B.C. teacher suspended for telling Grade 6 classes to watch montage of violence, sex, drug use
Actor Emilia Clarke is seen in an image from the HBO series "Game of Thrones." A sex scene from the show was included in a video montage watched by Grade 6 students in Coquitlam, B.C.
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. teacher has been suspended after instructing Grade 6 students to watch a video montage that was "not age-appropriate."
Shane Gordon Ashley Kennedy was working in a Coquitlam elementary school when he directed two separate classes to view a webinar called "Impact of Media Violence on Today's Youth" back in June 2018 as part of an assignment.
But the video was designed for parents and educators, not children, and includes a three-minute montage depicting "physical violence, assault, sexual content, sexual violence, drugs, drug use, alcohol use and gender stereotyping," according to a disciplinary decision that was posted online this week.
The clips in the montage include a sex scene from "Game of Thrones," which was cropped to avoid graphic nudity, and a scene from the movie "Flight" that shows Denzel Washington doing a line of cocaine.
The video also includes clips of sports brawls and sexualized music videos.
Five parents complained after learning about the montage, but Kennedy claimed that watching it was strictly optional.
"This is not a message he shared with other students or their parents," the B.C. commissioner for teacher regulation wrote in the decision.
Kennedy's assignment asked the students to find an advertisement on the internet and analyse its messaging and visuals, then present it to the class. Some students found ads that contained "imagery or references to simulated sexual intercourse, oral sex and offensive racial prejudices," according to the commissioner. "Some of these advertisements formed the basis for some class presentations and were shown in class."
The Coquitlam school district suspended Kennedy for three days without pay in the 2018-19 school year, and after reviewing the incident, the commissioner ordered another one-day suspension of his teaching certificate to be served this October.