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Former West Van school counsellor jailed for child porn gets lifetime teaching ban

The former school counsellor left B.C. for PEI after he was charged.
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Mulgrave School in West Vancouver. | Mike Wakefield / North Shore News files

This story has been amended to add more information.

A former West Vancouver private school counsellor jailed for possession of child pornography has been banned for life from teaching in British Columbia.

Luke Lawson, who taught at Mulgrave School for almost 20 years, was sentenced to four months in jail in June 2022, after pleading guilty to the charge in North Vancouver provincial court.

Lawson was suspended by the school in September 2020, immediately after he was arrested by the West Vancouver Police Department. Their investigation found he had been using his school computer to view and print photos of naked pre-pubescent and pubescent girls, and a search of his apartment found a stack of more than 100 images printed out, plus another 17 more arranged into a collage on his fridge.

Lawson had been collecting images from nudism websites and cropping out everything but the young girls. None of the victims were students from Mulgrave, according to the Crown and none of the images depicted any sexual acts.

Lawson’s accreditation was suspended soon after he was arrested, and he left B.C. to live in Prince Edward Island.

Following his jail term, Lawson was to serve another 18 months of probation.

On Nov. 15, the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation entered into an agreement with Lawson, declaring that he is to never apply for or expect to receive a certificate of qualification or any other kind of accreditation to teach kids from kindergarten to Grade 12 in B.C.

“In determining that a lifetime ban on reapplication is an appropriate consequence, the commission considered the following factors: The conduct was at the serious end of the spectrum, and Lawson failed to act ethically and undermined the credibility of the teaching profession by violating laws that protect children from sexual exploitation,” the decision states.

brichter@nsnews.com
twitter.com/brentrichter

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