(File Photo)

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

A B.C. teacher has been suspended for 15 days and ordered to take a course on boundaries after swearing at students and poking one in the stomach.

In a decision released Tuesday by the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, an unnamed teacher working at an unnamed school in the province acknowledged their misconduct on a variety of occasions.

The issues started during the summer of 2017, when the teacher used Facebook Messenger to talk about movie recommendations with a student.

The student reported feeling “uncomfortable” with the messages, and the school district issued the teacher a letter reminding them to not communicate with students outside of an educational setting.

During the 2016-17 school year, the teacher pulled a student’s ponytail and poked them in the stomach, leading the student to report feeling uncomfortable.

The teacher also swore and used an offensive slur in the classroom and used “inappropriate terms of endearment” with female students.

In February 2018, the teacher approached the same student at school, wanting to apologize and asking why the student had reported the Facebook messages. The student said they were affected negatively by the questioning.

In January 2019, the district suspended the teacher for 12 days without pay and ordered them to complete a Justice Institute of B.C. course about boundaries. The teacher completed the course and was transferred to a new school.

At an unknown date, the commissioner suspended the teacher’s teaching certificate for three days.

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@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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