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B.C. teacher banned 15 years after student-kissing incident

A photograph of the teacher kissing the student on the lips circulated on social media.
Inside view of school classroom.(1)
An unnamed B.C. teacher won't be allowed in a classroom for 15 years after a photo of them kissing a student circulated on social media.

B.C.’s Commissioner for Teacher Regulation has banned a teacher from working in the profession for 15 years after a photo of them kissing a student at a party circulated on social media.

The name of the teacher and the district in which they taught the student — described as vulnerable — has not been released.

On the day of the student’s graduation, the teacher’s children (who were over the age of 19) were having a party at the teacher’s house, according to the undated, unsigned decision, released May 21.

The teacher had been out for dinner and came home after the party had begun. Some party attendees, including university students, were of legal drinking age but the student at the centre of the decision was not. 

“While the teacher knew that there was alcohol present at the party, the teacher was not aware that (the student) was drinking,” the commissioner said.

At one point, the teacher kissed the student on the lips, a moment that was photographed and circulated on social media.

The teacher resigned from their position in the school district, which reported the incident to the commissioner July 4, 2022. The commissioner suspended the teacher’s certificate on Sept. 8, 2022.

The decision said the teacher admitted their conduct constituted professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming a teacher. The commissioner said the conduct endangered the emotional safety of the student and was part of a pattern of boundary issues.

The teacher agreed not to re-apply for a certificate of teaching qualification, an independent school teaching certificate or any other authorization to teach in the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system.