B.C. teacher who discussed vaping at school, advised where to buy flavours reprimanded
A man uses a vaping device in Chicago, Ill., in an April 2014 file image. (AP / Nam Y. Huh)
VANCOUVER -- A substitute teacher on Vancouver Island who discussed vaping during class even after a principal asked him to stop has been given an official reprimand.
Terrence Andrew Makofka was found to have "engaged in inappropriate conversations with students" at school on more than one occaision, according to a consent agreement posted online by B.C.'s Commissioner for Teacher Regulation this week.
The vaping conversations took place in 2018 and 2019, while Makofka was working as a teacher on call in the Pacific Rim school district, which includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino.
Administrators first learned the teacher had discussed vaping in class when a parent complained in December 2018, prompting a conversation between Makofka and the school principal.
But the following March, a student approached him to ask him questions about vaping, including "the amount of nicotine in his vape," and Makofka obliged him, according to the consent agreement.
"In the context of advising the student how he had just quit vaping, Makofka answered the student's question about tapering down nicotine levels and then told the student what his favourite vaping flavours were and where these could be purchased," it reads. "This contravened the direction given to him by his principal."
The Pacific Rim school district suspended Makofka from the teacher on call list for five days in September 2019. The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation then reviewed the incident and decided to issue a formal reprimand.
Makofka had previous conduct issues in the district, including in June 2016, when he was suspended from the TOC list for four days over "failure to properly care for an injured student," according to the consent agreement.
In Decmeber of that year, he was suspended from the list another 10 days for not alerting administrators about a fight that broke out between two students and left one of the students injured.