Two B.C. teachers have agreed to short suspensions after the province’s regulatory college found each engaged in angry and inappropriate interactions with their students.
The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation released consent resolution agreements for elementary school teacher Kenneth Costea and secondary school teacher Andrew Nairn on Tuesday (Nov. 15). The schools and districts where they work have not been released to protect the identities of the students involved.
Costea has been teaching in B.C. since 2000, and has received numerous warnings from his school district since then to treat students with respect. His latest act of misconduct warranted more than a warning, however, the commissioner for teacher regulation determined.
In December 2021, the consent agreement states, Costea was upset with a young student in his class for not paying attention. Costea yelled the student’s name multiple times before angrily approaching them and grabbing their shoulders in an effort to physically redirect them. The student tried to get around Costea, but he blocked them and pushed them to the side.
A little later on, Costea singled out the same student and yelled at them, according to the consent agreement.
The school district suspended Costea for one day in response. He’s further agreed to a five-day suspension from the commissioner for teacher regulation, as well as a course on creating a positive learning environment.
Nairn similarly had a history of inappropriate behaviour in his school district before his most recent disciplining. In 2018, his district warned him to treat students with respect and to create a more caring and inclusive learning environment. Two years later in 2020, the district issued another letter, that time in response to racially offensive terms Nairn was using to describe certain students.
Most recently, in 2021, a student in Nairn’s Grade 10 class thought they overheard him speaking about another student with other educators. The student who overheard the conversation told the student who had been being discussed about what had been said.
When Nairn caught wind of what had happened, he pressured the first student into writing an apology for sharing what they believed they had overheard. Nairn himself drafted the apology and hit “send” on the email, according to the consent agreement.
The apology read: “Please know that Mr. Nairn is a great teacher and works hard to keep good working relationships with all his students.”
The district suspended Nairn for three days without pay and ordered that he send an apology to the parents of the student he pressured.
Under his agreement with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, Nairn has now also agreed to a one-day suspension and taking a course on respectful professional boundaries.
He’s taught in B.C. since 2001.
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