A B.C. high school teacher won’t set foot in a classroom for at least the next 15 years after they were found to have engaged in inappropriate relationships with two of their recent graduates.
The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation released its decision Aug. 2, but didn’t reveal the teacher’s name or the district they worked in in order to protect the involved former students.
What the decision does reveal is that sometime before April 2020, the teacher hired two of his recent graduates to work for his company.
In both cases, the teacher informed the former students there would be travel involved with the jobs and used overnight trips to engage in inappropriate behaviour with them.
The first former student travelled with the teacher three times, and each time they said the teacher booked them shared overnight accommodation. This, the commissioner said, made the student “uncomfortable” as it forced them to share close quarters with their boss instead of having their own room.
Things escalated further with the second former student. Their teacher stayed in touch with them after graduation through Snapchat, before hiring them after about a year. On an overnight work trip, the teacher entered into an “intimate personal relationship” with the former student, according to the commissioner. The student quit the job one week after returning from the trip.
The school district was made aware of both incidents prior to April 20, 2020, when it issued a letter of discipline to the teacher. They were put on unpaid leave for 10 days and had to take a course on professional boundaries from the Justice Institute of B.C.
The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation determined a far harsher punishment was required, however. It has banned the teacher from being able to practise in B.C. for the next 15 years.
They had been teaching in the province since 2014.