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B.C. teacher reprimanded for shooting joke

The teacher must now complete a course on creating a positive learning environment.
A teacher must complete a course through the Justice Institute of B.C. on creating a positive learning environment.

A Cache Creek-area teacher has been reprimanded after it was found he had committed professional misconduct for comments made to a combined Grade 7, 8 and 9 math class in January 2023.

In a newly released April 30 decision signed in Clinton, Commissioner for Teacher Regulation Ana Mohammed said Brian John Carmichael was involved in two incidents that led to School District No. 74 issuing a discipline letter.

Mohammed said that, in the first week of January 2023, he told the class an anecdote about a distant relative being a student in his math class in a previous year.

Carmichael told the class how the relative’s mother told him that he could give the child a “bare bottom spank” if they were misbehaving at school.

Then, on Jan. 11, 2023, Carmichael told students that if they did not “ace” an upcoming test, “I’m going to have to shoot you all.”

“While Carmichael meant this as a joke, this was not apparent to all students in the classroom,” Mohammed said. “One student reported feeling uncomfortable and wanting to leave the classroom immediately, another was unsure if Carmichael was being serious, and a third reported feeling concerned and confused.”

The commissioner said “Carmichael’s conduct had the effect of endangering the emotional safety of students when he made a comment about shooting them.”

The district issued Carmichael two letters of expectation, one in 2013 and another in 2017.

“They directed that he establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries with students, be respectful in his communications, and proportional in his responses,” Mohammed said.

Now, Mohammed has directed that, by Aug. 31, Carmichael must complete a Justice Institute of B.C. course on creating a positive learning environment.
If he does not complete it by that date, he must explain why and provide a date at which it will be finished.

If he fails to do that, his teaching certificate could be suspended until the course is completed.