A former Kamloops-Thompson school district teacher has had his teaching licence revoked due to inappropriate messages he sent to teenage girls during the 2016-2017 school year.
Bryan Edmund Cederholm, who taught at Vavenby elementary in School District 73 that year, reached a consent resolution with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation (BCCTR) on Jan. 24 to have his teaching certificate cancelled. He is also barred from re-applying for the qualification.
The resolution pertains to four incidents in which Cederholm had inappropriate communications with former students after having been warned by the school district not to engage in that type of contact.
A factor in determining appropriate consequences for Cederholm was that he “blurred boundaries” by using multiple contact points with students, according to the consent resolution.
The first incident occurred in February of 2017 when Cederholm exchanged inappropriate messages with a 12-year-old female student he previously taught. This resulted in him being suspended for two days without pay on Feb. 24, 2017, by the school district. On March 8, 2017, the school district notified the BCCTR of this as required under the School Act.
Another incident, involved contact Cederholm had with two more female students in early 2017, before the messages exchanged in February.
Cederholm exchanged inappropriate messages with a 14-year-old former student of his in January and February, including sending her a picture he took of some of his current students. In February, he used Instagram to contact another former student, also 14, who blocked him from contacting her.
On March 16, 2017, Cederholm was fired by the district, which reported it to the BCCTR on April 4, 2017.
Cederholm continued to send inappropriate messages to former students — matters three and four in the BCCTR consent resolution.
On April 28, 2017, the school district notified the BCCTR it received a report from a parent alleging Cederholm communicated with their daughter inappropriately. The BCCTR investigated the matter, which involved Cederholm sending inappropriate messages to a 16-year-old female student over the course of a week during the 2016-2017 school year. Cederholm also showed the girl text messages he exchanged with another person about her, which led to the teen feeling uncomfortable and blocking Cederholm on social media.
On May 9, 2017, Cederholm provided the BCCTR with an undertaking not to teach in any role or position requiring a certificate of qualification, independent school teaching certificate or letter of permission.
The BCCTR began investigating Cederholm again on Jan. 18, 2018, after being notified by the district that it had heard from a 13-year-old former female student of Cederholm’s who said he communicated with her inappropriately in January of 2017. The two had exchanged messages on various social media platforms dating back to October 2016. Earlier in 2016, the school district told Cederholm not to have inappropriate contact with students.
Kamloops-Thompson school district superintendent Alison Sidow told KTW breaches of professional standards, no matter how minor, are acted on swiftly and reported to the BCCTR. She said repeat offences will result in termination.
While unable to comment on the specifics of the case, Sidow said the consent resolution shows there was a concern regarding the blurring of professional boundaries.
“Educators are not in a position to socialize with young people,” Sidow said.
She said the district encourages teachers and families to listen to students who may be trying to tell them about a situation that is making them feel uncomfortable at school or at home.
While the consent agreement didn’t name School District 73 specifically, an article in the Clearwater Times shows Cederholm graduated from Thompson Rivers University in 2014 with a bachelor of education and worked two jobs, one in Barriere and one in Juniper Ridge, before being hired at Vavenby elementary for the 2016-2017 school year.
Vavenby is about 90 minutes north of Kamloops on Highway 5, about 20 minutes past Clearwater.