B.C. teacher gets licence suspended for not following lockdown drill - InfoNews

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B.C. teacher gets licence suspended for not following lockdown drill

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August 11, 2020 - 8:00 PM

For ignoring and ultimately deciding to teach through a lockdown drill two years ago, an Abbotsford teacher will have his license suspended for two days.

Geoffrey William Blackwood has been a teacher since Sept. 19, 1990 and in 2017 Blackwood was employed as an elementary school teacher by the Abbotsford School district, according to the B.C. Teachers Regulation board.

According to a consent resolution agreement published today, Aug. 11, Blackwood got in trouble when not following through with the school's periodic safety drills schedule.

Lockdown drills were scheduled for Oct. 3, 2016, Nov. 8, 2016, and Dec. 13, 2016 and April 7, 2017, and teachers and support staff were well-informed of that schedule. As the year progressed, the April 7 drill was moved to March 31, which was communicated to staff by two emails and a school assembly.

It's unlikely that Blackwood didn't get the memo, but on March 31, 2017 the drill commenced and Blackwood's Grade 4 and 5 class carried on business as usual. He didn't, as the procedure requires, lock and barricade doors and windows, turn off lights or keep the class silent.

“When the school administrator went to check the classes, she heard Blackwood talking to a student. She opened the door to find Blackwood standing in front of the classroom, with the lights on and the students at their desks,” reads the agreement.

He was holding a meter stick in his hand and was pointing to a poem on the projector.

Blackwood continued to teach through the drill, and the students were at their desks instead of at the corner of the room staying silent.

He also kept the classroom lights on, a projector display on and did not attempt to cover his window.

For that, on Nov. 14, 2017 the district issued backwood a letter of warning with the expectation that he communicates in a professional and respectful manner within the workplace and follow safety procedures within the school.

Additionally, the district required Blackwood to take a course through the Justice Institute of B.C.

He completed the course in March 2018.

On Oct. 18, 2018, a consent resolution agreement was reached which meant Blackwood agreed that his behaviour constituted professional misconduct. He had a two-day suspension of his certificate Sept. 10 and 11, 2020.

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