Kamloops math teacher reprimanded for comments made to student

It was one of multiple interactions with students that led to a one-day suspension

A Kamloops teacher has been reprimanded for inappropriate comments he made to a female student — one of multiple interactions with students that led to disciplinary action from the Kamloops-Thompson school district.

According to a consent resolution reached with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, the student reported feeling uncomfortable when math teacher Scott Edward James Watson commented that it would be difficult to wipe while going to the bathroom, given the length of her manicured nails.

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The conversation occurred in late May or early June of 2018, during which Watson also asked the student how she washed her hair or typed, considering her nails were long and jewelled.

On June 26, 2018, the school district suspended Watson for one day without pay, which he served on June 28, 2018.

The suspension came after two other incidents of inappropriate conduct with students from Watson.

According to the report, on Oct. 3, 2017, the school district sent Watson a letter advising him to “take more care with your comments to students and ensure that all communication with them remains respectful.”

The letter was sent after Watson made inappropriate comments to a student.

However, two months later — on Dec. 13, 2017 — the school district reprimanded Watson for engaging in inappropriate conversations with students.

The district directed him to take a Justice Institute of BC course called Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries, which he did in March of 2018, a few months prior to the offence that led to his one-day suspension.

On Sept. 14, 2018, the commissioner considered the matter and proposed the consent resolution, which stipulates Watson understands the wiping comments constitute professional misconduct and takes his previous infractions into account in determining a reprimand is the appropriate consequence.

The agreement was signed earlier this month — by Watson on July 2 and by B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation commissioner Howard L. Kushner on July 18.

Watson has been a teacher since September 2007.

© Kamloops This Week


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