Hope Secondary. (GoogleMaps)

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

A teacher in the Fraser-Cascade School District has been handed a two-month suspension and ordered to take workplace training after inappropriately pursuing a student in person and on social media.

Chelsea Dawn Cromarty, a social studies teacher at Hope Secondary School, did not dispute the facts outlined in the decision by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, including that she contacted the student on social media, in person, wrote a letter, and messaged while drunk.

The incident began with the Grade 12 student in the second semester of 2017-2018 while in Cromarty’s class.

The student graduated in June of 2018, a month before which Cromarty connected with the student — whose gender is not identified in the decision — using Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

“These messages were not school-related and became increasingly personal and she disclosed to the student personal information about herself,” according to the decision signed by Commissioner Howard Kushner on Oct. 29, 2019.

On a later occasion, Cromarty invited the student to talk in a separate room during class time. They talked about personal matters, including about her marriage.

RELATED: Chilliwack teacher suspended 5 days for touching colleague’s buttocks

RELATED: B.C. teacher suspended for obscene language, sarcasm to both students and parents

On June 19, Cromarty invited the student to “hang” out with her, something the student accepted then later declined. That same day, she picked the student up at his/her home and they went for a drive. Cromarty exchanged messages with the student that evening even though she knew the student had an exam the next morning.

That next morning, June 20, Cromarty sent a message to the student about the exam: “Get your ass in gear. You need to be here before 9.”

The student felt uncomfortable about the teacher’s attention, and stopped responding, according to the Commissioner’s report.

Cromarty, however, did not back down and continued to contact the student. In early July, she sent a three-page letter about her desire to be friends.

On Aug. 4, Cromarty messaged the student again stating she wanted to be friends and that she was “incredibly drunk” and “sad about the way things ended.”

There were more contacts via social media, culminating in Cromarty sending a personal message in November 2018 in which she wrote “I just wanted to check if things had changed” and “I get the sense that there is no way for me to rectify my past actions.”

On Dec. 6, 2018 the District disciplined Cromarty by reprimanding her and requiring her to complete a “boundaries” workshop offered by the BC Teachers’ Federation.

On Aug. 16, 2019, the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation considered the matter and proposed a consent resolution agreement.

Cromarty admitted all the facts laid out in the case, and admits the conduct pursuing the student constitutes professional misconduct, contrary to B.C. educational standards.

In addition to the two-month suspension, she was ordered to complete a course entitled “Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries” by March 31, 2020.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Letter: Lets stay strong

By Gerry Thiessen, Mayor of Vanderhoof March 27, 2020 It’s been two… Continue reading

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Here are some changes to the Fraser Lake Community Paramedicine program amidst COVID-19

Jessica Wurst, community paramedic in Fraser Lake answers some questions about her role in the community as well

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read