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Vancouver Island substitute teacher suspended for comments made during field trip

CAMPBELL RIVER – A Campbell River substitute teacher had his teaching certificate suspended after complaints were made of troubling behaviour during a Grade 8 field trip in November, 2018.

According to the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation (BCCTR), substitute teacher Joshua Frederick Roland Laurin was overheard making concerning comments by students, many of which involved violence.

The consent resolution agreement for Laurin’s suspension lists the comments heard by students, which included Laurin saying that he did not like his job or being around kids, that he wished to use one student to beat two other students to death and injure a third, and that he wanted to use one of the students to “whack” two others.

After the field trip had concluded, and students were back in their classroom, Laurin also said that if he was going to die the next day he would want to hurt students as he would not face any consequences.

The consent resolution agreement says that some students described Laurin as “weird” and reported feeling shocked by his comments. However, the students also say they believe Laurin was joking.

On Nov. 8, 2018, two days after the field trip, the Campbell River School District (SD 72) issued Laurin a letter of discipline and suspended him from the teachers on call (TOC) list from Dec. 3 to Dec. 21, 2018. Following the suspension, he was also required to complete a course by the Justice Institute of BC called “reinforcing professional boundaries”, which he did in March 2019.

Once the BCCTR was contacted and became involved in April 2019, the organization decided to issue Laurin a one-day suspension as SD 72 had already suspended him for three weeks and required him to complete the professional boundaries course. The organization added that Laurin admitted to making the comments that the students heard and acknowledged that they were inappropriate and constituted as misconducted. 

“Laurin failed to appreciate how his comments might be interpreted by students,” reads the consent resolution agreement.

In a statement, SD 72 said that Laurin would no longer be employed by the Campbell River School District.

Meanwhile, another central island educator recently faced disciplinary action. On Oct. 29, the BCCTR released a document which detailed the events that led to the dismissal of a Comox vice-principal

The commissioner found that on June 19, 2018, a soiled pair of underwear was found on the lid of a toilet in the boys’ washroom at École Au-coeur-de-l’île and feces was found on the floor. 

In an effort to identify who the underwear belonged to, vice-principal Delphine Yvette Andrée Guérineau had male students line up in hallways and show her the waistband of their underwear. 

Guérineau was later fired for her controversial actions, though a former custodian at the school said that misplaced feces in the boy’s washroom was an ongoing issue.

“It wasn’t just some kid having an accident, it was definitely some little brat thinking that he could just go around and do what he wanted,” the former custodian, Chamela Smith, told CTV News earlier this month.  

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