A teacher recently disciplined for downloading hard-core pornography on to a school laptop continues to teach at Pitt Meadows secondary.
Joseph Paul Stephane Marion was formally reprimanded Oct. 12 by the Ministry of Education’s Teacher Regulation Branch after an investigation into his conduct while he was a French immersion teacher in 2009 at Maple Ridge secondary.
On Jan. 13, 2010, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District suspended Marion without pay for three weeks because an investigator found he had downloaded thousands of pornographic video and photo files on to a school-issued computer.
In addition to the porn, the school board alleged Marion crossed the professional boundary with his students by involving himself in personal affairs and gossiping with them.
He also discussed his private life with students, drove students in his car without the proper authorization, performed an inappropriate Marilyn Monroe dance routine for students, touched them in a friendly, playful manner and shared information with students about being under investigation by the school’s administration.
According to the board ruling, Marion made hurtful and embarrassing comments to a group of students in response to a video that they had made as a school assignment.
The investigator also found Marion had filmed a group of female students without their knowledge. Marion claimed he did not realize the camera was on.
He was put on medical leave in April 2011 after a colleague smelled alcohol on his breath.
Marion eventually admitted he had a drinking problem and entered a residential treatment program in June 2011. He continues to attend Alcoholic Anonymous.
Marion has worked in School District 42 since Sept. 2000 and now works as a English and French teacher at Pitt Meadows secondary.
To continue working, the regulation branch has asked Marion to provide a report from a medical addiction specialist that shows he continues to abstain from alcohol and is fit to teach. He must also follow a treatment plan set out by the specialist and provide two other reports to the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation at the six- and twelve-month marks.
Marion has also agreed to not speak or write about the agreement he has reached with the teacher’s regulation board or the allegations outlined in the board ruling.
The Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association was unable to comment about Marion’s conduct.
“From our perspective, the issue has been dealt with,” said association president George Serra.
The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district was also unable to comment because Marion’s discipline is a personnel matter and therefore covered by privacy legislation.
“What I can tell you is that we take our responsibility to our students very seriously, and that we take every step and every precaution to quickly identify and address any potential issues,” said communications manager Irena Pochop.