B.C. teacher suspended for telling student to kill himself

DELTA, B.C. - A band teacher at an independent school in Delta has been suspended for three days after telling a student he should kill himself.

The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation recently released the agreement between it and teacher Boris Pekarsky, whose outburst at a student nearly three years ago ultimately led to his suspension.

The agreement document laid out the facts of the case, which began in November 2016. Pekarsky has a teaching certificate and he was acting as a music teacher for an independent school in Delta at the time. The agreement does not identify the school.

On Nov. 28, 2016, Pekarsky was teaching Band 9 when he yelled at a male student for failing to stay on task. The student moved to sit down and tripped over a percussion instrument creating a loud noise. Pekarsky told the student and another one to leave the room.

The agreement states as the male student left the room Pekarsky said words to the effect of "go kill yourself, it won't matter anyway." Many students in the room were stunned and upset by Pekarsky's remark.

In late January 2017, Pekarsky met with a small group of students from Band 9, most of whom were part of the Honours Band. Pekarsky spoke with them about students he thought were "acting out" and he asked the group for advice in how to handle these problem behaviours.

On Jan. 25, 2017, Pekarsky's school disciplined him by suspending him for 10 days without pay from March 13 to 24, 2017. The Commissioner proposed a consent resolution agreement to Pekarsky on Nov. 1, 2018.

Pekarsky admitted to the facts of the case and agreed to have his Independent School Teaching Certificate suspended for three days, to be served June 25 to 27.

The Commissioner noted the suspension is appropriate because he failed to treat his students with respect and dignity, he failed to consider the hurtful impact of his words on the male student, and he showed a lack of insight into why his January 2017 discussion with students was inappropriate.

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