Tran started in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district in 2000.

Teacher hugged student, said he was attracted to her

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows educator found to have acted in a manner of professional misconduct.

A three-person panel has determined that a Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district teacher who hugged a Grade 11 student and said words to the effect that he was attracted to her acted in a manner that qualifies as professional misconduct under the Teachers Act.

The decision on findings and determination from a hearing into the actions of Duc-Hung Tran was posted on the Ministry of Education’s website on April 24, as agreed.

The incident occurred on Feb. 5, 2014.

The respondent, Tran, has already been suspended without pay for six weeks by the district.

The decision says Tran “told a female Grade 11 student who was in his class to come with him into a classroom, and then into a storage room to speak privately. He closed the door and then he hugged her and said words to the effect that he was attracted to her. He told her not to tell anyone what he had done.”

Tran had worked with the school district since September 2000, and in that year he taught math, science and marketing 11. He was married and had two school-aged children.

After the incident, the student left the classroom and went to the washroom. She was upset and scared, says the decision, and returned to class, but avoided Tran.

That evening she told her father about the incident, and he reported it to the school administrators.

The school district advised Tran he was being investigated on Feb. 11 of that year, and that he was suspended with pay until further notice.

On Feb. 12, 2014, the district informed the RCMP of the incident, and they investigated, but no charges were approved against Tran.

The district hired an independent consultant to conduct and investigation.

On April 16, 2014, Tran submitted a medical certificate that stated he required medical leave for major depressive disorder.

On Nov. 5, 2014, the board of trustees for the school district decided to continue Tran’s suspension, but without pay while allowing him access to medical leave benefits.

On Feb. 25, 2015, the school district advised Tran he would be suspended without pay for six weeks upon his return from medical leave.

He was also transferred to another school not attended by the student or her family, made to complete the Professional Boundaries Course by the Teacher Regulation Branch, be monitored by school administration, and continue treatment for his medical condition, says the decision.

On June 8, 2015, he returned to the district as a teacher on call, and to full-time teacher in January 2016.

“The panel further agrees that the act of hugging is not ‘inherently sexual or romantic.’ However coupled with the representation that the respondent made to the student that he was attracted to her and the circumstances of advising her of such in a closed storeroom away from the public view, hugging in this case, manifestly crossed the line,” says the reason for penalty.

The panel also directed that submissions regarding penalty and costs may be made in writing.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Guard dog trainer looks to take over part of tree farm

An unused horse arena and gravel area on Green Road property proposed for alternate use

Council ponders next steps for Pitt Meadows Official Community Plan

Revising a blueprint for how to keep growing and developing the city has been stalled by COVID

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all Canadians, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

$2,000 reward for info on suburban trap after raccoon dies

Animal rights groups say there was no need for the trap

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Missing North Delta senior found dead after nine days

88-year-old Jarnail Sanghera had been missing since the morning of Friday, May 15

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Most Read