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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Water Quality Advisory’ lifted for Prince Rupert

Some Prince Rupert residents are still under a ‘Boil Water Notice’

Liberals and Greens yet to announce North Coast candidates

North Coast candidates have until two weeks before the election to name contenders

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Planned upgrades didn’t go as planned

CityWest said a fibre-line break caused outages to all customers

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Heiltsuk First Nation calling on DFO to close fish farms, citing wild salmon extinction risk

Wild salmon returns have broken low records, have many concerned about future of wild fish

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Most Read