Former School District 59 teacher suspended for racist remarks and “aggressive behaviour”

A former School District 59 teacher has been suspended for four weeks for aggressive behaviour and making racist remarks. 

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An empty classroom.
An empty classroom. (stock)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A former School District 59 teacher, Brent Alexander Daniel, has been suspended for four weeks for aggressive behaviour and making racist remarks. 

Commissioner Howard L. Kushner of the British Columbia Commissioner for Teaching made the ruling on January 12th after multiple incidents of inappropriate behaviour by Daniel towards students and colleagues at both a public school in School District 59 and an unnamed independent school. 

The first incident noted in the decision happened at a public school in School District 59 on April 9th, 2021, when a student threw a “soft bouncy ball” at Daniel’s head at the end of class. Daniel reportedly chased the student, “faked” throwing the ball at the student, and then grabbed them by the hood, causing the student to fall to the ground. 

While on the ground, the decision reports Daniel yelled at the student and made comments that suggested the student wasn’t hurt and that they were “milking it.” 

Due to this incident, Daniel was issued a letter of discipline on May 14th, 2021, suspended for ten days without pay, and transferred to a different school within the district. The district also required Daniel to complete two courses, one on anger management and one on conflict resolution. 

On August or September of 2022, according to the decision, Daniel applied to an independent school run by a First Nation in British Columbia. During this application process, the decision states Daniel “omitted” his work experience with School District 59 and failed to indicate he was still employed by the district and was on a leave of absence. 

The decision stated Daniel made racist remarks to black colleagues in October and November of 2022. One such incident occurred when Daniel walked past a teacher wearing a medical face mask and “said words to the effect of “I’d better put away my valuables.” When the teacher asked why Daniel responded with  “a black man wearing a mask,” according to the decision.

The decision also said Daniel engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” towards students in November 2022 at the independent school. The incidents included multiple reports of yelling at students, using obscenities in front of students, and a specific incident where he kicked a pile of chairs that students were hiding underneath. 

In his conclusions, Kushner stated Daniel “failed to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator,” and his actions “jeopardized the physical and emotional safety of students.” 

Kushner also said Daniel’s comments towards his black colleagues were “inconsistent with the values, beliefs and knowledge of Canada’s democratic and inclusive society and damage the perception of the teaching profession.” 

Daniel agreed to a four-week suspension of his teaching certificate and to complete the course  Creating a Positive Learning Environment through the Justice Institute of BC by March 31st, 2023. 

The full decision by the British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation can be read below: 

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