BC teacher suspended after telling his elementary school class they "suck"

Nov 21 2019, 2:01 pm

A BC teacher was suspended following a series of troubling incidents that took place in two different classrooms he taught in two different school districts.

According to a consent-resolution agreement published this week, the offences of Jason Alexander Hop Wo date back to December 2015, when he was employed as a teacher-on-call (TOC) in the Cowichan Valley School District on Vancouver Island.

While teaching a Grade 4/5 class from December 10 to 15 of that year, Wo “frequently yelled and belittled the students in his class, including telling a student that because the student behaved like a kindergartener, the student would be treated like one.”

According to the document, other incidents saw Wo get physical with the students, including one where he grabbed a students’ shirt and “physically” moved him because he had stepped out of line, one where he grabbed a student by the wrist and pushed the student out the door at lunch break, and one where he “shoved a student as a method of hallway management because he thought the student had been speaking when he should not have been.”

During that same week, while on a field trip to a local theatre with his students, he told them they could not eat snacks in the theatre and took away the snacks of two kids who did so. He then proceeded to eat a snack in the theatre himself.

Then, while teaching a Grade 3/4 class at the school on January 4 and 5, 2016, Wo “frequently yelled and belittled the students in class, including calling a student a ‘fool,’ using the word ‘panty face’ and telling a class that they suck.”

He also yelled at a student to get out of the classroom, which resulted in the student crying, hit a student on the head with a piece of paper which resulted in them crying, threw a student’s pencil crayons into the garbage when the student “didn’t switch to a new task quickly enough,” and “tore a student’s decorated label in half in front of the student, after having told the student to stop whining.”

In March of that year, he was disciplined for his actions by the school district and subsequently resigned from the TOC list.

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However, he found employment as a primary teacher with the 2017-18 school year in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district.

In April 2018, Wo was found to have had “inappropriate physical contact with a Grade 2 student in his class when the student (identified only as Student A) was having a verbal argument with another student as the two entered the classroom after the morning bell,” the document states.

“At that point, an Education Assistant tried to redirect Student A by asking him to put away his belongings and get ready for class.”

The student didn’t respond to this instruction, and continued to argue, however. At that point, “Ho intervened by reaching down and using both his hands to pull up student A by his shoulders from the cubby, turn him and move him towards the door, while telling him in a loud voice to ‘move now.'”

The BC Commissioner For Teacher Regulation (BCTR) said that in determining an appropriate response to Ho’s actions, it found “these incidents with students…occurred for no apparent reason and are contrary to district policy.” Wo’s conduct also demonstrated he “had difficulty managing the classroom and used inappropriate language on multiple occasions.”

In July of 2018, the school district disciplined Wo by suspending him for three days without pay for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. He also attended and completed an anger management class.

In January of this year, the BCTR proposed a consent resolution to Ho, which included a requirement to successfully complete a course on positive learning environments by March 2020.

If he fails to do so, his teaching license may be suspended “until such time as he successfully completes the course.”