B.C. teacher suspended for yelling into ear of elementary school student | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. teacher suspended for yelling into ear of elementary school student

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March 10, 2020 - 4:30 PM

A Lower Mainland elementary school teacher retired after facing a three-day suspension after an angry physical incident with a child in her classroom.

Shelagh Marilyn Lafleur was a teacher at an elementary school in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows School District when she grabbed, restrained and yelled at a new child in her class.

She was teaching kindergarten and grade one students in a split class in February 2018 when the incidents occurred, according to a consent resolution agreement from the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

Before the grade one student was placed in her class, the principal warned Lafleur that if the child starting acting out or hitting, Lafleur needed to move away and give the child space. She didn’t follow those directions.

On Feb. 16, 2018 during an indoor recess, the class was watching a yoga video. The new student began throwing items out of a classroom window, and Lafleur asked the child, “How would you like it if I threw your stuff out the window?”

The student then hit Lafleur. She grabbed the child by the arms and forcefully restrained them in a chair in another part of the classroom. The child was struggling and screaming, and Lafleur reportedly grabbed the child's face, moving it from side to side, and at one point covered their mouth. She then yelled into the child’s ear.

“How do you like it when someone yells in your ear,” she was overheard saying.

The incident lasted over five minutes, then a support teacher went to get the principal. Lafleur left the classroom looking “visibly angry” and was reported as saying that student “messed with the wrong person.”

Almost a month after the incident on March 13 of 2018, the school district filed a complaint to the commissioner appointed under the Teacher’s Act.

She retired from the district almost a year later on Jan. 15 of 2019, effective Feb. 1 of the same year.

In April of 2019, the commissioner proposed a conflict resolution to Lafleur. She had to admit that all statements in the complaint were true, and that her actions with the child during the Feb. 2018 constitutes professional misconduct.

The commissioner decided on the suspension of her certificate of qualification due to the fact her actions escalated the incident rather than quelling it, because she had gone against the principals instruction, and she engaged in inappropriate physical intervention fuelled by anger.

The agreement is posted in full here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 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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