Abbotsford teacher suspended for inappropriately touching students despite warning

Three students said touching made them feel uncomfortable but wasn’t sexual in nature

An Abbotsford middle school teacher has been suspended for inappropriately touching students after receiving several warnings about his behaviour.

The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation suspended James Douglas Klassen for three days and mandated he enroll in a professional boundaries training course.

Klassen was first warned by the school’s principal to not make physical contact with students in December of 2017. A month later, he was again told to “keep his hands in his pockets as a complaint has been made that he had made physical contact with a female student.”

Three students made complaints about Klassen’s touching, which they saidmade them feel uncomfortable but wasn’t sexual in nature.

One student said Klassen touched their lower back, arm, shoulder and hip. Another said he made contact with her arm, shoulder, hip and gave her a sideways hug. The third student said their arm and shoulder were touched.

An Abbotsford police liaison officer spoke with Klassen in February and “advised him that he needed to be careful about keeping a physical distance with students.”

When the commissioner was deciding an appropriate suspension, it was noted that Klassen was told to refrain from physical contact with students but failed to comply.

“Klassen lacked insight into his behaviour as it was his expectation that students should tell him that they were feeling uncomfortable,” the report states.

Any reports of future conduct breaches by Klassen may subject him to further discipline proceedings and investigations by the commissioner.

RELATED: B.C. vice-principal let go after checking boys’ underwear to see who left feces in bathroom

RELATED: Lower Mainland teacher punished for mocking students, drinking before dry grad

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trail lands $65,000 airport grant

Money to be used for upgraded weather instrumentation at YZZ

Mitchell’s Musings: Rolling the dice for all the marbles

Columnist Glenn Mitchell looks at the snap election called Monday, Sept. 21

Masters of Music

Many talented performers came from the city’s early music scene

The facts of life

Letter to the Editor from Thorpe Watson, Russ Babcock, and Warren Watson

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Federal child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Most Read