B.C. teacher suspended for putting kid in headlock, lies about it to get next job

He has now been fired from Delta and his license temporarily suspended

A teacher who was suspended from his job in Langley has now been fired in Delta for lying about it on his job application.

James Earl Bjarnason was ordered suspended for two months from his current job following a ruling by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation. The order was issued Jan. 8.

In December, 2017, Bjarnason applied for a teaching job with the Delta School District, and filled out “no” on a background check form that asked if he had ever been investigated, suspended, or disqualified by a professional body or organization.

In fact, Bjarnason had been the subject of two investigations and had been handed suspensions during his time working in Langley between 2006 and 2013.

Bjarnason was first investigation in 2011, regarding a student referred to as Student A.

Student A sometimes left their own classroom, during class time, and came to Bjarnason’s room. He didn’t bother to report Student A’s presence there to school administrators.

In December, 2010, Bjarnason grew frustrated with Student A, put them in a headlock, gave them a noogie with his knuckles, and shoved them out of the classroom, while encouraging other students the mock A.

A 2011 investigation into the incident led to Bjarnason being suspended for two months in April and May without pay.

Later in 2011, a second investigation was opened in Langley.

This time, the investigation found that Bjarnason had “inappropriately reprimanded” a disabled student and had failed to treat students with respect and dignity.

The district recommended a six-month suspension without pay, but Bjarnason resigned instead.

The Teacher Regulation Branch was notified about the local district investigations into Bjarnason, and launched its own investigation into both incidents.

In September and October, Delta began looking into Bjarnason’s background, and the teacher again lied to the school board, saying repeatedly he had never been investigated by the Teacher Regulation Branch.

On Nov. 20, the Delta School District fired Bjarnason.

The report also shows that Bjarnason similarly lied when he applied to work at the Surrey and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows districts in 2017, before he took the job in Delta.

In addition to being fired by Delta, the Teacher Regulation Branch has suspended Bjarnason’s teaching license from April 1 to May 31 this year.

He signed a consent agreement with the branch noting he admits to the allegations.

DeltaEducationLangleyNorth Delta

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