The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows School District office. (THE NEWS-files)

The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows School District office. (THE NEWS-files)

Ridge Meadows teachers disciplined for publicizing former colleague’s relationship with former student

Each teacher suspended for one day by Teachers Regulation Branch

Two Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows teachers have been disciplined and suspended from teaching for one day each after they publicized another teacher’s inappropriate relationship with a former student.

In 2019, the two teachers, who lived with a relative who was also a teacher in the district, discovered that their relative was involved in an “intimate relationship” with a former student, according to a record of the discipline decision of the British Columbia Commission for Teacher Regulation.

Their relative moved out of the home shortly afterwards, but left behind some items including a laptop that had formerly belonged to the school district.

It contained some information about the former student, who is referred to in the discipline decision as the complainant.

The two teachers then put together a package of information about the incident, which told people how to report the issue to the Teacher Regulation Branch. The package included the full name of the former student and “highly personal information” about her and the teacher who had been in a relationship with her.

The duo made 20 copies of the report and at least 10 were distributed to various people, according to the commission.

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“By the end of July 2020, copies of the package were being widely distributed in public places, as well as over the internet, causing great embarrassment and upset to the complainant,” the discipline report said.

In addition to the provincial level discipline, both of the teachers behind the info package were also suspended for 10 days by the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District.

In the provincial discipline ruling, they admitted to having committed professional misconduct, and having “failed to model appropriate behaviour of an educator in their disclosure of confidential information of a former district student.”

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News is not naming the two teachers to avoid any further identification of the student who was the original victim in the incident.

The discipline rulings against the teachers who put together the info package does discuss any possible discipline against the teacher who was having an inappropriate relationship with a former student. That does not mean there was no discipline, however.

There are several discipline reports due to teachers having sex with current or former students in the last few years in B.C.

All of them have the names of the offending teacher, as well as the school district removed, to provide anonymity for the students involved.

In a 2020 discipline case, a B.C. teacher who admitted to a relationship with a student was banned for teaching in B.C. for 20 years, with the commissioner noting “he exploited the student-teacher relationship he had with student by commencing the sexual and romantic relationship within days of graduation.”

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