A B.C. teacher was suspended without pay over comments she’d posted on Facebook, a statement of facts explains.
According to an agreement involving the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, which was reached on Dec. 7 and posted publicly last week, the high school teacher was suspended for two days following her actions in January of last year.
It began with a local news article on four students from the teacher’s school. The article, the BCCTR wrote, said they “had excelled in a team sporting event.”
Two of the teens had never been in the teacher’s class, but two had been taught by her in the 2018-19 school year.
According to the agreement reached with the teacher, she shared the article on her personal Facebook page.
In her post, she wrote, “Wish they’d been nicer students in my class… I’d be way more impressed with this.”
She posted the text along with what are described by the BCCTR as “a thinking emoji and a shoulder shrug emoji.”
The post was circulated widely, beginning with it being shared by a person who was “friends” on Facebook with the teacher. Eventually, it was brought to the attention of the students’ parents, one of whom worried the post could impact their child’s scholarship application.
About two weeks after the post was made, the school district suspended the teacher for two days. She was also required to write an apology to the students and their parents.
One of the factors taken into consideration when the matter was brought before the commissioner was that this was not the first time the teacher’s use of social media was a problem.
“A school administrator had previously spoken with (the teacher) several times over the preceding 10 years about her Facebook account, the need to tighten her security over it and to watch what she posts,” the commissioner wrote.
A summary of the discipline outcome included that the teacher admitted her conduct constitutes professional misconduct, and agreed to a reprimand under the provincial Teachers Act.