Cowichan Valley teacher faces a four-day suspension of his teaching certificate due to unprofessional conduct. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Valley teacher faces a four-day suspension of his teaching certificate due to unprofessional conduct. (Citizen file)

Cowichan teacher suspended after student injured during game

Educator failed to maintain a safe and positive learning environment

A secondary school teacher in the Cowichan Valley School District will face a four-day suspension of his teaching certificate in November for some bad judgement calls he made in June, 2022.

Shannon Steininger and the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation agreed to the suspension after the school district made a report to the commissioner regarding Steininger in July, 2022.

He was teaching a Grade 8/9 physical-education class at the school in June, 2022.

As part of the year-end assignment, students in Steininger’s class were asked to work cooperatively to develop a game using skills learned throughout the year, and to then play the game in his class.


The game the students devised was a combination of ultimate Frisbee and touch football, and allowed for tackling, and Steininger was unaware of the rules that the students had created.

On June 6, the students played their game in front of Steininger for the first time.

The students were told not to play rough, but some did so regardless, and Steininger eventually had to shut down the game because students were playing too roughly.

On June 8, Steininger’s class played the game again.

This time, students were warned three times and the game was ultimately stopped due to safety concerns as players grew increasingly aggressive, and one student’s shirt was ripped.

Another teacher told Steininger that the game was not good to play as it was not safe, and its rules needed to be revised.

On June 10, Steininger accompanied his students, as well as a teacher-on-call and students from another class, to a park to play the game a third time.

Again, the level of physical contact between players was escalating.


Two other adults who were present, including the teacher-on-call, told Steininger that he needed to intervene due to the mounting safety concerns.

Steininger intervened once to tell students that the game would be stopped if they continued to engage in physical contact.

The game then continued and was only finally stopped after one of the students grabbed another student around the knees, lifted them off the ground and then dropped the student.

The student sustained a fractured scapula as a result.

On July 4, the school district issued Steininger a letter of discipline and suspended him for one day without pay.

On Nov. 30, 2022, the commissioner considered this matter and determined to propose a consent-resolution agreement to Steininger, in accordance with the Teachers Act.

Steininger admitted that his conduct constituted professional misconduct, and will face a four-day suspension of his teaching certificate, which will run from Nov. 14-17, 2023.