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B.C. teacher disciplined for grabbing student's arm to prevent fight

The teacher feared a fight and stepped in during a Grade 7 recess football game
A B.C. teacher must take a positive learning environment course after grabbing a student's arm.

A Fraser Valley teacher has been reprimanded for grabbing a student by the arm while intervening in a dispute with other elementary school children.

Adam Guy Stanley was supervising a playground at a Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district school while a group of Grade 7 students were playing football, according to B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation Ana Mohammed's newly released May 29 decision.

At one point, Mohammed said, one student stepped on the foot of another who was not wearing shoes. There was a strong physical reaction followed by shouting and some swearing, said the ruling.

Fearing an altercation, Stanley stepped in, telling the student whose foot had been stepped on to go to the office.

Mohammed said the student began moving toward the group of students rather than toward the school building.

“Stanley says he thought Student A was moving toward the other student,” Mohammed said. “In fact, Student A was moving in that direction to pick up their shoes.”

Stanley grabbed the student by the arm and again told them to go to the office.

The student did so.

“Student A was visibly upset by Stanley’s actions,” Mohammed said.

The school district issued Stanley a letter of discipline on Oct. 20, 2023.

Mohammed said other means could have been used to de-escalate the situation.

The commissioner said Stanley understands his conduct constituted professional misconduct.

Mohammed instructed Stanley to take a course about creating a positive learning environment through the Justice Institute of B.C.