said if I were to win office as mayor in October then people at the Civic Centre might feel a bit nervous because I’m going to be changing things up a bit.”

Meanwhile, the municipality says it supports freedom of speech and expression.

“It’s also important to make sure that whether it’s freedom of speech, how you conduct yourself in an organization is also important in terms of learning how to be professional, respectful and sensitive to matters,” says Director of Human Resources Cathy Hoffman. “We can’t always provide a placement that works perfectly and meets all the interests and needs of the candidate, so he’s certainly entitled to express how he feels.”

The principal of UCC tells the school will be following up with the mayor’s office and take appropriate action as deemed necessary.