BC teacher suspended after making comments about killing his students

Nov 13 2019, 1:02 pm

An on-call teacher at a Vancouver Island school received a suspension from his job and was required to take a course on professional boundaries after he was overheard making suggestions about killing his students.

According to documents released this week from the British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation (BCCTR), the incident took place last November, when Joshua Laurin was on a field trip with his students.

“Laurin made comments which were overheard by some students,” documents state.

These comments included Laurin expressing the fact that he “did not like his job, or being around kids.” However, he enjoyed teaching Grade 8 because “he could leave students with a worksheet and leave them to it.”

Of particular concern was Laurin’s comments that he “wanted to use one of the students to ‘whack’ two others.”

Laurin didn’t stop there, though, and detailed that he would like to “use one of the students on the field trip to beat two other students to death and to injure a third one,” the documents said.

Back in the classroom, Laurin told the students that if he knew he was going to die the next day, “he would want to hurt students, as he would not then get into any trouble.”

According to the documents, some of the students who heard Laurin’s comments “described them as ‘weird’ and reported feeling shocked by them, although they thought that Laurin was joking.”

As a result of words and actions, Laurin was issued a letter of discipline and suspended from the teacher on-call (TOC) list from December 3 to December 21, 2018.

In April of this year, the BCCTR proposed a consent resolution to Laurin, who agreed that his actions constituted professional misconduct and were contrary to legal education standards in the province.

Last month, Laurin received a one-day suspension of his teaching license, following the outcome of the agreement.

In handing down the suspension, the BCCTR said that in determining the appropriateness of the suspension, it considered a number of factors, including the fact Laurin had completed the course, that he had already been suspended for three weeks, and that he “failed to appreciate how his comments might be interpreted by students.”