Parents worry about safety after Nanaimo teacher reprimended

Parents worry about safety after Nanaimo teacher reprimended

WATCH: A few people were in front of a Nanaimo high school this morning warning about one of its teachers. The parents are worried after learning details of a consent resolution agreement, involving the teacher, that was released last month. The parents believe the discipline is not strong enough and that teachers are being protected at the expense of student safety. Kendall Hanson reports.

It is a rare move by a few parents at Nanaimo District Secondary.

They were at the school today handing out flyers and voicing their concerns about one of the school’s teachers.

The actions come after he was disciplined by the school district for the second time in a decade.

“I’m concerned that the rights of the teachers are above the rights of the students and these students need to be kept safe,” said parent Shauna McAllister.

In October, Matthew Lettington was sanctioned by the teacher regulation branch in connection with five incidents during the 2014/2015 school year.

READ MORE: Nanaimo high school teacher reprimanded for professional misconduct

They included making inappropriate comments to students and posting a picture of a female student to social media twice without parental consent.

He was suspended for five days, given a letter of discipline and told not to take pictures of his students or communicate with them on social media.

It’s not the first time he’s been in trouble.

A decade ago he was suspended for a total of 50 days for inappropriate interaction with students including a camping trip with five grade 12 girls without parental consent.

“[The] process, in my opinion, is very thorough,” said Tim Davie, Superintendent Designate for School District 68.

The school district says the recent disciplinary measures taken against Lettington were deemed tough enough by both the school board and the British Columbia Commission for Teacher Regulation.

“We are very empathetic to the concerns that are presented by this group of parents,” said Davie. “Our utmost concern is for the safety of all children in our school district.”

British Columbia’s education minister says he’s satisfied students are safe and says Lettington has been working in the library and not as a teacher for the past two years.

Rob Fleming says the government will be evaluating the discipline model, which was changed about seven years ago, but he believes its independence from government is good.

He also says parents can always speak to their school districts and boards if they have any concerns about student safety.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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