B.C. teacher suspended for 'inappropriate physical contact' with students
An empty classroom is seen in this file photo. (The Canadian Press)
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. elementary school teacher has been suspended over "inappropriate physical contact" with two of her young students.
Roxann Desiree Rojas was teaching Grade 3 at a Langley elementary school when the incidents happened in 2018, according to disciplinary documents from the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation that were published online this week.
The first took place during a "meet the teacher night" in September of that year, when Rojas grabbed an eight-year-old by the arm and pulled the child's ear.
On a different day, during regular school hours, the teacher shook the same student's chair until the child fell out.
The documents said the child was sitting close to the chair's edge, and Rojas "wanted to show (the student) what could happen as a result."
The next incident happened in October, when a seven-year-old wasn't being compliant in Rojas' class. The teacher was found to have grabbed the student's arm "angrily" and dragged the child into the hallway.
Rojas then "grabbed and shoved" the student back into the classroom, according to the documents. She proceeded to stand over the child and yell as the student "lay on the ground in the fetal position, crying, and asking Rojas to stop."
The teacher was yelling loudly enough that "she could be heard in the nearby staff room," the documents say.
The student's arm had red marks after the incident. Rojas explained them away by telling her vice-principal the child "scratched their own arms and did that all of the time."
The Langley school district had previously given Rojas a letter reminding her teachers can't get physical with their students back in 2010. It's unclear from the documents what prompted the letter.
In response to the two incidents in 2018, the district suspended Rojas without pay for four months, from December 2019 through March 2020.
The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation also reviewed the incidents and gave Rojas another two-week suspension. The commissioner said the teacher's previous warning and the fact that she "had inappropriate physical contact with students on more than one occasion" were factors in the decision.