WATCH: Parents pull kids from class of Victoria teacher who had an inappropriate relationship with a student amid growing concerns and questions. Tess van Straaten reports.
With just a few weeks left in the school year, kids are being pulled from an honours math class at Vic High after many parents found out from CHEK News that their child’s teacher had an inappropriate relationship with a student.
“I was just stunned,” said concerned parent Sonia Theroux, whose son is in Ammon’s class. “Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would learn from the news before I would learn from the school.”
Robert Ammon was found guilty of professional misconduct in October for an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student in 2013 and issued a five-month suspension May 1.
READ MORE: Victoria teacher suspended for 5 months for professional misconduct
Ammon sent the boy emails and text messages at all hours of the day and night told him he loved him multiple times and talked a lot about finding God and religion.
Messages published by the Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) ruling included:
‘What you are going through these last few weeks is a battle for your very soul‘ and ‘God loves you and so do I…I am 100 per cent connected to you and will not leave your side.’
READ MORE: Father breaks silence about Victoria teacher who had inappropriate relationship with his son
“The extent and intensity of the religious indoctrination was really shocking for me and I think it was also the part that shook my son the most and he started making connections back to things the teacher said in the classroom,” Theroux said.
Parents were outraged to learn Ammon’s still teaching, despite the pending suspension, because the TRB thought it would be less disruptive to do it next school year.
“That it’s not putting the needs of the kids first,” Theroux, who’s removed her son from the class, said. “The kids right now cannot be expected to focus and half of them I’m told aren’t even showing up for class.”
READ MORE: Parents outraged suspended Victoria teacher still in classroom
Despite all the concerns, the Teacher Regulation Branch is refusing to comment.
CHEK even reached out to the commissioner but the Ministry of Education told us no one can comment due to the political situation, which means the government is in caretaker status.
“I don’t agree with that,” long-time former education critic and MLA-elect Rob Fleming said. “The commissioner has considerable powers and independence from government. If there are questions about the ruling and its implementation about the suspension timeline, those kinds of questions should be answered.”
The Greater Victoria School District, which has no input on the suspension timeline, finally sent out a letter to parents Wednesday.
The letter advised parents Ammon won’t be allowed to have any one-on-one time with students until he’s completed a boundaries course.
But many parents want him suspended immediately and won’t let their kids back into class until he’s gone.
CHEK News contacted Ammon on Monday but he has not replied to our requests for an interview.
Here’s a link to the Robert Darwin Ammon ruling