A teacher working on-call in the Cowichan Valley School District has had his teaching licence suspended for one week for professional misconduct.
Jason Alexander Hop Wo must also successfully complete a course, called “Creating a Positive Learning Environment”, through the Justice Institute for B.C., according to a ruling by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.
The disciplinary action was taken after a number of incidents in schools in the Cowichan Valley involving Hop Wo and students in the 2015-16 school year, and an incident in a school in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district in the 2017-18 school year.
According to the commissioner’s report, from Dec. 10-15, 2015, Hop Wo was a TOC (teacher on call) at an elementary school in the Cowichan Valley teaching a Grade 4/5 class.
During that time, he frequently yelled at and belittled the students in his class, including telling a student that because the student behaved like a kindergartener, the student would be treated like one.
He also grabbed one student’s shirt and physically moved the student because he stepped out of line, and, while on a field trip, Hop Wo told students to comply with the rule not to eat inside the theatre and took away the snacks of two students who were eating in the theatre, then ate a snack in the theatre himself.
As well, Hop Wo grabbed one student by the wrist and pushed the student out of the door at lunch break; he shoved a student as a method of hallway management because he thought the student had been speaking when the student should not have been; and he gave detentions to four students who, while not following his explicit directions to run, were in the process of assisting another teacher in passing a message to some students on the other side of the track.
In the same school teaching a Grade 3/4 class on Jan. 4-5, 2016, Hop Wo frequently yelled at and belittled the students in the class, including calling a student a “fool”, using the word “panty face” and telling the class they “suck”.
Hop Wo yelled at a student to get out of the classroom, resulting in the student crying; he hit a student in the head with a piece of paper as a method of getting the student’s attention, resulting in the student crying; he threw a student’s pencil crayons in the garbage when the student didn’t switch to a new task quickly enough; and he tore a student’s decorated label in front of the other students after having told the student to “stop whining”.
On March 4, 2016, the Cowichan Valley school district disciplined Hop Wo and he subsequently resigned from the TOC list.
The commissioner’s report goes on to say that Hop Wo was employed as a primary teacher in an elementary school in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district in the 2017-18 school year.
On April 18, 2018, Hop Wo had inappropriate physical contact with a Grade 2 student in his class.
The student was having a verbal argument with another student when the student entered the classroom after the morning bell.
An education assistant tried to redirect the student by asking him to put away his belongings and get ready for class.
The student didn’t respond to this redirection and continued to argue with the other student after sitting in his chair.
Hop Wo intervened by using both hands to pull the student up by his shoulders from his chair, turn him and move him toward the door.
As he did so, he said to the student in a loud voice to “move on.”
On July 12, 2018, the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district disciplined Hop Wo by suspending him without pay for three days at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
Hop Wo also completed an anger management course in 2019.
Hop Wo’s conduct on April 18, 2018, happened after he was disciplined in 2016 for similar conduct and after he received a letter of expectation from the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district on June 13, 2017, advising him to refrain from using physical contact with students except where necessary for their safety.
On Jan. 15, 2019, the commissioner considered the incidents in both schools and proposed a consent resolution agreement to Hop Wo in which his licence would be suspended for one week and he must complete the prescribed course.
“A breach by Hop Wo of any term of this agreement may constitute professional misconduct which may be the subject of separate discipline proceedings,” the report said.
The one week suspension ran from Nov. 3-9, 2019.