Teacher involved in sexual assault investigation at Vancouver school was also teaching golf
VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver teacher voluntarily agreed not to teach at B.C. schools pending an investigation into allegations he sexually assaulted a Grade 11 student, but was teaching golf at a private facility in the interim.
An employee at the Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy confirmed to CTV News that Kyle Ledingham was employed as of Monday, even as the company removed a posting on its website that said Ledingham "has taught our youngest juniors, to teenagers, adults and senior players."
On Wednesday, when CTV News visited the course to find out more, officials there didn't answer whether Ledingham was teaching teenagers.
On Thursday, Devin Sharma, the interim chief administrative officer of the Musqueam Band, said that Ledingham had been an independent contractor at Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy since 2017.
“Effective July 5, 2020, Mr. Ledingham’s services have been suspended while this investigation is ongoing,” he said in an e-mailed statement.
“Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy strives to create a safe and welcoming environment for every individual visiting our facility, including staff and players, and have offered our full co-operation to authorities investigating this matter,” he said.
Ledingham has not been charged. His lawyer says he is innocent, and if charged vows to defend him vigorously in court.
The Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy was one place the 17-year-old student said Ledingham drove her to, and while in the car, she said, she was propositioned for oral sex.
The student says she was sexually assaulted on four different times in the band room at Prince of Wales Secondary School.
Ledingham's teaching licence is on hold with his agreement, pending an investigation into his conduct. The Vancouver Police Department concluded its investigation into the claims and handed a report to Crown counsel in December. Crown prosecutors are now weighing whether to lay charges in the case.
"He teaches in many environments where there are kids and vulnerable students and that isn't right," the student told CTV News in an interview.
Prince of Wales school was the base of the Quest Program, where teacher Tom Ellison was convicted in 2006 of abusing several students while on trips with them in the 1970s. Concerns about his behaviour were ignored for years, according to news reports at the time.
The student says she also spent time with Ledingham alone, during a community service placement with him.
The Vancouver School District says there were almost 1,800 students registered in community service programs across the district. Supporters say it provides students with valuable learning and volunteer opportunities.
But some critics are calling for that program to be reviewed.
"Men need to be supervised in a lot of cases especially when it is one-on-one," said Karla Djini of Vancouver Rape Relief.
She said it's probably an overreaction to ban one-on-one time between students and teachers. But she said it makes sense to reduce it, and try to include even another student where possible.
"Having even just another person there would be a reasonable thing to try," Djini said.
The district says it has changed multiple policies since Ellison was convicted, saying it reported allegations against Ledingham to provincial regulators as soon as it heard of the situation.
The public didn't hear about the concerns, and it's not clear whether the Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy was informed.
Two other B.C. teachers were disciplined in the past week for having sexual contact with students. The first was with an 18-year-old graduate the teacher had taught for two years. The same teacher also gave alcohol to a 17-year-old former student before initiating contact.
The second teacher taught a student in Grades 10, 11, and 12, spending a "significant" amount of time with her outside school hours. The consent agreement says the relationship began the following September.
Both teachers were barred from teaching for 15 years. Their names are not published, as is customary, as the regulatory body says it feels publicizing their names could harm the students involved in the cases.