A teacher is no longer working in School District 57 after it was learned he had been suspended by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation over violent comments he made while working at a school on Vancouver Island.
School board chair Tim Bennett said news that Joshua Frederick Roland Laurin had been suspended for 18 days in December 2018 came out on Wednesday and he was removed from the post at École College Heights Elementary School on that day.
"This matter was brought to our attention yesterday and he will not be returning to the building," Bennett said.
Roland had been teaching at ECHES since September. In a newsletter sent out to parents at the time, he was welcomed to the school as a new teacher. The newsletter had also been posted on the school district website up until Thursday morning.
Laurin had been employed as a teacher on-call at a Campbell River school last November when he was overheard saying he didn’t like his job or being around kids during a field trip with Grade 8 students.
Laurin also said he wanted to use one of his students to beat two other students to death and injure a third.
According to a consent resolution agreement posted on the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation website, Laurin then told the students back in class that if he was going to die the following day he would want to hurt students as he wouldn’t then get into any trouble.
“Some students who heard these comments described them as ‘weird’ and reported feeling shocked by them, although they thought that Laurin was joking,” the ruling said.
After the incident, School District 79 (Campbell River) issued Laurin a letter of discipline and suspended him from its TOC list from Dec. 3-21. He was also required to complete a course on reinforcing professional boundaries.
The commissioner for regulation considered the previous discipline and handed Laurin an additional one-day suspension, served on October 24.
“Laurin failed to appreciate how his comments might be interpreted by students,” the commissioner said in the ruling. Laurin signed the consent resolution agreement on September 6 and commissioner Howard Kushner signed it on October 22. It was posted on the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation website on Wednesday.
Bennett said the school district's administration is taking a second look at its hiring processes as part of a review of the event.
"We want to assure all of our parents and all of the community that student safety is the number-one priority of the district and this matter is being actively looked at and being addressed by our senior administration," Bennett said.
- with files from Vancouver Sun