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Vancouver Island teacher disciplined for physically restraining five-year-old

B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation releases resolution agreement for September 2017 incident

A Nanaimo Ladysmith school district teacher was suspended by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation for a 2017 incident involving the “physical restraint” of a five-year-old student.

According to a consent resolution agreement published by the office of the commissioner, which examines allegations of teacher misconduct, Debbie Lynne Bourne, a teacher-on-call, was disciplined for an incident on Sept. 19, 2017 when Bourne was teaching a music class at a school which isn’t identified.

Bourne had directed the student to leave her classmates alone and when the student failed to do so, the teacher took hold of the student’s arms and the girl began to cry.

The agreement stated that under the B.C. Ministry of Education provincial guidelines, physical restraint is only permissable “in exceptional circumstances where the behaviour of a student poses imminent danger of physical harm to self or others,” which the commissioner said was not the case.

Bourne was issued a letter of discipline on Oct. 31, 2017 and she served a two-day suspension without pay Nov. 2-3, 2017.

The commissioner proposed a consent resolution agreement to Bourne on Dec. 21, 2017.

As per the agreement, Bourne admits that the facts laid out in the agreement are true and that taking a hold of the student’s arms violates teaching standards and is considered professional misconduct.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

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