A Williams Lake area secondary teacher made ‘inaccurate and inappropriate’ comments about four students on social media leading her to be suspended without pay.
The repercussions were detailed in a British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation (BCCTR) consent resolution agreement reached Dec. 1, 2021 and published Dec. 21, 2021.
On Jan. 23, 2020, teacher Shannon Rerie shared a local newspaper article on her personal Facebook page about four students who had excelled at a sporting event and included the following comment:
“Wish they’d been nicer students in my class … I’d be way more impressed with this.”
She also included a thinking emoji and a shoulder shrug emoji.
Rerie, who has worked at School District 27 since 2007, was written up on Feb. 4, 2020, and suspended without pay on Feb. 12 and again on March 4 of that year. The district made a report to the BCCTR.
Her matter was dealt with by the BCCTR on Aug. 31 of this year.
The consent resolution agreement outlined the events including that two of the students mentioned in the article had never had Rerie as a teacher. The other two students had Rerie as a teacher in the 2018/2010 school year.
When one of Rerie’s friends copied the post and shared it, it was then seen by three parents of the students featured in the article.
One of the parents became worried the post could negatively affect their child’s scholarship application.
Rerie was issued a discipline letter and suspended for the two days.
She was also required by the district to write a letter of apology to the students and the parents.
The Facebook commenting in 2020 was not the first time Rerie had garnered attention by the district.
“A school administrator had previously spoken with Rerie several times over the preceding 10 years about her Facebook account, the need to tighten her security over it and watch what she posts,” the agreement noted.
The consent resolution agreement was drawn up with Rerie under section 53 of the Teachers Act.
In the agreement Rerie admitted to the facts, that they constituted professional misconduct and that she had shared confidential information about students in the school which was both “inaccurate and inappropriate.”
Rerie was the vice-president of the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers Association for three years, a candidate in past elections for the Cariboo Regional District as a director and School District 27 as a board of trustee.
According to the B.C. government, discipline outcomes provide ‘confidence that educators who fail to meet the standards are held accountable.’