"Students were afraid": BC teacher fired for racist comments toward staff and yelling at students

Feb 3 2023, 5:42 pm

A teacher has been fired from a BC school after he made racist comments to Black teachers and “jeopardized” students’ physical and emotional safety, according to the discipline outcome posted by the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

The report says Brent Alexander Daniel was hired at an independent school operated by a First Nation last fall. However, his resume omitted previous work experience where he was suspended for 10 days and required to take Managing Anger and Foundations of Collaborative Conflict Resolution courses.

Daniel, who was a secondary school teacher, was suspended from the school in the Peace River South district after he chased after a Grade 8 student who threw a soft, bouncy ball at Daniel’s head and ran away.

According to the report, Daniel then “faked” throwing the ball at the student, grabbed the student’s hoodie from the back, and the student fell. Daniel raised his voice, approached the student and “made comments to the effect that Student A was not hurt and that Student A was just ‘milking it.'”

The student had a red mark on their neck, felt pain in an elbow and “felt scared and sad as a result of Daniel’s conduct,” the consequence document added.

Daniel was later employed at the independent school without disclosing details about his recent work experience. A few weeks into the job, according to the document, Daniel started to make racist comments to Black teachers.

In one instance, he put himself between two Black teachers and asked, “What do you call this?” and responded, “An Oreo.”

In another example, when Daniel saw a colleague wearing a medical face mask, he said something like, “I’d better put away my valuables.” The colleague asked Daniel why, to which Daniel responded to the effect of “a Black man wearing a mask.”

There was also an instance where Daniel held a bottle of vitamins and motioned toward a colleague and said, “Here, you’ll need these when your HIV gets unbearable.”

The consequence document added the teacher also engaged inappropriately toward students, like yelling at students.

In one example, a student screamed when Daniel accidentally ran a hockey net over their toes.

“In response, Daniel shouted ‘hey’ at Student A, the document reads. ‘Another primary student (‘Student B’) came over to check on Student A, and Daniel shouted at Student B to ‘Back away from me now’ and then yelled at the two students, ‘Go sit on the bench now’ and ‘You are being disrespectful.”

A teacher that witnessed the interaction described Daniel as “aggressive.”

In another case, Daniel yelled at students and kicked a stack of chairs “very hard” while students hid under them.

“The students were afraid the chairs would fall on them,” the document reads.

The report even details an incident when Daniel was “upset” when he could not use the school’s truck to drive home.

“Daniel slammed shut the classroom door and used obscenities when students were in the classroom,” the document explained.

On November 16, the school issued Daniel a warning letter, and he was placed on three-month probation. But on November 30, 2022, after his behaviour continued, he was fired.

“Daniel’s actions jeopardized the physical and emotional safety of students, particularly the students at the Independent School who were very young and who lived in a community which has a long experience of trauma from colonialism,” the commissioner said.

They added Daniel’s comments about his Black colleagues “damage the perception of the teaching profession.”

The commissioner added, “Daniel failed to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator, particularly in responding to, or resolving conflict.”

Daniel was handed a four-week suspension and must complete a Creating a Positive Learning Environment course.

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

+ News