British Columbia

'Go kill yourself, it won't matter anyway:' Teacher suspended over comment to student

Boris Pekarsky made the comment after the student tripped during Grade 9 band class. The Delta, B.C., music teacher had been previously suspended for holding a meeting with students to discuss their peers' behaviour.

Boris Pekarsky previously suspended for holding meeting with students to discuss peers' behaviour

A music teacher in Delta, B.C., has been suspended for berating a Grade 9 student who tripped in class in 2016. (Shutterstock)

A music teacher in Delta, B.C., has been suspended for three days after telling a Grade 9 student to kill himself after the teen tripped during class.

Boris Pekarsky yelled at the student for being off-task during a music class on Nov. 28, 2016. The teen moved to sit down and tripped over a percussion instrument on his way, which made a loud noise.

A consent order from the B.C. Teacher Regulation branch said Pekarsky kicked the student out of class after that. As the teen was walking out, Pekarsky said words to the effect of "go kill yourself, it won't matter anyway."

The order said several other students in the class were "shocked and upset" by the comment.

Pekarsky wasn't immediately suspended from work over the remark, but got into trouble for something else the following January.

The order said he held a meeting with a small group of students from the same Grade 9 band class and told them he didn't know what to do about particular students who he believed had been "acting out."

He mentioned specific students by name and asked their classmates for ideas on how to handle their peers' behaviour.

The school suspended Pekarsky for 10 days without pay during the month of March for holding the meeting. The matter of Pekarsky's overall conduct as a teacher went to the regulation branch last November.

Last month, Pekarsky agreed to another three-day suspension for what he said to the student he kicked out of class. He agreed he failed to treat his students with respect and dignity and admitted he didn't consider the hurtful impact his words had on the student and his classmates.

The order, published online this week, said Pekarsky also agreed the later group discussion with students was inappropriate and created "an unhealthy dynamic" in the class.

Pekarsky will serve his suspension on June 25, 26 and 27.