(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

B.C. teacher banned from teaching younger students after showing age-inappropriate movies

Teacher showed multiple inappropriate movies and failed to supervise students

A Prince George teacher has been suspended for one day and temporarily banned from teaching younger students after showing films that were not considered age appropriate.

The incidents are laid out in a B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation document posted Tuesday (April 6).

The documents state that Andrew Michael Dennis was teaching Grade 6/7 classes when the various incidents occurred. In September 2018, Dennis showed his students The Hobbit, which the documents state “was not curriculum related.”

Then, later that month, Dennis showed his students the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, that was neither curriculum related nor age appropriate, as it deals racism, racial slurs and sexual assault. The movie is considered an appropriate resource for students in Grade 10 and up, not Dennis’ Grade 6 and 7s.

In late September 2019, one of the students’ parents wrote to the principal to express concern about the number of movies the class had watched, especially To Kill a Mockingbird. The next day, Dennis told his class that he was meeting with the principal because someone had complained, as well as sharing a letter of expectation the district sent him. Because that student’s parent was a teacher, the class was able to figure out that it was they who had complained.

The school district sent Dennis another letter of direction about keeping confidential information private.

Despite having been told not to show age-inappropriate movies in class, Dennis still had his students read The Lottery, and then showed them a corresponding short film from YouTube. According to B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch documents, The Lottery tells the story of a small U.S. town that conducts an annual pagan ritual which includes sacrificing a community member by stoning to ensure a good harvest. Members of the community would draw pieces of paper out of a box, and the person who drew a paper with a dot on it would be stoned to death. The story is considered a Grade 11 and 12 resource.

Following the lesson on The Lottery, Dennis had his students play a dodgeball version of the story in P.E. class, based on the stoning scene.

“Specifically, students drew pieces of paper out of a hat and the students who drew a piece with a dot on it had dodgeballs thrown at them,” the document state.

The school district sent Dennis a letter of discipline about the incident and reminded him to follow the Grade 6 or 7 curriculum.

Then in October 2019, when Dennis was working as an on-call teacher at a different school, he did not stop two students who were wrestling, despite that schools “no touch” policy between students. Dennis had been aware of the policy but when another teacher came out to separate the students, Dennis said that the students were “just playing.”

The school district then issued Dennis a letter of direction about supervising students appropriately. This was not Dennis’ first incident of this sort; in February 2019, he had been issued a letter of expectation for not properly supervising kindergarten students.

Dennis admitted to the improper conduct, and was given a one-day suspension to be served April 6 and told to take the Creating a Positive Learning Environment course through the Justice Institute of British Columbia by the end of 2021. Dennis will also be prohibited from teacher Grades 1-7 until he has taken that course.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

EducationSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Advocates marched to city hall for overdose awareness on Wednesday, April 14, to mark five years since the province declared a public health emergency. Trevor Crawley photo.
Advocates march for overdose awareness as province marks five years of public health emergency

Advocates demanding action on the overdose crisis marched on city hall in… Continue reading

A photograph of bear scat shot in town in Kimberley on April 14 that shows bears are up and around once more. Kim Tuff photo.
WildSafeBC back for the season as bears begin to emerge from hibernation

WildSafeBC Kimberley-Cranbrook has resumed their operations, working to prevent conflict with wildlife… Continue reading

Pictured is the new Cranbrook Food Bank on Industrial Rd. 2. This building will also soon be home to the Cranbrook Food Recovery program and Farm Kitchen. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Food Recovery, Farm Kitchen join Food Bank in new location

The organizations are partnering together to increase food security in the community

Western Financial Place is set to re-open on November 2, 2020. (Cranbrook Townsman file)
Concourse at Western Financial Place to close for season April 16

The City encourages walking on the outdoor track at COTR

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read