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

Just Posted

Farmers worry about future of water in Vancouver Island watershed

Some water licences restricted for first time last summer in Cowichan Valley’s Koksilah region

A white Christmas not likely for southern Vancouver Island

Snow could be in the forecast for mid to late January, early February, says meteorologist

MIKE’S MUSINGS: The unreasonable pressure of ‘the perfect gift’

Why are we trying to “win” everyone’s Christmas?

UPDATE with VIDEO: Daughter calls for animal safety measures after fatal elk collision

“Safety studies and improvements to Highway 18 are vitally important”

TSB investigating the grounding of Nana Provider on Quadra

‘This was a wake-up call to the people on the inside passage,’ says area director

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

First Nations feel shut out in barge grounding off Quadra Island

Wei Wai Kum First Nation in Campbell River disappointed with Nana Provider handling

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

Cirque du Soleil brings dazzling ice show Axel to Victoria this spring

Axel includes acrobatics, ice skating, live music and more

Before you travel, take steps to ensure a happy homecoming

Make your place somewhere nice to come home to

New school name proposals unveiled for Alberni, Ucluelet

Board of education suggests new names, asks for public feedback

Tofino Bus closes bus depot in Port Alberni

Island-wide bus service switching to curbside pickup, drop-off, says parent company

Denman ferry cable to be replaced with plastic cable – for now

The first flattened steel strand cable is expected to be installed late summer 2020

Most Read