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Sooke School District shop teacher disciplined for pushing Grade 7 student

Report on 2020 incident said the student began to ‘talk back’ to teacher
A Sooke School District 62 woodshop teacher has accepted that his conduct constituted professional misconduct after he pushed a Grade 7 student in 2020. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

The Sooke School District (SD62) woodshop teacher was suspended for one day and will also have to take a course after he pushed a Grade 7 student in 2020.

Blair Howard Murray Hughes has accepted the discipline through a consent resolution agreement with B.C.’s commissioner for teacher regulation. Details of the incident were made public on April 4.

On Dec. 14, 2020, students in Hughes’ woodshop class saw home economics classmates mingling outside with their on-call teacher. Hughes had a rule that students must remain in his class – which has a door leading directly outside – until the bell goes, but some of his students began making their way outside near the end of class.

In a loud voice, Hughes told his students to return to the shop when one student responded by saying the substitute teacher directed him and other woodshop students to come join their classmates.

The commissioner’s consent resolution agreement then said a “heated discussion” broke out between the student and Hughes. It said the student began to “talk back” after being told loudly to stay inside until the bell and Hughes responded with “stop being disrespectful. I’m not your mom and dad!”

Hughes then put his shoulder on the student to guide him out of the classroom, prompting the Grade 7 boy to raise his arm before the teacher grabbed his “in an effort to direct” the boy into an interior hallway.

When the student told the teacher not to touch him, Hughes pushed the boy out the door.

The school district also suspended the teacher for two days without pay in October 2021.

Hughes, who has been certified to teach in the province since 2013, served his provincial suspension on April 5 and accepted through the agreement that his conduct constituted professional misconduct. He will also have to complete a course on creating a positive learning environment.

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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