A Langley elementary school teacher is under a two-week suspension of her teaching credentials for inappropriate physical contact with students that included shaking a student’s chair until the child fell off.
Roxann Rojas has agreed to a regulation branch document setting out her conduct and discipline that has been released by the British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.
In October 2019, the school district made a complaint to the commissioner about incidents during the 2018/2019 school year in her Grade 3 classroom.
At a meet the teacher night, Rojas asked a student a question and the student said “I don’t know.”
“Rojas then grabbed Student A by the arm and pulled Student A’s ear to make Student A face her,” the commission report said.
On another occasion in the classroom, Rojas grabbed a student’s chair while the student was sitting in it and shook the chair.
“Rojas shook Student A’s chair as Student A was sitting close to the chair’s edge and she wanted to show Student A what would happen as a result,” the commission report said.
In an October 2018 incident, a seven-year-old student in her class was non-compliant.
“Rojas angrily grabbed Student B by the arm and dragged Student B into the hallway where Student B was screaming and crying and asking Rojas to stop. Rojas then grabbed and shoved Student B back into the classroom and stood over Student B in a threatening manner while Student B lay on the ground in a fetal position, crying and asking Rojas to stop. Rojas was yelling at Student B loudly enough that she could be heard in the nearby staff room,” the commission report said.
The principal told Rojas that she was to stay away from Student B.
“When Student B went into the classroom to eat lunch, Rojas ignored the principal’s direction and spoke to Student B. Rojas first told Student B that Student B needed to apologize,” the commission report said.
She also told Student B that Student B tends to scratch their arms and later told the vice principal that Student B scratched their own arms, as an explanation for red marks on the child’s arms after the incident.
A week after the Student B incident the district issued a letter of discipline and suspended her for four months without pay (December 2019 to March 2020)
In 2010, the district has previously reprimanded her, noting that teachers “cannot put their hands on students in a manner that a reasonable person would consider inappropriate.” As well, she was reminded that teachers are expected to “exercise an appropriate duty of care towards students that addresses their physical and emotional safety needs.”
The commissioner looked into this teacher and proposed the consent resolution agreement which calls for Rojas to agree to the inappropriateness of the behaviours outlined and that those behaviours constitute professional misconduct.
The school district would not respond to questions about the teacher due to privacy issues but provided a brief statement.
“The Langley School District follows its policies and procedures with respect to Human Resources,” according to spokesperson Joanne Abshire. “Due to privacy, the district is not able to share or publish any information regarding staff personnel matters. As always, student and staff health, safety, and protection of privacy is a top priority. While we cannot get into matters that are private, we are confident in our process and reassure the community that the learning continues in our schools.”
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