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Maple Ridge teacher banned from classrooms for secretly filming girls

Former teacher John Charles Mackinnon pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping women and girls as young as 10 on his smart phone. - The News/Files
Former teacher John Charles Mackinnon pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping women and girls as young as 10 on his smart phone.
— image credit: The News/Files

A Maple Ridge teacher who secretly filmed videos of women and girls as young as 10 will never teach in B.C. again.

John Charles MacKinnon surrendered his teaching certificate last month and vowed to never apply for one again.

According to a disciplinary decision released by the B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch, MacKinnon was handed an 18-month conditional discharge in January after he pleaded guilty to secretly observing or recording for a sexual purpose.

The learning support and special education teacher was arrested by RCMP in June 2012 for using his cell phone to snap photographs and tape video of unsuspecting women and girls, one of whom was 12 years old, at a Wal-Mart in Langley.

The photos and video were predominately of the women’s posteriors. Some were taken up their skirts.

After being interviewed by RCMP, Mackinnon admitted he had begun secretly videotaping women after he got a smart phone in Dec. 2011. He claimed he did not target children and did not take any footage at school.

However videos recovered from Mackinnon’s phone told a different story.

Police found two videos of a female teacher at his school as well as one of an unidentified female walking through a corridor.

He also filmed two other videos of a 10 year old student, focusing on her crotch area.

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District suspended Mackinnon without pay a day after the videos were discovered.

He resigned from SD42 in April.

In a statement, the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District stressed that the safety and wellbeing of students is their "number one priority at all times.

"We therefore took both the initial allegations and the subsequent guilty plea very seriously," said spokesperson Irena Pochop.

"Although privacy legislation prevents us from discussing this personnel matter in any greater detail, we can confirm that Mr. MacKinnon is no longer teaching in the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District."

• Read the full decision online.

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