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Music teacher suspended after telling student to 'go kill yourself'
Lockers in a school hallway. (Shutterstock)
A music teacher from Metro Vancouver was suspended 10 days after telling one of his students to kill himself during class, according to a disciplinary decision posted online this week.
Boris Pekarsky was teaching a class of Grade 9 students at an independent school in Delta when he made the remark in November 2016.
Newly released documents from the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation reveal Pekarsky first yelled at the boy for not staying on task, then sent him away after the student tripped on a percussion instrument.
As the child was leaving class, Pekarsky said something to the effect of, "go kill yourself, it won't matter anyway."
"Some of the students were shocked and upset by Pekarsky's comment," according to the decision.
Months later, the teacher gathered a small group of students, most of them from Honours Band, and asked for their advice in dealing with students he felt were acting out – singling out their peers by name in the process.
The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation found the discussion "created an unhealthy dynamic in the classroom and undermined a respectful and inclusive learning environment," but that Pekarsky showed a lack of insight into why it was inappropriate.
He also "failed to consider the hurtful impact of his words" on the student he told to kill himself.
Pekarsky was suspended without pay for 10 days in March 2017.