B.C. teacher reprimanded for calling students names, inappropriate contact | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. teacher reprimanded for calling students names, inappropriate contact

FILE. Empty teachers desk at the front of an empty classroom.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
June 10, 2021 - 6:00 PM

A B.C. teacher who in a moment of apparent frustration told one student she was chewing like a cow and another he was acting like a jackass, received a reprimand of his own this week.

Thomas John Wildeman, a teacher working for the Delta School district, recently reached a Consent Order Agreement with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation about an incident that went back to May 16, 2019.

That’s when Wildeman was teaching a Flex class at the school and was concerned that a Grade 10 student was not putting effort into the class and was unprepared for a makeup test.

Wildeman told the student they had a good brain and should use it.

When saying that, he made "inappropriate physical contact with the student's head and shoulders," according to the agreement that was published this week, and the student wasn’t comfortable with it.

Wildeman also told the student to “stop farting around” and that they were “stinking up the place with a lack of effort.”

All of this was done in front of other students.

So, in turn, on June 20, 2019, the district issued Wildeman a letter of discipline and asked him to complete a boundaries workshop. It was finished Sept. 20, 2019.

How much Wildeman got from the workshop remains to be seen, given that on Nov. 5, 2019 the district said Wildeman was teaching a Grade 8 English class when two disruptive students became the focus of his ire for being disruptive in class while other students were making presentations.

One student was loudly chewing gum and Wildemen said she was “chewing so loud she sounds like a cow,” according to the consent order agreement. 

To the other student, he said they were being a “class clown and behaving like a jackass.”

When the two students later tried to make amends Wildeman was having none of it.

He said he did not want a “slacker's apology” and said to come back the next day to deliver a more “considered and appropriate apology.”

On Dec. 18, 2019, the district issued Wildeman a letter of discipline. In it, he was reminded of the district’s expectation that he use language that is positive and supportive and that he be mindful of both tone and content.

This was technically Wildeman’s third strike. The district had previously told Wildeman in a letter of expectation on Nov. 7, 2017  to use professional language when communicating with students and to maintain professional boundaries with students.

Wildeman has now completed the course, Creating a Positive Learning Environment through the Justice Institute of B.C. in March of this year.

The reprimand under the Teachers Act for failing to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator, includes Wildeman’s acknowledgement of wrongdoing. He’s also aware that the reprimand will be published.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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