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B.C. teacher who texted students after school hours disciplined

The teacher and students exchanged text messages for about seven months.
B.C.’s Commissioner for Teacher Regulation found a teacher's level of contact with students was unprofessional.

A B.C. teacher found to have developed an inappropriate relationship with two students has been disciplined by the province’s commissioner for teacher regulation.

In a newly released decision, the commissioner said the unnamed teacher at an unidentified school had been counselling the two vulnerable pupils.

The decision said the teacher spent a significant amount of time with the students, who became increasingly attached.

The time spent with the teacher grew until it was almost daily and during times when the students should have been in class.

The principal discussed the issue with the teacher but no steps were taken by the teacher to remedy the situation.

Then, for a period of about seven months, the teacher and students began exchanging text messages, including after school hours and at night without the knowledge of the parents.

“One evening when the teacher was texting with one of the students, the student indicated that they might harm themselves,” the decision said. “The teacher did not take appropriate reporting steps to address the risk of self-harm,” the decision said.

On Sept. 14, 2022, the school district issued the teacher a letter of discipline and suspended them for nine days without pay.

On Sept. 20, 2022, the district made a report to the commissioner.

In addition, the teacher was transferred to a different school for the remainder of the school year, was required to complete the B.C. Teachers Federation workshop, Professional Boundary Issues: Teacher/Student Relationships, and as well as undergo a teaching evaluation for the 2022-23 school year.

Also, the teacher may not reapply for a position at the school.

The teacher admitted professional misconduct and agreed to a two-week suspension of their teaching certificate.