BC teacher disciplined for apology letter incident

A BC teacher has had his certificate of qualification suspended for one day after an incident in which he “failed to model appropriate behavior expected of an educator,” according to the province’s Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

The incident occurred in 2021, in a Grade 10 class Andrew Duncan Nairn was teaching. A summary of a consent resolution agreement between Nairn and the commissioner posted online this week does not specify where in BC the incident took place.

According to the summary, one student (referred to in the summary as “Student A”) thought they had overheard Nairn discussing another student (referred to as “Student B”) with other educators.

Student A shared that information with Student B, the summary reads.

When Nairn found out about this, he went to Student B to ask what they had been told. He then met with Student A, “at which time he appeared angry,” according to the summary.

“Student A reported that they felt pressured into making a written apology, to be sent by email, which Nairn drafted on Student A’s behalf,” the document reads. “Nairn also determined who should receive the apology and hit the ‘send’ button on the email himself.”

The summary does not provide any information about what had been said about Student B or to whom Nairn wanted Student A to apologize. It does, however, reproduce one sentence from the apology that Nairn wrote and sent on Student A’s behalf:

“Please know that Mr. Nairn is a great teacher and works hard to maintain good working relationships with all his students.”

According to the summary, the school district sent Nairn a letter of discipline and suspended him for three days without pay. The teacher also sent a written apology to Student A’s parents, addressed to Student A.

The school district also notified the commissioner, which is what led to the consent resolution agreement.

In the agreement, Nairn admitted that his behavior amounted to professional misconduct, and agreed to a one-day suspension of his teaching certificate, to be served on Nov. 21.

The teacher also agreed to complete a course called “Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries” through the Justice Institute of BC by March 31, 2023, according to the summary.

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