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Two B.C. teachers disciplined for inappropriate behaviour

Teacher gave student advice about dating and made comments about sex.
Two B.C. teachers have been suspended for inappropriate behaviour with students.

The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation has disciplined two teachers for inappropriate behaviour with students — one for messaging, including comments about sex, and the other for physical touching.

In an Oct. 20 decision, the commissioner suspended Douglas Andrew Barnim for sending a student messages after they had graduated from the independent school where he taught.

The decision said Barnim had:

• told a student they had been his favourite;

• made comments about other students in student’s graduating class;

• told the student he hoped that they could remain in touch;

• told the student he and the student were now friends and would be friends for life;

• gave the student advice about dating and made comments about topics related to sex; and,

• told the student that being underage has never stopped anyone from going to the pub.

“Barnim’s conduct showed a lack of understanding of appropriate professional boundaries,” the decision said.

He was suspended for one month.

On Dec. 2, 2019, the school issued Barnim a letter of discipline regarding his conduct and directed him to complete the course, Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries through the Justice Institute of BC.

Barnim completed the course in March 2021.

On June 27, 2022, the school terminated Barnim’s employment, effective immediately. Barnim’s termination was not for cause, the decision said.

Second case

In an Oct. 13 decision, the commissioner said Randy Peter Faresin, a secondary school teacher in School District No. 42 (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows), made contact with a student’s abdomen while questioning how they were using a grinder in shop class.

On Dec. 15, 2021, the district issued Faresin a letter of discipline and suspended him for five days without pay. Faresin served the suspension between Dec. 16, 2021, and Jan. 5, 2022.

In addition, the district required Faresin to attend a mandatory workshop on the topic of boundaries in teaching and also required him to attend a minimum of five counselling sessions by May 1, 2022.

In March 2022, Faresin completed the course, Reinforcing Respectful Boundaries, through the Justice Institute of BC. Faresin completed the five counselling sessions by April 20, 2022.

On March 2, 2022, the commissioner ordered an investigation.

The commissioner ordered a three-day suspension.

“Faresin failed to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator by engaging in unwarranted physical contact with a student,” the decision said. “Faresin’s conduct showed a lack of understanding of appropriate professional boundaries.”

Both decisions were released Oct. 31.