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B.C. teacher who sent 'sexually explicit photos' to former student fired

An empty classroom is seen in this undated file photo. An empty classroom is seen in this undated file photo.
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A high school teacher from Nanaimo, B.C., who was fired after sending sexual selfies to a former student has also been banned from teaching for five years.

Curtis Alexandro Vizza began messaging with the former student over Snapchat one evening in December 2020, according to a consent agreement that was published online this week.

The former student – who is referred to as "Student A" in the document, to protect their identity – had been in Vizza's physical education class before graduating in June 2019.

In the consent agreement, the teacher acknowledges he sent "increasingly sexualized" messages to Student A that included "explicit photos of himself."

The nature of those images is not specified, but the document notes that Vizza went on to send more "vulgar and sexualized messages" to Student A after that evening, including an image of his "backside and shirtless torso."

The district initiated a misconduct investigation into Vizza's behaviour the next year, and fired him in November 2021.

According to the consent agreement, there was a "noted pattern" of female students hanging out "in Vizza's classroom, around Vizza's desk and around Vizza generally" when he worked for the Nanaimo school district.

"Some of these students would confide in Vizza about personal matters, including health, fitness, anxiety, sex, pregnancy scares, drugs, relationships, and problems in general," it reads.

"Vizza provided these students with advice, although he was not a counsellor. Many of the female students would come to Vizza’s classroom in an emotional state, some in tears. Some of these students came to view Vizza as a friend."

B.C.'s commissioner for teacher regulation, Ana Mohammed, began her own investigation into Vizza's conduct after his firing, which resulted in the cancellation of Vizza's teaching certificate.

Vizza has also been prohibited from obtaining a new certificate – or any authorization to work as a teacher in kindergarten to Grade 12, either in public or private schools – for five years.

In coming to that decision, Mohammed considered that the teacher "showed a lack of understanding of appropriate professional boundaries," and failed to maintain those boundaries "in several different ways."

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