- Our Town
UPDATE: Boundary teacher suspended for 10 years
A former teacher in School District 51 has been banned from teaching for a ten-year period after he sent sexually explicitmessages, links to porn and a shirtless photo of himself to a Grade 12 student in the district.
According to a report issued last week by the Teacher Regulation Branch of the BC Ministry of Education, Robert WilliamStevenson confirmed that he had initially sent messages to the 18-year-old student in order to “hook up.”
The report documents a series of inappropriate messages Stevenson sent over the span of four days through an “adult socialnetworking app” to a student in January 2015. The incidents between Stevenson and the student are documented a reportcalled a consent resolution agreement, which the Ministry of Education describes as a voluntary process where both partiescome to a written agreement. The document is made public by the ministry.
The student signed up for the app shortly after turning 18 years old, the report says. Stevenson also had an account on thesame app.
Stevenson sent two messages to the student at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. one night, trying to start a conversation.
Two days later, the student replied writing “um hi Mr. Stevinson (sic).”
When the student asked if Stevenson knew they were a student at the school he taught at, he replied that he “just took therisk to say hi.”
The messages turned sexually explicit, the report says, with Stevenson sharing “graphic details” of his own sexualexperiences. After the student said goodnight, Stevenson offered his phone number and told them he was “always down tochill hang hookup discretely.”
Stevenson continued, sending a link to a restricted access porn site with his user name and password, encouraging thestudent to check it out.
Through the entire exchange, the student didn’t respond, the report says.
Four days after the first contact, Stevenson sent a shirtless picture of himself. The student responded that night saying theyweren’t interested in pursuing any type of relationship with Stevenson.
He apologized, writing, “I’ve disrespected you, harassed you, and put you on (sic) a very uncomfortable position. My actionsweren’t ethical nor professional.”
The school district put Stevenson on administrative leave in June. He resigned in September.
School District 51 superintendent Kevin Argue said the district is supportive of the decision of the Teacher Regulation Branch.
“When we were made aware of the allegations we acted with the safety of students being our first concern,” Argue said. “Theschool district placed the employee on immediate administrative leave. We then completed an investigation and the employeeresigned from the school district shortly after that.
“We were required to pass along our investigation according to the School Act to the Teacher Regulation Branch, and theyconducted their investigation and this is the result of that decision,” Argue said.
Argue confirmed the time between the incident taking place in January and the teacher being placed on leave in June was dueto a delay in the student coming forward.
According to the report, by signing the agreement Stevenson agreed to the description of his conduct and agreed that itconstituted professional misconduct.
He has been ordered by the branch not to apply for a teaching certificate for the next 10 years.
-With files from Kathleen Saylors