Saskatchewan

Ex-teacher admits to strip basketball practice, sleepover with student

Testifying at her own professional misconduct hearing in Regina today, ex-teacher Martina Cain is denying there was inappropriate behaviour with a teenage girl.

Martina Cain facing professional misconduct charges related to work at La Ronge, Sask., school

Martina Cain is a former teacher and principal in La Ronge. (STF/Saskatchewan Bulletin)

Testifying at her own professional misconduct hearing in Regina on Wednesday, ex-teacher Martina Cain is denying there was inappropriate behaviour with a teenage girl. 

Now retired, Cain was a teacher, coach — and later the principal — at Churchill Community High School in La Ronge, Sask.

She is facing misconduct charges, brought forward by a former student, related to alleged incidents between 1986 and 1989.

Strip 21

One charge alleges that Cain made members of the girls basketball team play "strip basketball" at practices. The allegation is that the girls would shoot hoops and have to remove articles of clothing if they missed.

Cain said the game, Strip 21, was played maybe three or four times while in La Ronge. Cain said the drill wasn't used after 1989. 

The rules stated a piece of clothing would be removed if a shot was missed; a piece of clothing would be put back on if a shot was made. However, Cain said the game was limited to socks and shoes. 

Cain has denied any knowledge of the team playing strip basketball beyond shoes and socks, saying if it had happened she wasn't in the room.

Four witnesses took the stand and all of them detailed games of strip basketball. 

Cain taught at Churchill Community High School. (Twitter)

Cain said she played the game as part of a rookie hazing in university. The game was described as an accepted part of joining the team but was never intended to embarrass or shame. 

Roger Lepage, the legal representative for the Professional Conduct Committee, argued if Strip 21 had been limited to socks and shoes, the hearing might not be taking place. 

Sleepovers

One witness testified Tuesday that as a teenager she had sleepovers with Cain and slept in her bed.

The same former student said she was in a hot tub with Cain and was told to take her bathing suit off.

The sleepovers and strip basketball were never mentioned to the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation or the complainant's parents.

It was determined during the hearing that no other students of Cain had ever slept over at her house. 

Cain denied that there was ever any naked hot tubbing with students.

Cain admitted that one girl did have sleepovers in her bed, but noted her living room was sparsely furnished and didn't have a sofa.

Pam Schwann, a witness, occasional assistant coach to Cain and friend from university, denied she ever knew about the sleeping arrangements, the strip basketball or the alleged hot tub incident. 

Cain said that over her career, she taught hundreds of students and coached about 300. She said there were no complaints over that time, aside from the current charges brought by one former student.

The hearing wrapped up Wednesday. It is not clear when a decision will be rendered.

With files from Alec Salloum

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