'You must always be on your period:' Kelowna teacher suspended for comments | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'You must always be on your period:' Kelowna teacher suspended for comments

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A Central Okanagan teacher has been suspended for five days after he told a student who took frequent bathroom breaks that "you must always be on your period."

According to a May 30 BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation decision, Justin Daniel Moses Enns, also had a run-in with another student he incorrectly thought was grabbing her breasts during class.

The decision does not say what school Enns teaches at, but he's listed in the faculty directory of École Kelowna Secondary.

The teaching regulator says that in the fall of 2021, Enns was teaching a Grade 10 math class when a student took off one of two shirts she was wearing.

In doing so, her clothes got twisted and while adjusting them Enns thought she was making "inappropriate sexualized gestures" with her breasts.

He called the student to his desk and asked them to put their shirt back on, and she then left the classroom.

"(The) student... felt uncomfortable and embarrassed and left the classroom," the decision says.

Seeing the student upset, a friend went to leave the classroom and Enns told them that the student had been grabbing her breasts and he made hand gestures mimicking that action.

After class, another student asked Enns what the problem was.

"Enns explained that from his point of view, he saw (the) student... cupping and moving their breasts in a sexual manner that was not appropriate in the classroom," the decision reads. "As he said this, Enns attempted to demonstrate more than once how he perceived (the) student... gestures by grabbing his own chest."

Separately that fall, Enns had become concerned with the frequency and duration of the student's and her friend's bathroom breaks during class.

He's asked the student why she needed to use the bathroom moments after he'd granted her friend permission to use the bathroom.

The student felt uncomfortable having to share this information with Enns, the decision says.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher who hit student's bum with a book suspended

On another day Enns denied the student's friend a bathroom break.

"(The friend)... told Enns that they needed to go to the bathroom because they were on their period. Enns responded by saying, 'You must always be on your period,'" the decision reads.

The teaching regulator also took aim at Enns because of his behaviour outside the classroom.

The decision says Enns sent out two tweets.

One retweet was from a 60 Minutes segment which was described as "acknowledging the role of peer influence & social media in encouraging trans identification in teens, the rising population of detransitioners, and a medical system that ‘affirms’ self-diagnoses of gender dysphoria in place of adequate oversight."

In another retweet about a drag queen who had performed a "Drag Queen Story Hour" for children and was later arrested for possession of child pornography, Enns wrote, "If only there would have been some warning signs, we could’ve stopped this earlier."

READ MORE: B.C. teacher suspended for pushing student out of classroom

While the school spoke to Enns about the tweets it took no disciplinary action but the teaching regulator saw it differently.

"Enns’ decision to retweet the Twitter posts raised concerns about his ability to treat students equitably with acceptance, dignity and respect," the regulator said.

Enns has been in trouble with the regulator before and in 2020 he was suspended for showing a Grade 8 class a John Oliver clip and parts of South Park. He got a three-day unpaid suspension for that.

This time around the school district suspended him for 10 days without pay before handing the file over to the provincial regulator.

The teaching regulator gave Enns a further five-day suspension.

"Enns failed to create a positive learning environment for students when he did not treat them with respect and dignity," the regulator said. "Enns had previously been warned about inappropriate interactions with his students."

READ MORE: Veteran B.C. teacher reprimanded for not treating students with 'dignity and respect'

The decision says Enns signed a consent agreement admitting to his behaviour and agreed not to make any statements that contradicted the Commissioner for Teacher Regulations findings.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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