Teacher's suspension over YouTube video concerns union
The suspension of a substitute teacher in Airdrie, Alta., over a student's covert digital recording has the province's teachers' association concerned.
The Rocky View School Division suspended the unnamed teacher pending an investigation into a video taken by a Grade 6 student at Muriel Clayton Middle School on his digital camera. The video surfaced on YouTube, but it has since been removed from the website.
The 10-minute video just shows the classroom floor, but in the background you can hear the teacher chastising the class for giggling and not paying attention, according to media reports.
Robert Bisson, who is employed by the Alberta Teachers' Association to assist teachers facing disciplinary action, said he doubts the short video depicts an accurate account of what was happening in the classroom.
"The ability to pick out little clips of this can often provide a somewhat misleading picture of what the reality really is."
School districts should examine the use of gadgets like cellphones and digital cameras by students in the classroom, he said.
"There are times when people expect that what is occurring is not to be disseminated and we have some concerns with the way in which that is being used. And that's part of the reason why a lot of school districts are looking at appropriate use of technology policies."
A spokesperson for the school district would only confirm that the substitute teacher has been suspended until the conclusion of an investigation.
According to Rocky View school board policy, principals establish guidelines for their schools that are meant to balance the use of electronic devices with concerns about privacy, safety and "the integrity of the teaching environment."