Surrey teacher disciplined for bringing 46 grams of pot onto school property
In this file photo, medical marijuana is shown in Toronto, Nov. 5, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
A B.C. teacher has admitted to "conduct unbecoming" after bringing about 46 grams of marijuana onto the grounds of a Surrey high school.
Eugenio Alfonso Bahamonde was working as a substitute teacher for the Surrey school district when the incident happened on Nov. 7, 2012, years before Canada legalized the use of the drug for recreational purposes.
According to a disciplinary decision that was posted online just this week, Bahamonde drove to work that day in a 2002 BMX X5 and parked on school property. He left behind a gym bag containing the marijuana as well as $1,440 in cash that was bundled in an elastic band, an electronic scale, rolling papers and a package of Ziploc bags.
After he left work, the substitute teacher was stopped by police, who searched his car and recommended he be charged with two drug offences, including marijuana possession for the purposes of trafficking.
Police approached Bahamonde after they "observed another adult male get into Bahamonde's car and then exit a few minutes later," according to the decision.
The teacher was suspended without pay the following month, but the criminal charges against him were eventually dropped after a judge determined Bahamonde's arrest was unlawful and that the evidence seized from his car was inadmissible.
Still, the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation found Bahamonde's conduct "undermines the public's confidence in the integrity in the teaching profession." The substitute teacher also admitted he knew having the drugs was against the law.
In his defence, Bahamonde said he had the pot for medical purposes, though the commissioner noted the teacher "did not have authorization to possess any marijuana for medical purposes, although he knew such authorization was required."
The Surrey school district fired the substitute teacher in June 2018, and, as a result of the disciplinary decision, his B.C. teaching certificate will also be suspended from Sept. 3 to Oct. 2 of this year.