Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A substitute teacher at an independent school in B.C. has been suspended for two days after a physical incident involving a Grade 5 student.

According to a BC Teacher Regulation Branch report released Tuesday, Millicent Caswell filling in as a teacher-on-call in a music class in early 2018 when a student didn’t listen to her instructions.

The report said that Caswell came up behind the student and “deliberately and intentionally made her hand come into contact” with the student’s mouth and nose and told the student to “shut up.”

The student said they felt “confused and a little scared,” while other students in the class said they felt shocked.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher suspended for suggesting student would be a ‘good prostitute’

On March 9, Caswell sent the student and their mother a written apology for the incident and on March 29, the school’s principal reported the incident to the branch.

On June 12, the school suspended Caswell without pay for one day, which she had previously served on March 9.

Caswell took three mandated counselling sessions and is not allowed to teach Grades 3-5 or have contact with the student she touched for the rest of the year.

The teacher regulation branch suspended Caswell’s independent school teaching certificate for two days. Caswell served her two-day suspension on Sept. 12-13.

She will be required to take a classed titled “Creating a Positive Learning Environment” from the Justice Institute of B.C. by April 30, 2019, or risk having her teaching certificate suspended indefinitely.


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