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South Cariboo teacher disciplined after inappropriate classroom remarks

A South Cariboo teacher has been disciplined for classroom remarks that were the subject of complaints to the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulations.

A Consent Resolution Agreement between Brian Carmichael, a longtime teacher at David Stoddart School in Clinton, and Commissioner Ana R. Mohammed, was finalized in April 2024. It relates to complaints about two separate incidents that were reported to the commissioner in early 2023.

On Feb. 27, 2023 School District No. 74 (Gold Trail), which includes Clinton, made a report to the commissioner stating that in the first week of January 2023, Carmichael — who was teaching a combined Grade 7–9 math class at the K–12 school — told the class an anecdote about a distant relative (“Relative A”) being a student in his math class in a previous year.

“Carmichael related to the class how Relative A’s mother told Carmichael that he could give Relative A a ‘bare bottom spank’ if Relative A was misbehaving at school,” the report states.

On March 17, 2023 the parents of a student at the school made a complaint to the commissioner about a separate matter.

“On Jan. 11, 2023, Carmichael told his students that if they did not ‘ace’ an upcoming test, ‘I’m going to have to shoot you all,’” the report states. It continues, “While Carmichael meant this as a joke, this was not apparent to all students in the classroom.

“One student reported feeling uncomfortable and wanting to leave the classroom immediately, another was unsure if Carmichael was being serious, and a third reported feeling concerned and confused.”

The report notes that Carmichael — whose Professional Certificate of Qualification (teaching certificate) was issued by the B.C. College of Teachers in November 1999 — had previously been issued with two letters of expectation, one in 2013 and another in 2017. They directed that he establish and maintain “appropriate professional boundaries with students, be respectful in his communications, and proportional in his responses.”

Gold Trail School District issued a letter of discipline to Carmichael on Feb. 8, 2023. On May 23, 2023, the commissioner combined both matters, on the basis that they related to the same conduct, and decided to propose a consent resolution agreement to Carmichael, in accordance with section 53 of the Teachers Act.

Carmichael admits the facts of the two incidents that were the subjects of the complaints, and admits that the conduct described constitutes professional misconduct. He also agrees to a reprimand under sections 53 and 64 of the Teachers Act.

Carmichael has also agreed that by Aug. 31, 2024 he will successfully complete the course “Creating a Positive Learning Environment” through the Justice Institute of B.C. and provide proof of completion to the commissioner. If he does not successfully complete the course by that date, he must advise the commissioner why not and propose a new completion date, which will be considered by the commissioner.

If Carmichael fails to provide satisfactory proof of completion by the later of Aug. 31, 2024 or the extended date (if granted), the commissioner may require the suspension of Carmichael’s certificate of qualification, meaning that he will be unable to teach until such time as he has completed the course.

The report states that “In determining that a reprimand and course requirement are appropriate consequences, the commissioner considered the following factors: a) Carmichael had been previously cautioned about his use of language and b) Carmichael’s conduct had the effect of endangering the emotional safety of students when he made a comment about shooting them.”

Carmichael has agreed not to make any statement, orally or in writing, which contradicts, disputes, or calls into question the terms of the agreement or the admissions made in it. He has also acknowledged that if he breaches any terms of the agreement, the commissioner may initiate an investigation into his conduct.

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