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

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Revelstoke’s forestry museum launches podcasts and new website

One of their summer students is working remotely

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Most Read