Abbotsford teacher given 20-year ban for viewing adult porn on school computer

An Abbotsford man has been banned from teaching for at least 20 years after three occasions in which he admitted to, or was caught, viewing adult pornography on school computers.

Carl James Williamson

Carl James Williamson

An Abbotsford man has been banned from teaching for at least 20 years after three occasions in which he admitted to, or was caught, viewing adult pornography on school computers.

Carl James Williamson was a Grade 6 teacher at Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) middle school, an independent facility, from September 1997 until his suspension in January 2010.

The B.C. College of Teachers (BCCT) this month ruled that Williamson “not be issued a certificate of qualification for an indefinite period but for no less than 20 years.” His certificate had been cancelled in November 2010 for non-payment of fees.

According to the case summary of the BCCT conduct review, Williamson also admitted, during a investigation by the school, to having sexual thoughts about students between the ages of 12 and 18, and to spending $8,000 on prostitutes and escorts.

The matter first arose in July 2006, when Williamson disclosed to school authorities that he had viewed adult porn on a school computer.

He entered into an “accountability agreement” with the school, but breached it in January 2007, when he again admitted to having viewed adult porn on a school computer.

The matter was reported to the BCCT, which concluded in May 2007 that Williamson understood the college’s professional code of conduct. No further action was taken.

In December 2009, video from a security camera revealed that Williamson was again viewing adult pornography on a school computer. The school conducted an investigation and notified the police.

The BCCT case summary states that police found adult porn on Williamson’s classroom and home computers, but no charges were laid.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said he could not comment on the specifics of the investigation, but said cases of this nature are always concerning to police and the general public.

“Whenever you’re dealing with people in a position of trust … there is a bit of shock in the community … Society’s expectation with people in those positions is that they should act more responsibly than the rest of the population,” he said.

In January 2010, the school suspended Williamson, who then resigned. The BCCT was notified, resulting in the second conduct review and the minimum 20-year teaching ban.

Mykle Ludvigsen, BCCT communications officer, said if Williamson decides to re-apply for his certficate after 20 years, he will be subject to a review process and could be denied. He could then re-apply every five years.

Ludvigsen also said any disciplinary decisions by the BCCT are part of a teacher’s permanent record and will follow them anywhere else they might apply as part of their “statement of professional standing.”

MEI was closed for spring break this week, and school administrators could not be reached for comment, nor could Williamson.