Principal suspended over mishandling student claim about teacher's inappropriate touching

Oct 16 2019, 3:06 pm

The principal of a high school in British Columbia has been suspended after doubting an allegation between a student and another teacher.

According to a discipline outcome from the Ministry of Education, the initial incident took place in 2017. A student had approached the principal to report inappropriate physical contact from a teacher but was doubted — and still had to attend a class with said teacher.

“(The student) disclosed to (the principal) that one of their teachers at the school had touched them inappropriately,” reads the summary. “(The student) indicated that they did not want to remain in (the teacher’s) class and also that they wanted (the principal) to tell their parent what occurred.”

The document continues to explain that the student also had a class with the teacher in question later that day.

The principal, however, didn’t remove the student because he “doubted the credibility” of their report. Thus, the student attended the teacher’s class later that day.

The principal also didn’t contact the student’s guardian until school had ended that day, despite having received the report at 8:30 am.

“As the mother was on her way to the school to pick up her children, she missed the call,” reads the outcome.

“Consequently, the mother was not prepared to properly support Student A at the end of the school day.”

Ultimately, the principal agreed that his actions constituted professional misconduct.

The British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation issued a three-day suspension, deeming that the Principal failed to “adequately protect (the student) from emotional and physical harm” and that he “made an assumption about (the student’s) credibility.”