B.C. teacher penalized for wielding clippers without parental consent | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. teacher penalized for wielding clippers without parental consent

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February 18, 2021 - 7:30 AM

For shaving a student’s head without parental consent, a B.C. teacher was reprimanded and sent back to the books for a lesson on boundaries.

Michael John Rhodes was employed as a teacher on call in a Grade 6/7 class within the Burnaby School District when he pushed past some professional boundaries, according to a Consent Resolution Agreement published by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

On Friday Jan. 24, 2020, a Grade 6 student told Rhodes they wanted to shave their head “because it was basketball season.”

They told him they had clippers at home and asked if Rhodes would do the shaving.

Three days later, the student came to school with their hair clippers in hand. When Rhodes asked if they had permission from their parents to take and use the clippers, he was told “yes.”

This appears not to have been the case.

At recess, without permission from the student’s parents or the school’s administrators, Rhodes shaved the student's hair in front of their classmates, reads the decision.

This prompted the district to issue a letter of discipline and demand Rhodes apologize to the student's parents.

He also had to take a course from the Justice Institute of B.C. called “the mindful educator, beyond expertise and technique.”

When the matter was kicked up to the Teachers’ Commissioner, it was decided that Rhodes’s conduct “showed a lack of understanding of appropriate professional boundaries” and he was reprimanded.

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