Teacher suspended over 'persistent' messages to high school students: regulator

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A teacher who once worked at a high school in Richmond, B.C., has had his teaching licence suspended for inappropriate behaviour toward students. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
A teacher who once worked at a high school in Richmond, B.C., has had his teaching licence suspended for inappropriate behaviour toward students. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

A teacher in Richmond, B.C., who repeatedly contacted female students about personal issues and stored photos of teenage students on his phone has had his teaching certificate suspended.

Marcel Sincraian's inappropriate behaviour happened over a period of months while he taught high school math and science in the city during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

A decision posted online Tuesday said Sincraian messaged the female students both in person and over social media, trying to speak with them about personal issues.

"[He] was persistent in his attention to them, despite their attempts to rebuff him," the decision read, noting he sometimes used direct messages over Instagram to try to reach students.

The board also found Sincraian took photos and videos of students and saved them on his phone.

"Most of these photographs and recordings are of female students and some were taken without the knowledge or consent of the students. He did not consider whether the parents had given consent for images to be taken of their children at school," the decision read.

Beyond that, Sincraian also gave "some" students two letters he'd written about his personal life, including previous romantic relationships, and openly told students they were "his favourites."

The school district reported Sincraian to the board in May 2019. He resigned from the district the following month.

The board said Tuesday it had decided to suspend Sincraian's teaching certificate for two months as a result of its investigation, partially because he'd violated appropriate professional boundaries several times over a third of the school year.

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