B.C. teacher who sent thousands of texts to student gets certification suspended - InfoNews

Current Conditions

25.4°C

B.C. teacher who sent thousands of texts to student gets certification suspended

Image Credit: Shutterstock
May 05, 2020 - 1:43 PM

A B.C. teacher who sent a student thousands of boundary-crossing text messages discussing everything from sexual orientation to complaints about parents had their professional certification suspended for more than two months.

In a consent resolution agreement published today, May 5, by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation the B.C. teacher, whose name has been redacted to protect the identity of student, struck up a relationship with the student in 2017. In 2018, the school district employing the teacher, made a report to the Commissioner regarding the events.

According to the decision in 2017, the student was in Grade 12 and started viewing the "teacher as a friend and parental figure."

"Between June 10 and November 2, 2017, the teacher exchanged 5,455 text messages with Student A which violated acceptable professional boundaries," reads the notice. "Of those, 2,496 of the messages were sent by the teacher."

The subject matter of the texts were far reaching and in some of the cases highlighted, the teacher told the student they loved them, made negative comments about their parents and siblings, used profanity and engaged in negative commentary about another teacher.

They also texted the student over the summer months, on weekends, early in the morning and late at night.

Some of their conversations were about the student's sexuality and sexual orientation, according to the notice, and the teacher’s shared personal information about their childhood and issues with their parents when growing up.

The teacher also told the student they were intelligent and attractive, they would “officially” be friends after graduation, and that the teacher needed the student as much as the student needed the teacher.

At one point, the student indicated they were wanting to harm themselves, and the teacher’s response was to counsel the student by text message.

"This was contrary to the district’s critical incident policy which requires teachers who are concerned about self-harm to report the matter to school administrators so that a risk assessment can be done and parents can be notified," reads the notice.

The student's mother contacted the teacher in May 2017 indicating she wanted her child to stop texting with the teacher, but the teacher did not stop. At some point the teacher even gave the student a gift.

When all of this was disclosed in February 2018, the district issued the teacher a letter of discipline and suspended them for two months without pay. They were also transferred to a different school
and required to complete the course Reinforcing Respectful Boundaries through the Justice Institute of B.C., which happened March, 2018.

As part of the consent resolution agreement, the teacher’s certificate of qualification will be suspended for two months and two weeks.


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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020
iNFOnews

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile