B.C. teacher reprimanded for losing control of disrespectful class | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. teacher reprimanded for losing control of disrespectful class

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
March 30, 2021 - 2:39 PM

A Salt Spring Island school teacher who had issues establishing order and boundaries in what appears to have been a challenging class was reprimanded by the Commissioner of Teacher Regulation this week.

According to a Consent Resolution Agreement published today, March 30, Peri Michelle Lavender was a Grade 8 teacher in the Gulf Island School District in 2016 and 2017 when two parents filed complaints under the Teachers' Act for the way she managed the classroom.

“During the school year, the classroom was loud and chaotic and often out of control, which negatively impacted the students’ learning environment,” reads the decision.

One of the issues was that Lavender allowed students to use their iPads and phones in class for non educational purposes.

“This was disruptive to some students who wanted to learn,” reads the decision.

Additionally, as a reward, Lavender would allow some students to leave her classroom to go to the skate park, then she failed to properly monitor them.

“Lavender had difficulty managing students who were disruptive in class and was inconsistent in setting out and applying rules in the classroom,” reads the decision.

“Despite attempts by Lavender to address disrespectful student behaviour, a disrespectful tone permeated the classroom which negatively impacted student learning."

She also failed to consistently set clear learning intentions or deadlines for students “causing some of them to grow anxious as they did not understand when their assignments were due or what was expected of them,” reads the decision.

There were also concerns raised about the appropriateness of some of her learning material.

On Sept. 27, 2016, Lavender distributed a questionnaire to her students as part of a health lesson. It included queries about smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use and sexual practices, which some parents and students claimed was not age-appropriate.

Finally, in May 2017, her students asked her to play basketball and she responded, “if I was on your team I would make (Student B) look like a superstar.”
Student B has special needs, according to the decision. 

The Commissioner proposed a consent order resolution in July 2019, which compelled Lavender to, among other things, acknowledge professional misconduct for the aforementioned incidents and take a course on creating a positive learning environment through the justice institute of B.C.

“Lavender through both her actions and inactions failed to establish a positive learning environment,” reads the decision from the Commissioner of Teachers.

She agreed to the terms this month and has to complete the course by March 31, 2022.

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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