WATCH: Parents are shocked a suspended Victoria teacher will be back in the classroom next term and some are taking drastic action. Tess van Straaten has the CHEK news exclusive.
Just two weeks into the school year, some Victoria parents are already raising concerns about a suspended teacher.
“I just can’t believe this teacher is being allowed back in the classroom,” says Victoria High School parent Nevin Thompson. “That’s distressing for any parent ? will this teacher be teaching my son?”
Thompson says he was shocked to learn Robert Ammon would be returning go Vic High at the end of January, after serving a five month suspension for an inappropriate relationship with a student.
“We were very surprised and annoyed and so we immediately contacted the school to see if we could get our son out of the class,” says Thompson. “We felt it was an unsafe learning environment.”
Ammon was found guilty of professional misconduct last October for a relationship with a 15-year-old student in 2013.
Ammon sent the boy emails and text messages at all hours of the day and night, told him he loved him multiple times, and alienated him from his parents.
Many parents are questioning why Ammon was only suspended and will be able to return to teaching, despite the seriousness of the misconduct.
“The Teacher Regulation Branch should probably explain their rationale because it seems very odd,” says Thompson. “Perhaps there’s a rationale but reading the ruling, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to have this teacher back with students.”
CHEK tried to ask the Teacher Regulation Branch about that in May, when we first covered this issue, and again last week but commissioner Bruce Preston wouldn’t comment.
Preston says it was a panel decision and it would be inappropriate to comment on why a stiffer penalty wasn’t handed out.
“This is a very disturbing case ? there’s no question about that,” B.C. education minister Rob Fleming says.
Fleming says he’s already been in touch with School District 61 about the case and is encouraging parents to voice their concerns.
“I’ve reached out to the superintendent about reinstatement once the suspension is served and the school district, as the employer, needs to know from parents and kids and those involved in the school system about their concerns.”
Thompson says Vic High is a great school and he just hopes the situation will be resolved soon.