A Delta private school teacher has been disciplined for telling a student to kill himself.
According to a recent ruling released by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, Boris Pekarsky was teaching a Grade 9 band class when the incident occurred in November 2016.
Pekarsky yelled at the student who was not on task to sit down. As the student was doing so, he tripped over a percussion instrument, causing a loud noise. According to the ruling, Pekarsky then told the student, as well as another student in the percussion section, to leave class. As the student who tripped was leaving, Pekarsky said “go kill yourself, it won’t matter anyway.”
Several students heard the comment and “were shocked and upset by Pekarsky’s comment.”
In January 2017, Pekarsky met with a small group of students from the Band 9 class, most of whom were in Honours Band, saying he didn’t know what to do about the behavior of a few students whom he felt had been “acting out.”
Later that month, the school disciplined the teacher by suspending him without pay for a period of 10 days in March 2017.
The ruling notes Pekarsky admitted that the conduct described constitutes professional misconduct and agreed to a three-day suspension of his Independent School Certificate that will be served June 25, 26 and 27, 2019.
The ruling also notes that in determining that a suspension is an appropriate consequence, the commissioner considered several factors including the band teacher failing to treat all students in his class with respect and dignity and that he failed to consider the hurtful impact of his words on the student and the others present in class. The commissioner also noted Pekarsky’s January 2017 discussion with some of the students was inappropriate and his discussion about other students “created an unhealthy dynamic in the classroom and undermined a respectful and inclusive learning environment…”