Kootenay teacher suspended for lecture on cross-dressing, making student cry

Tami Lynne Chechotko was suspended for two days without pay

A teacher at Elkford Secondary was suspended for two days after she lectured students who had cross-dressed in support of a LGBTQ student.

A B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch report released this week said Tami Lynne Chechotko told a group of Grade 11 and 12 students that she was disappointed in them for how they chose to support their peer and the LGBTQ community as a whole.

During the Dec. 16, 2016, confrontation, Chechotko told them their actions were “disrespectful and offensive, like painting your face black or wearing a feather headdress.”

The school’s vice-principal told her the school was okay with the students’ dress, but she told the teens the cross-dressing could make students “question someone’s sexuality which could potentially result in suicide.”

Some of her students at the time had their next class with her, and four of them decided to go to the library instead.

When Chechotko went looking for them, she found one of the students crying and pacing.

She then became “loud and agitated” and again lectured the students about why their cross-dressing was inappropriate.

She was suspended without pay for two days on Jan. 25, 2017.

This is not Chechotko’s first time being punished. In June 2016, the South Kootenay School District issued her a letter about not making “upsetting statements” to a vulnerable student about her family.

In September of that same year, she was told to stop providing advice to students that was different from what the school recommended and to not interfere with students’ course selection or graduation.


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