Former Grand Erie teacher pleads guilty to sex offense

Former Grand Erie teacher pleads guilty to sex offense

BRANTFORD A former high school teacher has pleaded guilty in Ontario Court to sexual exploitation.

Originally charged with two counts each of sexual assault and sexual exploitation, William Franklin Schatz, 47, pleaded guilty to the single charge on Monday before Justice Colette Good.

He is expected to return to court for sentencing at the end of March.

Charged in September 2021, Schatz of Caledonia was placed on suspension by the Grand Erie District School Board from his job at Pauline Johnson Collegiate in Brantford due to bail restrictions that prevented him from being in the company of anyone under 18 unless supervised by an adult. He also was ordered to not be in the company of females, aged 17 or younger.

“We expect the Ontario College of Teachers will initiate its process, resulting in the revocation of Mr. Schatz’s teaching certificate,” Grand Erie spokesperson Dave Smouter said on Tuesday.

“He was suspended as soon as the board was made aware of the charges. As of today, he is no longer employed at Grand Erie.”

A teacher since 1999, Schatz was the head of the arts department at PJ.

He was also an organist and music director at a Brantford church, director of music ministry for a Caledonia church, artistic director for Brant County Singers and director of Brant Men of Song.

His biography notes he has performed with multiple choirs and musical groups as a soloist and traveled the world, studying and performing music.

Smouter said the board’s highest priority is the safety of its students. The board is committed to supporting safe environments in its schools, he said.

He noted that the Sexual Assault Center of Brant offers a free 24-hour crisis and support line at 519-751-3471 or through its website at

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