A teacher in the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows School District has had her Certificate of Qualification suspended for three days after an incident where she forcibly restrained a student and yelled at them.
In a consent resolution agreement released Tuesday by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, Shelagh Marilyn Lafleur has agreed that the incident that happened two years ago constituted professional misconduct and has agreed to the penalty.
The resolution agreement says Lafleur was teaching a split kindergarten/Grade 1 class in January, 2018, when she was informed by the principal that a student being transferred to the class might act out or start hitting and if this were to happen to move away and give the student space.
However, during an indoor recess on Feb. 16, that same year, when the other students in the class were watching a yoga video, the student started throwing items out of a classroom window.
The resolution states that Lafleur approached the student and asked them how they would like it if she threw their stuff out the window, after which the student hit her.
Lafleur grabbed the student by the arm and took them to another part of the classroom where she put the student on a chair and forcefully restrained them with her hands, wrote the Commissioner in the resolution , so that the student could not move.
As the student continued to struggle and scream, she grabbed the student’s face and moved it from side to side, at one point covering their mouth. Then she yelled into their ear asking them how they like it when somebody screams into their ear.
The resolution says the incident lasted around five minutes and that Lafleur was visibly angry.
When a support teacher went to get the school principal, Lafleur left the classroom and was heard saying the student, “messed with the wrong person.”
Lafleur retired from the district on Jan. 15, 2019.
Her Certification of Qualification was issued to her by the B.C. College of Teachers on Oct. 12, 2005 and was valid from Sept. 1, 2005.
Lafleur continues to hold a valid Professional Certificate of Qualification that was issued to her by the College on March 15, 2006.
The Commissioner considered a number of factors when deciding that the suspension was the appropriate consequence, including Lafleur responding to the student, “in a manner contrary to the approach suggested to her by the school principal”, that her actions were more likely to escalate the situation than control it, that her actions were considered inappropriate physical intervention and that her conduct was, “fueled by anger and animus” towards the student.
Lafleur’s certificate of qualification will be suspended from April 1 until April 3, 2020.