B.C. teacher suspended for pursuing unwanted friendship with student | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. teacher suspended for pursuing unwanted friendship with student

November 12, 2019 - 12:41 PM

Another teacher has been suspended after attempting to develop a relationship with a current student.

According to the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, Chelsea Cromarty, a teacher at Hope Secondary School, was suspended for two months for repeatedly attempting to contact and share personal information while trying to pursue a friendship outside of school in 2018.

In May of 2018, she was aware the student was going through “personal struggles” when she reached out through Instagram and Facebook Messenger. In one exchange, she wrote the student’s name on the chalkboard and sent a picture of it. In another incident, she left her class to speak with the student privately for more than an hour while sharing information about her marriage.

She made numerous attempts to meet with the student, including once picking up the student at home and going for a ride in her car, when she stated her desire to remain friends after graduation. She continued this effort as graduation neared.

The Commissioner’s report says the student was ‘uncomfortable’ about her attention and stopped responding. She called the student later and was told no further relationship was wanted so she wrote and sent a three-page letter in July 2018 about wanting to be friends and how she “was going through a challenging time in her life.”

She wrote the student again in August to follow up, saying she was “incredibly drunk” and “sad about the way things ended” and included a photo of herself with her tongue sticking up, complete with "mouse ears, whiskers and a heart on the end of her nose.” When she was again rebuffed, she asked, “is it because of the drunkenness or because you still don’t trust me/don’t believe me.”

She continued to look at the student’s Facebook page and finally in November 2018, after the student had graduated, sent a personal message saying: “I just wanted to check if things have changed" and “I get the sense that there is no way for me to rectify my past actions.”

She agreed her actions constituted professional misconduct and she was suspended for two months from Sept. 3, 2019 to November 1, 2019.

She was also ordered to complete a course on “respecting boundaries”.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 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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