Reprimanded SD62 teacher compelled to take cultural sensitivity training

Now at Royal Bay, Matthew Shaun Pell must complete course by June 30 or risk losing teaching certificate

Cultural sensitivity training is in the future for one Sooke School District teacher as part of discipline handed down for remarks made at Edward Milne secondary in Sooke.

“This is very out of character for all of our employees,” said District superintendent Jim Cambridge.

When asked if the matter had been dealt with to the satisfaction of the District, he said, “we wish the issue had never occurred.”

In mid-December of last year, Matthew Shaun Pell signed a consent resolution agreement with the British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulations agreeing to a reprimand under the Teachers Act.

In 2014, when Pell was teaching a Grade 11 math class at Edward Milne community school in Sooke, he repeatedly referred to a student, whose family background is Middle Eastern and Muslim, as “Taliban.”

The consent resolution agreement states that he would also “make comments such as ‘don’t make her angry otherwise she’ll bomb you’ or ‘she’s going to blow everything up.’”

Those comments reportedly made the student and her classmates feel very uncomfortable.

In May 2015 the District issued Pell a warning letter in respect to this conduct and in June the District made a report to the Commissioner regarding Pell. Cambridge said as soon it was brought to the District’s attention, action was taken. “It’s particularly intolerable in the public school setting.”

The District has a zero tolerance policy towards racism in its schools, but Cambridge noted individuals are disciplined differently and factors such as repeat offences are considered. He could not disclose whether Pell, who now teaches at Royal Bay secondary, has had any previous complaints against him.

As outlined in the resolution agreement, Pell must successfully complete the course “Building Cultural Intelligence in Your Workplace,” through the Justice Institute of B.C. by June 30. If he fails to do so, his certificate of qualification may be suspended.

Sooke Teachers Association president Ian Johnson said in a statement that Pell has “admitted his error and acknowledges that his behaviour was inappropriate.” Johnson added that Pell has agreed to fulfill the Teacher Regulation Branch’s expectation that he enrol in a cultural sensitivity course.

“The Sooke Teachers’ Association expects members to treat all students with respect and dignity,” Johnson stated. “There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in our inclusive schools.”

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Community works to feed hungry kids at Journey Middle School

School staff and Sooke Lions Club form unique partnership

Saanich mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Sidney councillor predicts developers will take liberties after retroactive approval of beach stairs

Developer built stairs in an environmentally sensitive area without prior approval

10,000 Tonight helps Sooke students combat hunger

Initiative stocks Sooke Food Bank shelves

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

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

Four arrested after report of shots fired in Nanaimo

RCMP arrest four suspects in high-risk takedown in Cedar

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Most Read