British Columbia

Middle school teacher suspended for kissing former student

A middle school teacher in the Kamloops-Thompson school district has been disciplined by B.C.’s commissioner for teacher regulation after embracing and kissing a former student on the neck.

Brett Wasylik ‘behaved inappropriately’ and was suspended for a combined 5 days, says a discipline report

Middle school teacher Brett Wasylik admitted to unbecoming conduct, as well as to violating several standards of conduct for B.C. educators. (Getty Images)

A middle school teacher in the Kamloops-Thompson school district has been disciplined by B.C.'s commissioner for teacher regulation after embracing and kissing a former student on the neck.

According to a consent resolution agreement published by the B.C. Ministry of Education, Brett Edward Wasylik behaved inappropriately with his former student at a restaurant on the evening of Nov. 12, 2016.

The Kamloops-Thompson school district confirms the girl was 17 at the time of the incident and had recently graduated.

Wasylik, who it says had years of teaching experience at the time, had taught the student in grades eight and nine. 

The report states Wasylik went to a Kamloops restaurant for an end-of-season celebration dinner with a sports team, when he noticed his former student was working there as a hostess.

At one point, Wasylik approached the former student and spoke to her for five minutes, commenting on her appearance, saying she was looking "f--king hot." 

He told her he had been awarded a player award, that he recently completed his course work for a Master of Education degree and it was nearly his birthday and he was having fun that night.

Wasylik also showed her two photos of himself, including one of him shirtless. He was observed standing very close to the former student and hugged her.  

'I'm not going to kiss you, just your neck'

During the night, the teacher repeatedly called the hostess over and said he would like her to join the celebration with him after her shift. This conduct was said to make the former student uncomfortable. 

When Wasylik saw the former student getting ready to leave work, he offered to walk her to her car, and when she declined, he insisted. He put his arm around her, and as they were leaving, she motioned to a co-worker that she was uncomfortable. 

The teacher walked the former student to her car, hugged her and said words to the effect of "I'm not going to kiss you, just your neck," which he did. The former student then drove away, upset by Wasylik's behaviour. 

Wasylik was then asked by the manager to leave the restaurant, who had told him he was not welcome after hearing of his behaviour from a worker. Wasylik agreed to leave but told the manager he needn't worry about him, because he had been her teacher. 

Teacher suspended

In November 2016, Wasylik was suspended for three days without pay by the school district and he was required to complete a course on reinforcing respectful professional boundaries. 

Less than one month after the incident, the school district says it submitted an investigation report to the teacher regulation branch.

Wasylik confirmed the information in the consent resolution agreement and admitted that his conduct was unbecoming and contrary to the first two standards for education, competence and professional conduct of educators in B.C.

The teacher agreed to a two day suspension of his certificate to be served before Oct. 31, 2019. 

The suspension was deemed an appropriate punishment by the commissioner based on Wasylik telling others that he taught the student, persistently contacting her despite it being plainly unwelcome and initiating physical contact with her in a private setting. 

"I am extremely disappointed that a professional in our school district has engaged in such professional misconduct," said Kamloops-Thompson School District superintendent Alison Sidow.

"The public and student safety of course is first and foremost, and when a teacher engages in any conduct or uses their position in any way to elicit inappropriate relationships, clearly when it's unwanted, is of grave concern to us."

Sidow says an investigator with the teacher regulation branch has reviewed the case and uncovered additional information.

She says the evidence will be reviewed with legal counsel and could result in further discipline. 

Sidow says she wants to encourage any students who feel uncomfortable in the presence of staff to report it.

"I'm heartened I suppose that women, and in particular this former student, had the courage to step forward and to share that information," said Sidow.

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